BBS was founded in 1970 by Heinrich Baumgartner and Klaus Brand in Schiltach in the Black Forest. The company name is an acronym for Baumgartner Brand Schiltach. Plastic auto body parts were initially manufactured at the plant until 1972, when an innovative three-piece motorsports wheel was designed there. This strongly positioned the company in the motorsports sector. The company continued to expand steadily. Shortly thereafter the first foreign subsidiary was established in France, the three-piece wheels were launched for the retrofit market, and sales on the aftermarket boomed. As a result of these positive developments, BBS went public in 1980, operating under the name BBS Kraftfahrzeugtechnik AG. After three further years, the subsidiaries in Japan and the USA were established, along with the opening of a branch in Italy. (Source: bbs.com/en/)
In 1983, BBS produced their first 3-piece wheel for dealer car applications -- the RS. At the time, it was an OE option worth over $2,000. The list of 20+ auto manufacturers offering this upgrade included Nissan, Mazda, Chevrolet, and VW, just to name a few. In the same year, BBS opened subsidiaries in the USA and Japan. The BBS RS quickly gained worldwide acceptance, giving a new car owner the look, feel, and benefits of a track-ready car.
The RS was initially offered in a spectrum of widths but only 15" and 16" diameters. Over the years this offering expanded to additional diameters, and in present day is still offered in 19" and 20". RS centers (aka faces) have, and always will be, constructed from die-forged aluminum. Most original RS faces came in either silver or gold, but there have been some limited runs from BBS in which other colour schemes were offered. One such example is the RS Prima Donna, which featured gold fastening hardware, white faces, and red centercaps. Some Prima Donna's even featured gold hexcaps with a gold "beauty ring" on the outside of the waffle caps.
Today refinished RS's come in just about every colour of the rainbow. Enthusiasts customize even further with aftermarket lips & barrels, centercaps, hardware, etc. We love refinished RS's, as long as it's done cleanly and carefully.
Unfortunately, the RS is probably also the most commonly replicated wheel design. Attend any car meet or show and there's a good chance you'll encounter these replica RS's. But the difference between the original and the replica isn't merely cosmetic! In fact there are enormous fundamental differences, including true multi-piece vs. what we refer to as "faux-piece", and forged vs. cast or even gravity cast. As an inquisitive auto enthusiast, we encourage you to do your own research about replica wheels. But we've also provided some educational material on manufacturing and construction, which can be found here. (Sources: soloautomag.com/the-history-of-the-bbs-rs/, bbs-racing-wheels.com)
and if you're on a budget -- to show that OEM are better than Replicas, or that you can refinish a vintage set on your own.