Home » What’s Your Favorite Wheel Design?

What’s Your Favorite Wheel Design?

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Wheels! They’re such an important part of the car because they’re what makes the car roll. No wheels, no drivey, it’s as simple as that. They’re also a crucial piece of a car’s design. Too big, and a car looks silly, like some kind of doofy joke. Too small, and the car looks differently ridiculous, but ridiculous still. Under normal circumstances, a wheel and tire package should neatly fill the guards, with maybe a little tire poke to the outside if you’re going for an edgy tuner look.

Of course, some cultures go to extremes. Donks ride on gigantic wheels, to the point where they look ridiculous and barely operate as a car anymore. The opposite trend was at one point a thing in the lowrider community, where tiny wheels made the cars similarly undrivable, to say nothing of brake clearances, either.

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Phone dials are an Alfa classic.

But it comes down to more than just mere size. Personally, I’m a big fan of five-spoke wheels. I think they look great on a whole ton of vehicles, from JDM classics to older American cars, too. I used to run a nice set on my Mazda MX-5, which really made it look quite nice.

As an aside, the benefit of the MX-5 is that here are tons of examples online you can use to guide your wheel choice. Research told me that 15-inch wheels were ideal, and guided me towards the right offset to get the look I was going for. You can see my car in the header image.

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I tend to find that vintage cars look better on vintage wheels. I saw a Lada drop-top that looked great on a classic 70s-style spoked design. That car may have come out in the 1990s in Australia, but it looked much older. Thus, the older wheels seemed to work with its general aesthetic.

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Similarly, the Holden Hurricane absolutely rocked its unique wheels that were reminiscent of a spinning finned heatsink. Ironically, the lack of ventilation meant they’d probably be terrible for keeping the brakes cool, but they looked like they were high-performance items.

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Maybe your tastes differ from mine. Perhaps you love tri-spokes, or those horrible single-spoke wheels that look as unbalanced as the guy sitting by himself in an empty subway carriage. Or maybe you think the C8 Corvette should have come out with a set of 14-inch Watanabes. And speaking of Corvettes: do salad shooters work on everything? Maybe!

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[Ed Note: You can click that for a whole thread of cars on salad shooters. Stupid “X” link isn’t embedding … ]
Sound off below, and tell me all about your favorite wheels!

Image credits: Alfa Romeo; Lewin Day

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Space
Space
1 month ago

As long as they are 17″ or smaller, I loathe the giant wheel small tire trend.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
1 month ago

At one point I had over 40 wheels for my MX5, because drifting. I had a spreadsheet keeping track of tread depth and tyre sizes so I could mess around with gear ratios a bit. I’d buy them as sets, or pairs, or singles, anything that would fit.

It never looked better than on a set of 15” E30 BWM BBSs.

It never looked sillier than with 14” Wedsport TC05 on the front and Lotus Elise 16” spiders on the rear.

I’ve got a set of Crimson Racing Sparco NT 5 spokes in 16×8 5×114.3. I’ve never seen another set ever, which might have something to do with the unique and annoying wheel nuts they have to use. I’ve been storing them for 15 years waiting to buy a car they’ll go on, like the Sileighty I’ll never be able to afford.

I may have a wheel hoarding problem.

Loudsx .
Loudsx .
1 month ago

it really depends on the car.

my Green S14 has gold BuddyClub P1s that I think look perfect.

and I Have Bronze TE37’s going on my Blue ’24 Z this week

guess still a jdm tragic

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
1 month ago
Reply to  Loudsx .

I have bronze TE37 lookalikes on my GT86. I think they look great on anything.

One day maybe I’ll be able to afford the real thing.

Harvey Firebirdman
Harvey Firebirdman
1 month ago

Pontiac snowflakes and spoked T/A wheels

Scaled29
Scaled29
1 month ago

I definitely like wheels with more spokes. Like the many-spoke silver rims that came on the E39 BMWs. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.carsaddiction.com%2Fen%2Fwheels%2Fbmw%2Fstyle-33&psig=AOvVaw15FGRU2NSKva5jxte33HiF&ust=1716245855090000&source=images&cd=vfe&opi=89978449&ved=0CBIQjRxqFwoTCKio2JfomoYDFQAAAAAdAAAAABAE I generally like a more filled out rim, not ones that make the wheels look hollow or empty. A great example is one particular rim on the new Hyundai Kona. Almost salad shooter or rally like, black with a little silver. This doesn’t mean I like every overcomplicated design. I don’t really care for tuner rims, and there are cars where steelies are the best. Or hubcaps even. Like on older Volvo XC70s. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.de%2F-%2Fen%2FOriginal-Volvo-Wheel-Trim-Inch%2Fdp%2FB01JAB6KOO&psig=AOvVaw3UM0rL0Y-GMtxMV9IjHawJ&ust=1716246315810000&source=images&cd=vfe&opi=89978449&ved=0CBIQjRxqFwoTCKirlv3pmoYDFQAAAAAdAAAAABAI

McMike
McMike
1 month ago

Salad shooters are the best wheel. It’s subtle enough, simple. Not too flashy, not to plain. It’s not trying to pretend to be something it’s not. It’s perfect.

I was going to post some examples, but forgot I wasn’t able to embed photos. Lewin linked to the Twitter Saladshooter thread.

Last edited 1 month ago by McMike
Jb996
Jb996
1 month ago

This thread is useless without pics.

Maybe I need to have a better encyclopedic knowledge of wheels, but you referred to many in the article, but without pictures for all of them, I only know, if I’m lucky, vaguely what they look like.
The comment lists are useless to me.
.
I guess I’m just not the right kind of car enthusiast for this article…

(I do know what Porsche Fuchs look like.)

SpyderWeber
SpyderWeber
1 month ago

BBS RS
Volk TE37
Minilite/Watanabe/Panasport

AMG Monoblock
BBS RC030 (E39)
1984 Supra P-Type 14″

Also: Fuchs

eta someone should call the cops on whoever’s denying us the ability to post pictures here in 2024.

Last edited 1 month ago by SpyderWeber
Hangover Grenade
Hangover Grenade
1 month ago
Reply to  SpyderWeber

I think it has to be BBS RS.

AceRimmer
AceRimmer
1 month ago

Depends on the car, but Cragar’s and classic Torq-thrust/Bullitt wheels are pretty much always awesome.

Turtle Racer
Turtle Racer
1 month ago

American racing wheel torq thrust
Porsche Fuchs wheel

V8 Fairmont Longroof
V8 Fairmont Longroof
1 month ago

My avatar is the correct answer!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 month ago

In no particular order:

OEM:
Ferrari 308
Gen1 VW GTI
SAAB Aztec
SAAB Super Aero
84-85 Toyota Celica/Supra
Ford turbines
Steelies with simple chrome hubcaps on vintage roadsters.
Chrome wire wheels on vintage roadsters

Least favorites:
Einki92 mesh. Especially in gold. IMO this look did not age well EXCEPT on Jeep Cherokees
Spinners
Wagon wheels
Murdered out/plasticoated anything
Painted wire wheels
Steelies with pretensions of hubcaps.

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
1 month ago

White painted minilights on small hatches, painted steelies on trucks/suvs, halibrands on vintage racecars, torque thrusts on american muscle(except mercury cougars, they need vintage keystones, and vintage buicks need mag 500s) and wires on classic europeans.

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
1 month ago

This feels like you’re taunting us, what with the inability to post images ‘n’ whatnot.

Volvo Virgos, fwiw.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dead Elvis, Inc.
Theotherotter
Theotherotter
1 month ago

What I think looks best on a car is usually car-specific, but I’m hard-pressed to think of anything that Vok TE-37s don’t look good on.

Crimedog
Crimedog
1 month ago
Reply to  Theotherotter

Came here to say some version of this.
I don’t hate Kosei K1s or Enkei RP or RT (I have trucks now; my F&F days are over).
Essentially, if they are light, strong, and I can stand to look at them, I am sold.

William Domer
William Domer
1 month ago

Fuchs

William Domer
William Domer
1 month ago
Reply to  William Domer

Also the snowflakes color coded on my Wolfsburg VW Cabriolet. 1986

Angular Banjoes
Angular Banjoes
1 month ago

For me, any kind of clean 5-spoke is always good, but my absolute favorites are the TE37 and the AMG Monoblocks.

0l0id
0l0id
1 month ago

Years ago I would have had a lot of options to choose from. Right now it’s honestly the stock VW GTI Detroit wheels – the ones that look like a 5-leaf clover. I own a 2012 Golf TDI that is sitting on nice Audi Rims, installed under previous ownership, and I low-key want to swap them out for a used set of Detroits…

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
1 month ago

Asked 11 year old self this and the answer was this.

Hot Wheels.

Captain Muppet
Captain Muppet
1 month ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I found out last year that you can buy custom wheels for Hotwheels.

Like I needed more things to obsessively waste money on.

Lizardman in a human suit
Lizardman in a human suit
1 month ago

80’s Chevy steel truck rims with chrome center cap and beauty ring. Even better when the rim is body color.

4SpeedToploader
4SpeedToploader
1 month ago

Jeep ZJ snowflake wheels. Extra points for the gold ones.

JDS
JDS
1 month ago

Personal fave: Fuchs 5-spoke. They look good on everything.
Runner-up: Cragars on American muscle

Wayne F Bailey
Wayne F Bailey
1 month ago

NOT ALL BLACK,!

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