[ENG] Fuchs x BBS RT 045 for AMG : The Aero Dream Team

Well not really, except if Speedline had made the bolts, but they wouldn’t confirm it anyway.

Ah the AMG AERO Wheels.

It is the classic design. And it’s 2- and 3-piece applications its naturally highly sought-after siblings.IMG_20200104_134302

It looks good on any Mercedes Benz of the 80’s and 90’s.

Heck it even looks good on sedate Japanese Sedans like the Mitsubishi Debonair*

Origins

Mentioning Japan is not out of focus.

In the early 90’s BBS was heavily gravitating toward Cipango.

BBS Japan was founded in 1983, the same year its American counterpart was born.

They started forging wheels the year after. In 1985 they were already suppling OE for the Nissan Skyline.

It was producing a very innovative wheel, the RG, almost exclusively for the Japanese market (see article here in FR).

Some of the forging was happening there, though we don’t know how much.

The Bubble Era was about to burst, but that didn’t stop customers from ordering the most expensive models with the AMG options all ticked.

ID AMG AERO BBS FUCHS

Only Fuchs here is an outlier. I have always liked the purity of the brand. No fuss, monoblock only, well done, which means forged. Just about the opposite of extravagant Speedline.

I can only guess what made Fuchs enter that dangerous slippery slope of providing parts for “multiple piece” wheels. At any rate they have their logo stamped on the final product.

Design

IMG_20200104_133819

And boy is it beautiful. It is intricate. Not the classic 5 spokes + bolts crown + shiny lips that was the norm in this era (think OZ Futura, Speedline Mistral, BBS RF…).

There is depth, geometrical pattern. Bolts are no longer shiny ornaments of a crown in full display, they are part of a bigger design. It is less brash.

All in all, not a gorgeous design in the crowd pleasing sense, but one assertive enough to compliment your boxy automobile.

A great canvas that wasn’t particularly applied or appreciated.

In a way it is a much purer form of the BMW style 80, that took the world by surprise with it’s sheer stuffiness and overall weirdness.

Value

Now the OZ’s AERO wheels are driving the market crazy, happily crossing the 5000 USD cap for a set of staggered 17 in mint condition.

It would be unfair not to mention a direct offspring:  the lesser known AERO 18s also made by BBS (BBS RT046) but only suitable for W140 being a not so desirable M14 bolt thread. The 046 are still a bit cheap, but not for long.

As a rule of thumb do not expect to see multi piece pre merger AMG wheels in great condition going for less than 2500 usd anymore.

Summer of ‘92

Now lets go back to the title.

I mentioned the Dream Team and it wasn’t fortuitous. Those wheels were made between June and August 1992, Just when USA’s basketball “Dream Team” won the Gold Medal during the Barcelona Summer Olympics.

At the time, those players were on top of their game, some even on the older side, for instance Larry Bird who was 36 at the time.

The comparison stops here. AMG, BBS were barely 20 years old. Fuchs was involved for the first time in producing OE for, not a car manufacturer but a tuner shop.

Most were experimenting, using the experience they gathered on the tracks and somehow replicating it on the streets.

It’s crazy how the results of massive changes from a burgeoning industry can get to us 28 years later in that condition.

A true Golden Age.

Specs

7.5 x 17 ET 42

HWA Number : 1244000302

Weight : 10.2 kilos

IMG_20200104_123440

Available for sale here.

You’ll get a better deal emailing me directly at frenchfelgen@gmail.com

*The extent of this collaboration is not clear, but remains this distinct design that was applied to a different car with great success (to be fair 80’s Japanese sedan were boxy enough to accommodate that design). After all, at the time, it was all about doing like the Germans, the only true luxury reference for the period.

 

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