"Real" vs. Replica wheels is a debate that's been waging for decades, and there's no end in sight.
So what started off as an inherent interest in wheels (and a simple play on words) became not only a passion, but an obsession. A sense of responsibility to other auto enthusiasts. A cause.
It's primarily concerned with refinishing and restoring. But it's also about educating on the importance of quality aftermarket options, or if you're on a tight budget... To show that OEM wheels are a better option than Replicas. Not all wheels are created equal.
We at Save the Wheels never settle for the "ignorance is bliss" or "to each their own" approach when it comes to Real vs. Replica wheels. When looking at a set of new wheels we typically
1) Design Integrity - Is the wheel design original or intentionally copied? Is the wheel marketed and sold as a replica of the original? Or does the wheel embrace the influence of a decades old design and pay proper homage?
2)Quality of Construction - How are the wheels constructed? Forged, Pressure Cast, Gravity Cast? Do they have fake fastening hardware and fake polished lips?
3) Testing and/or Warranty - Are the wheels certified by any known and respected entity (VIA, SAE, TUV, JWL, etc)? Have the wheels been tested in theory and practice? So for example, by Finite Element Analysis (FEA) as well as Biaxial Fatigue, Lateral Impact, etc. Do the wheels have any kind of warranty or guarantee of quality?
- StW staff
Support Quality, Don't Buy Reps.
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.