Of all the component parts of a car, only one can evoke the kind of passion that can break friendships and cause people to break out the CAPS LOCK in internet arguments – wheels! Obviously a very important component, and also one of the key styling features of all cars. The wrong choice of size or style can make or break even the world's best cars. Remember the entry level 2004 E60 BMW? Amazing car, tiny wheels and it looked odd!
With such a wide and varied selection of vehicles at Autosport 2012, there was enough on offer to satisfy even the most discerning wheel aficionado.
The BBS mesh style is the wheel equivalent of the little black dress. Looks good in pretty much every application and especially so when attached to each corner of an E30 M3 Touring car.
Same car different style. The OZ Racing rim looks great, especially with the racing center lock.
More BBS splits, this time on the corners of a 911 GT3 cup car.
Whilst walking through the Historic F1 show with Rod, we were discussing the similarity between classic F1 rims and old school JDM rims. This is James Hunt's 1977 McLaren, can anyone else see a Racing Hart Takechi Project here?
Perhaps SSR Mk.IIs were inspired by Niki Lauda's 1977 312 Ferrari?
Work Equip maybe?
I just love the old school mixture of loads of dish and machined spokes. I was quite surprised at the four lug nuts on this Lola F5000 car …
… in comparison to the the McLaren M23 from around the same era with the single nut center lock.
It doesn't get more old school than knock-offs. You can just imagine the pit crew changing wheels at 2am at Le Mans in '68. Not with air guns but with copper mallets.
19" Volk GTCs on the Team SATS Supra, fully refinished and looking great. Imported with the car back in 2007 and just too nice to give up.
The battle scars just add character to the Gram Light 57Ds as fitted to the Japspeed Impreza.
Legendary wheels don't come much more legendary than this. Senna's Speedlines on the McLaren MP4/8
I don't know if these are the actual wheels fitted during the epic first laps of the 1993 European GP, but I would like to think they are.
Badassery in the first degree on the Rauh-Welt Number One.
I had almost forgotten the extreme fitment of the 90s Super-Touring cars. Nicely demonstrated by this Mazda 323 Super tourer.
Now this brings back some memories. Revolution Four spokes fitted to a MKIII Capri. Exactly the same set up I had on my very first car, it was even red.
Another classic that has seen test of time is the Porsche Fuchs. Designed by Otto Fuchs Metallwerke in the mid 60's and the design is still going strong with the 911 Sport Classic nearly 50 years down the line. A true classic.
A stark contrast to the monstrous rims fitted to the Porsche 918 RSR.
Weld Racing Magnum Drag 2.0 in bronze. 4KG of awesome right there.
More OZ designed wheels to take the incredible punishment that the WRC Championship inflicts.
I will leave you with these Rays fitted to the JRM GT3 GT-R. Wheels have a culture all of their own, they make or break a car. Something so functional and necessary and yet so emotive. A wheel is not for Christmas, it's for life.