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Ten Wheel Designs - Born To Roll

The Ten Wheel Designs that Changed The Way We Filled Our Wheel Wells

Super Street Staff
Nov 10, 2006
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Since the dawn of the tuning era, import or domestic, the one thing that everyone can agree is a must-have is a set of aftermarket wheels. Hubcaps and steel wheels are boring at best, and factory upgrades can be a costly mistake. But if you want to upsize with style, there's no better way to do it than visiting a local retailer for the designs you like most-what's best is there's something for everyone. Need something lightweight? Volk Racing offers the strongest forged pieces and is being used by the fastest Japanese tuners. Would you rather sit on chrome? Just look at some of the ads in this book. We compiled a short list of some of the greatest wheels to have hit our cars in the past ten years and we're sure you have your opinions, too. Naturally, we'd like to hear about it; send us a note to loudandclear@superstreetonline.com or Super Street, Attn: Top 10 Wheels, 6420 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048. You can even vote online at www.superstreetonline.com. Tell us which wheels you think are hot (or not) and why.

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YOKOHAMA SUPER ADVAN
Wheel type Cast welded two-piece
Sizes 16 through 18-inch
Availability Discontinued
Source Mackin Industries, 562.946.6820,www.mackinindustries.com

Virtually unknown to the US market with the exception of those followingthe JDM trends, Yokohama not only equips your ride with high performance road and race tires, but also produces a very high end of wheels to match its racing involvement. The Super Advan was a three-spoke design that only few couldafford or bring in. Within the past couple of years Yokohama has brought back the Super Advan with the second-generation Super Advan 2, an updated version of the classic.

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VOLK RACING TE-37
Wheel type Forged aluminum one-piece
Sizes 13 through 19-inch
Availability Currently in production
Source Mackin Industries, 562.946.6820,www.mackinindustries.com

If you had to compare wheels to soda, then Volk's TE-37 is the Coca Cola, a classic from every perspective. The lightweight, one-piece design uses Rays Engineering's patented forged technology and remains a favorite to this day, like a worn-in pair of Jordan IIIs. The TE can be used for a variety of purposes, but are perfect for racing applications. Have you ever tried lifting a 13-inch version? You could do it with a couple of fingers.

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RACING HART TYPE-C
Wheel type Cast aluminum three-piece
Sizes 15 through 18-inch
Availability Discontinued
Source DAZZ Motorsports, 626.962.0033,www.dazzmotorsports.com

As Racing Hart blossomed into the US market after the Super Fin era, the company became a real household name after releasing the original Type-C, a wheel that's been copied many times over and re-released by Racing Hart and DAZZ as the Type-C2. This mesh design had a similar variant, the SSR GP Omega (GP-O) and had a sister wheel, the Tracer, which had center caps that could be used on either wheel. The Type-C was the catalyst for many of the wheels you see on the road today.

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WORK EQUIP
Wheel type Cast aluminum three-piece
Sizes Various applications
Availability Currently in production
Source AKH Trading, 714.327.0181, www.worksuperwheels.com

Serving as one of Japan's oldest wheel manufacturers since 1977,Work wheels have been used heavily by Super GT, Formula 3,N1, McLaren and Mitsubishi's Ralliart division. The five-spoke Equipis its masterpiece and can be ordered in a variety of sizes, offsetsand colors. It may be one of the oldest wheel designs that can still bepurchased today and many of the new school enthusiasts are adding it to their rides for a blending of time periods.

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ENKEI RP-01
Wheel type Cast one-piece
Sizes 15 through 18-inch
Availability Discontinued
Source www.enkei.com

Held in the same regard by race teams and tuners alike in Japan, Enkei has been supplying the world and OEs with forged wheels for years.The RP-01 is a five-spoke design that was the hot look for the time. It has been through two revisions since with the RP-03 being its current replacement.

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MUGEN RNR
Wheel type Squeeze-processed one-piece
Sizes 15-inch only
Availability Discontinued
Source King Motorsports, 262.786.8360, www.kingmotorsports.com

Considered by many Honda owners as the holy grail of wheels (next to Mugen's rarer M7) is a unique design called the RnR. With a resemblance to that of a starfish, Mugen used a squeeze-process to create a very lightweight wheel, lighter even than the TE-37. However, it was not as durable and was easily damaged. The RnR came in three variations: silver, white and black with a red lip.

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SPOON SW388
Wheel type Shot alumite one-piece
Sizes 15 and 16-inch only
Availability Currently in production
Source Opak Racing, 650.952.1900, www.spoonsports.us

Outsourced to a production company in Russia, Spoon Sports' SW388 wheel utilizes shot alumite processing to produce a lighter wheel than traditional forging. While the wheel is only available in a black matte finish from Spoon, there is an alternative version from Regamaster dubbed the Evo. Along with the Mugen RnR, this is another highly sought-after wheel for Honda owners.

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BLITZ TECHNOSPEED Z1
Wheel type Forged spun three-piece
Sizes 17 through 19-inch
Availability Currently in production
Source 626.839.8350, www.blitz-na.com

While Blitz is known primarily as an engine parts producer, it does offer aero kitsand wheels. The Technospeed Z1 is one of its earliest designs and remains in production,serving those with RWD Nissans and Toyotas best.

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SSR REVERSE MESH
Wheel type Cast aluminum three-piece
Sizes Various applications
Availability Currently in production
Source Tanabe Co. LTD, (0727)28-6700, www.rd-tanabe.com/ssr/index.html

SSR's mesh wheels are what we consider to be the timeless classic, like a Rolex. Never a design to go out of fashion, SSR released several mesh designs, including the Super Mesh, Super Mesh EXC, Formula Mesh and GP-mega, to name a few. While most have been discontinued for quite some time, SSR continued the mesh legacy by resurrecting the Formula and Reverse Mesh since they are highly desired by the drifting community. They aren't the cheapest or lightest wheels around, but they always do their part: performing and looking good at the same time, just like a Rolex.

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5ZIGEN DIVISION 3
Wheel type Cast one-piece
Sizes Various applications
Availability Discontinued
Source 310.608.5575, www.5zigenusa.com

Much like the Type-C, the Div.3 from 5Zigen was a popular wheel for its time because of its low cost in comparison to the Racing Harts and SSRs on the market, making it a perfect upgrade for someone who wanted good-looking wheels, but had to shop on a budget. The Div.3 spawned numerous copies as well.

By Super Street Staff
149 Articles

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