OZ TYP 06.A and the intractable bend toward Virginity

How « new »can you go ?

And what « new » really means ?

Having seen a few countries and took my ever increasing passion with me, I discovered soon that the notion of new is as numerous as the countries themselves.

For some countries like France and the Philippines new is more of a perceived quality, a freshness indicator. Recently repainted rims with « bnew » Nankang’s ? That’s new.

It pops. No matter the former mounting marks : balancing weights glue,paint-deep tire mounting machine scars on the inside of the wheels (not shown on the listing anyway). It’s about that first impression. Call it the wow factor if you insist.

Whereas in Japan new is new (pictures above of true new wheel purchased on a japanese auctions site). Barely unboxed – some zealous buyers take pictures with the packaging on, hoping it would only fuel some more the desire for what’s hidden – often followed by a dry description of  a few imaginary scratches as a show of good-natured  humility.

Those moving notions were maybe pulling the strings behind a recent purchase : a set of 13′ OZ RUOTE never used on the road.


Note that, originally , the seller in France didn’t advertise them as that.

Originally they had been fitted with tubed (!) tires back in the mid 80’s.

Target vehicle was a Scirocco Mk1.

Alas project fell through. They were then stored away for decades. Finally these wheels had to go. I was taken aback by the condition of a wheel made in April 1984.

I noticed them more than 6 months ago, got in touch with the buyer, couldn’t make something happen, the listing went away, i thought it was gone.

But then it reappeared and the second time i was on it.

13 inch wheels are not the most in demand wheels, possibly because of the lack of tires choices, but i don’t care, it’s something for a cabinet of curiosities that i am buying.

I mean have you seen the intricate art déco style moulding in the back of the rim ? It is gorgeous.

I see it a nod to the Gaelic cross, and a layout relying heavily on the number 4.

IMG_20200422_161608 art deco

And that cute little protuberance on the upper right corner, what could possibly be the use for it ?

Even  the OZ logo is low key, none of that market segmenting OZ RUOTE / OZ RACING.

Just a clean stamp, production date diametrically opposed.

Going back to newness, that’s something important because that is was educated buyers want. For a project or a concours finish car, anything other than new just won’t do.

I was first amused by the all but futile search for Virginity*. After all when you drive a classic car, fatally most of the parts of that car will turn NLA after a while, buying used will be an obligation. Plus with wheel one can refurbish them over and over again.

So what’s the holdup ?

Well it’s more complicated.

Seeing a total object like a motorcar  in the condition it was when it left the factory is a time capsule. A car is such an epoch defining object.

But for a wheel, and except for felgen extremists like yours truly, it only serves a narrow purpose. Fit tires on them and drive, or store them. And as soon as tires are mounted a good part of the factory finish is covered and that interaction with the past is limited.


But i was missing the point again. A true car collector must be willing to go the extra mile for each parts he needs. It’s a calling, a way of seeing things drastically like a monk. The upshot is that it bring solace in your life to abide by such a code.

What if you have a barn find or barely used Golf mk II or Scirocco from 1984?

What if you want to feel again the driving experience or narrow yet balloony tires ?

The gentle wobbling along curves. No need for suspension work with 75 profile tires, that’s the beauty of it. The tires even out everything.


It is now just you and your April 1984 car, on April 1984 wheels and hopefully much, much newer tires.

Drive safe !



  • Specs

5.5 x 13 ET 38

CB 57mm



* As it were i was ready to draw a parallel between countries of monotheism tradition and this appeal. It turns out in Japan as well virginity for used parts is very well in demand.


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