What makes a wheel cool? While many people argue over what is the best ‘modern’ style of alloy wheels, you can’t argue with the classics.
Narrowing it down to 10 is more of a challenge. It’s a highly subjective opinion, of course, but we’re pretty sure you’ll appreciate the examples of circular beauty we’re about to roll out.
Firstly, some ground rules. We’ve chosen to ignore the lure of concept cars, preferring to concentrate on the wheels that have, at the very least, made it into production.
Which means the likes of the Maserati Boomerang have to take a back seat. It might have stolen the show at the 1971 Turin Motor Show, but Giorgetto Giugiaro’s creation – complete with 4.7-litre V8 engine and trick steering wheel – remains an example of one of the best cars that might have been.
Secondly, we’ve chosen to omit aftermarket alloy wheels. While the likes of the Ronal R10 Turbo and many BBS rims could make the cut, we’re sticking to our guns with the whole production car thing.
Of course, this means the ‘iconic’ Ronal Teddy fails to the make the top 10. You can decide whether or not this is a good thing. Stick with us, as we take you through the wheels that made the cut, presented in no particular order.
BMW M1 ‘Campagnolo’
Today, the BMW M1 is – with very good reason – held aloft as one of the greatest supercars of all-time. Famously, it was to be built by Lamborghini, until the Italian firm ran out of lira, with only four prototype models constructed.
BMW, along with designer Giugiaro, rescued the project from the brink of collapse and displayed an M1 at the 1978 Turin Motor Show. The slatted 16-inch Campagnolo alloy wheels were unique to the M1 and so of their time.
BMW M1 Homage ‘sink strainers’
Thirty years later, when BMW paid tribute to the M1 with the M1 Homage Concept, the five-stud Campagnolo rims were a major influence on the design of the wheels. It almost seems rude to call them ‘sink strainers’, but they certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a 1970s kitchen.
Lamborghini Countach ‘Campagnolo Bravo’
Sticking with Campagnolo wheels, you’ll instantly recognise these as the ‘Bravo’ wheels fitted to the Lamborghini Countach. Indeed, they graced the LP 400 Series 1 cars, and are often referred to as ‘telephone dials’ or ‘five cylinder’ designs.
Lamborghini also used a very similar design on the Silhouette, although the offset and width differed from that on the Countach. Sadly, a fire at the Campagnolo factory left the company unable to continue manufacturing wheels for Lamborghini, which forced the firm into using OZ alloy wheels on the LP 500. The design was similar, but they weren’t quite as evocative as the earlier wheels.
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