(first posted 3/2/2016) Walk around any parking lot today, and you soon realize all but the cheapest cars have alloy wheels. And while each model has a unique design, the designs themselves – like much of today’s cars – aren’t that distinctive. It’s a sad descent from a better past.
Fittingly, the road wheel is a child of the CC era. The first ones appeared in on the 1955 Eldorado, as the Cadillac Saber Spoke. This pioneer aluminum road wheel was the result of a collaboration between Alcoa and the Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company, who made the wire wheels for the ’53 and ’54 Eldorado.
It took a while for the road wheel to catch on, until it was propelled by muscle-car magnesium, and finally returned to its luxury car roots in the Late Brougham era. Along the way, there were some real gems, including my personal favorite, the Buick Rallye Wheel.
Introduced in the early 60’s, it remained a staple through the 80s, and could even make an Estate Wagon look sporty.
The worst? I honestly can’t think of one, but I’m sure you’ll have many candidates, on both ends of the spectrum.