I’ve mentioned before that there are five or six beat up E30 convertibles within about a mile of my apartment near Indiana University; well, another school year’s brought the number up to about eight or nine. And while this white convertible was photographed in New York by LeSabreToothTiger (formerly WillRubano), it has the same exact aftermarket wheels I’ve seen on two or three of the BMW ragtops I’ve mentioned. Cheap looking, aren’t they? But apparently popular, hopefully they’re at least lighter than stock.
It was always American Racing directionals similar to these which got the stink eye from me as a kid. More often than not seen with a machined steel finish, they graced the walls of many a Sears Auto Center and were the only entertainment (aside from daytime TV and days-old Maxwell House) available to five-year-old me while my mother had her Accord’s brakes or exhaust replaced for the umpteenth time. I felt they were ugly even then, but the company is still around today, making similar wheels.
These Borbet Type Hs became somewhat of a scourge as the ’90s wore on. And though I’ve never seen them on a 6-series before, this beat-up E24 does a great job of showing how generic and cheap they often look. They probably provided a way out of TRX tire hell for this car, but more often than not, they graced many a dealer-embellished 96/97-era Toyota (the sort adorned with spoilers, gold badging and glue-on wood interior trim) or special edition Mk3 VW. It’s hard to have positive associations with this design.
With wheels and tires getting ever larger, easy replacement of factory-spec rolling stock might be less common than it was fifteen years ago, but that will likely increase the proportion of cheap and tacky items chosen over quality pieces. And I know is that I’ll die happy if I never again have to see “Diablo” rims like the one pictured above. So what say you, readers? What aftermarket wheels do you most commonly see marring a nice classic design?