There are always people out there that want it all. I'm one of those people. Wheels. I want all of them. But the fact of the matter is, that's never going to happen. I'm not talking about the "new" wheels that you see emblazoned on every ride featured on "Pimp Mi Lancha."
I'm referring to what many of you reading this regard as pieces of history: old school Japanese wheels. The enshrined can all fit on one crisp 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of Mead's finest. So what makes the inaugural HT Wheel of the Month so different? First off, it's a non-conventional 17-inch version of the Work RSZ-R. The wheel also came in the 15 and 16-inch variety, which are more popular.
So why the 17's? Well, for one, these aren't the run-of-the-mill +42 et's you'll see everywhere else-these are the badass +35's, which adventurously push the wheels out just enough to line up with the fender/quarter panels perfectly. One thing that the largest version accomplishes is the ability to fit Wilwood's 12.19-inch big brake kit without the use of wheel spacers. The face of the wheel cages the brake assembly tightly, with 2mm of clearance between the caliper and the back of the spokes.
Owning a front-wheel-drive vehicle is tough. I always jealously lust over all the 350Zs trolling around L.A. with their big, bad 10-inch wide rear wheels, armed with 4-inch lips. Bastards. Rear-wheel-drive applications aside, I dare you to find another front-wheel-drive wheel that has a fatter, nicer, 2-step lip than the RSZ-R. Again, this is due to the +35 offset. The +42's have less pronounced caveat for rubbing.
Oh yeah, almost forgot. The wheel happens to be forged, making them tip the scales at 14.7lbs each. The 16x7's clock in at 13 lbs, and the 15x6.5's at a gravity-defying 11lbs. So for those of you that want a wheel that combines timeless design, pizza-pie brake clearing prowess, light weight, and a nice, fat FWD lip, you might want to start your search now. We doubt another wheel like this will ever hit the market for the 4x100 crowd since Honda has pretty much replaced the pattern with the more secure 5x114 flavor.
MSRP (approx. in 1996)
15x6.5 = $350 each
16x7.0 = $425 each
17x7.0 = $535 each
Street Price 2006 (set of 4)
15x6.5 = $1000-1400 w/used tires
16x7.0 = $1150-1500 w/used tires
17x7.0 = $1400-2000 w/used tires