If you read this blog at all (which, by looking at the analytics for this blog I can see that you don’t, naughty), you will know that I recently bought a Mk1 Jetta that I am now rebuilding to the highest quality (that I can afford and manage). With a new car comes a number of new questions, what engine should I have? What colour should it be painted, what interior choices should I look at? but one of the biggest and most difficult choices has to be, What wheels should I run?
It has been said countless times “the wheels make the car”, and though there are some cases where this is not true, 9 time out of 10 an average car can be made into a head turner by a quality set of wheels. Now, I am not someone who will look past a well maintained Mk2 Golf with standard alloys on if the whole car is to a high standard (Damien’s mint low mileage Mk2 GTI is a prime example), but many a show winning car has been made by a perfect set polished BBS RMss.
So, as I am recovering from having a useless piece of my intestines pulled out through a small hole (it is all keyhole these days), I have been doing to normal thing of wasting time on eBay looking for some shoes for the new Mk1 Jetta.
Now, this is a dangerous thing to do, as the car still needs so much work to even get the body work ready for paint, let alone the whole car ready for driving, but a little peak can’t hurt, right?
eBay is a wonderful place to see a range of wheels, from expensive ‘rare’ split rims to standard alloys off a range of makes and models. I currently have no idea what kind of price range I will be looking at for the Jetta’s new boots, but I have a feeling it will not be the BBS RS £1000+ region, but that has not stopped me looking. Anyway, here are some cool, interesting and different wheels that I just would love to have for the Jetta (chance are I will not though).
BBS RM splitties. Now I know, RM’s are ‘played out’ on retro VWs and having a set on the Jetta would just be boring. But I can’t help but love the old cross spoked design, and you cannot argue that they still look great. There are plenty on eBay, with many having been refurbished already and demanding over £1k in price, but you can find the odd gem on eBay where the wheels need a little bit of love. These less shiny RM’s are currently priced around £400 to £500, with varying amounts of work needed to bring them back to their former glory.
Next up are some of my favourite wheels on the market, OZ Turbo’s. OZ Turbo’s are much more rare than BBS RM’s, but have the same retro 80s feel and demand the same kind of level of money in today’s market. I have wanted a set of OZ Turbo’s since my first Mk2 Golf many years ago and have not quite been in the right place with the right car to get some. Sets come up on eBay every now and then and can demand anywhere from £500-£600 for an okay set, to £700-£1000 for a set that have been refurbed to a high standard. The set on eBay at the moment are firmly within the latter category, with the wheels being up for £900 with a fresh refurb on them. I am not sure if I would actually buy these (not sure about the centre colour) but they are a beautiful wheel none the less.
Now, there is always something a little more understated (and cheaper) to choose from on eBay. There is a host of different one piece wheels that either came on a car as standard in the 80s-90s, or was an after market wheel back in the day that would still be perfect for a little retro looking Mk1 Jetta. One example that I am currently following is a set of OZ Aero’s. I am not sure if these were ever an optional extra on old Vauxhall’s or something back in the 80s or 90s, but they have that retro look about them that works really well with the boxy shape of the Mk1. What do you think? The biggest issue with retro standard wheels is that they are usually 6-6.5 inches wide, which is a little skinny to look ‘cool’ from the back. But I guess width is not everything.
Last but certainly not least are some more BBS’s, but something a little different from the norm. Now, for the Jetta I will be looking for something that is 14-15 inches in diameter. I think that 14’s or 15’s look the best on any Mk1 platform and anything smaller or larger seems a little much. With that being said, something like these BBS E30 Magnesium Motorsport Wheels could make me make an exception to that rule. Now I know, the wheels in question are 4×108, so they would not fit without a re-drill or some adaptors (or maybe a hub conversion), but they are so cool and rare (properly rare, not the normal eBay rare) that I just couldn’t not include them. The wheels are 13×8 and are so beautifully retro they almost make me want to buy an old Ford to have a car to fit them on. Of course, they have a pretty nice price tag to go along with them too, starting the bidding at £950 might see them reach as high as £1500 by the end of the auction. But a man can dream.
Well, the search continues (and will for a while), but if you have any suggestions for cool wheels for a retro Jetta project let me know in the comments.