Ask Goodwin - What's your favourite alloy wheel design?
So many wheels, so little time to choose. Which wheel makes Goodwin's world go round?
What’s your favourite alloy wheel design? - Richard Watts, Leeds
Wow, so many to choose from that it’s going to be difficult to pinpoint just one. I’m sure a professor of motoring history such as the eminent David Burgess-Wise (the most knowledge and kindest historian I’ve ever met) will be able to tell us when the first alloy wheel appeared on a road car. I’m guessing early Bugatti. Anyway, it was certainly through racing that the alloy wheel acquired its sex appeal and why it became a crucial styling feature on road cars.
But back to your question. My favourite racing car wheel is a toss-up between the Halibrand design fitted to AC Cobras and the Porsche 917’s rear rim (which is unbelievably wide). Minilites are still a classic and look great on old 911s and on Minis. I don’t like wire wheels so if I had an E-type I think I’d have it on Minilites. Those of you around my age will have memories of the classic Wolfrace Slot Mag. Fitted as standard to the Mk1 Esprit, AC 3000ME and several other British sports cars , the ‘Wolfie’ stirs more affectionate nostalgia than lust because it wasn’t an attractive wheel.
I’m a big fan of the styling of Triumph’s Stag, GT6 and Spitfire even if the cars themselves are deeply flawed. They had cool wheels as well, especially the late Stags which shared wheel design with the Dolomite Sprint.
The Citroen XM’s take on Lotus’s wobbly wheel look clean and simple. Nice things to look at while sitting on the kerb waiting for the AA to arrive to have a crack and fixing the XM’s electrics. The 205 GTi 1.9 wheel is simple, attractive and very easy to keep clean.
Any alloy wheel held on by one nut gets my vote, which is the case with my favourite alloy of all time. It’s the Lamborghini Miura’s. I thought it was amazingly cool in 1969 and I still do.
Ask Goodwin is a weekly column on evo.co.uk by Colin Goodwin, one of the UK's most popular motoring journalists – and one of the early contributors to evo magazine.
You'd like Colin – he drove an amphibious vehicle across the English channel (it caught fire half way) and he held the Guinness World Record for the highest speed in reverse (104 mph in a Light Car Company Rocket). More recently he drove from England to the Geneva motor show… in a Caterham 160.
Oh, and when he visits the evo office he does so in a plane that he built in his shed…
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