Let’s just put it out there : there is something special about solid gold wheels.
It only makes sense that they are now associated with the only decade with enough bravado to pull it off, the 1980’s.
In a way striking colors like solid gold on a wheel is already starting the movement of considering the wheel the center of the attention itself.
See this shade of yellow is not particularly easy to match with a body color.
Gold wheels on silver cars look ignominious, and only some rare breeds of white Japanese sportscars manage to make a gold set of alloys look half decent.
Sure enough it will look tacky on a black car.
But what cars would it look good on then i hear you ask.
Two words. Race cars.
I have already touched on the BBS RS story in previous pieces.
In a nut a BBS RS is an exquite looking wheel first used for racing purposes, then further refined (the chunky hex caps made their apparition, very pretty but not convenient in race conditions).
Going back to the color, there are 2 main ways to make gold work : either in the style of the much underrated BBS RA, solid gold on all sides including tire side barrels, and only the center cap as a contrasting point, or for more intricate designs like the RS, centers in gold, lips in polished silver, hex nut in polished silver and classic BBS 3D center caps in silver lettering on black.
That is what i was after with this restoration performed by, of course, Komatsu-san.
I had always been interested in a staggered set of wheels for the BMW E30.
Makukha lists the RS070 RS071 as wheels made only for the BMW E30 race car.
Further research through grainy footage pegs the 323 325i race car series as potential users of those wheels.
Could this stricking 325i in BMW motorsport livery for the Australian Touring Car Championship by the one ?
On closer look it looks to be sporting a set of BBS E28 / E88 lighter and easier to replace with their centerlock compatible build.
But of course the color scheme is the most stricking.
As if a car painted in white with stripes of 2 shades of blue and 1 shade of red wasn’t enough, it had to have gold centered lips on high polished silver lips.
What a decade to be alive !
I wanted to keep that period correctness in the restoration process.
As explained in my previous article i am not a fan of powder coating BBS RS centers especially in a color that pops.
We decided to follow the liquid paint route.
It took me awhile to decide on the right color.
I needed a very bold shade.
See, we might be tempted to think that 1980s BBS gold wasn’t that bright because we see these wheels with original, 30+ years old paint and they look admittedly a bit dull.
Compare that to the race footage of that 325i and despite its graininess the gold centers are shining like a thousand suns.
Upon unboxing i played around with the lighting and my camera settings.
Sometimes that gold has some bronze nuances to it, sometimes it is overbearing and lean toward the mustard side of yellow.
It is a color so striking it steals the spotlight from those delicious deep « dished » rears.
A 2″ wide lips was no joke back then, when the RS001 would « only » get you 1″ and change (1 1/8″ to be exact).
One last of my minor pet peeves is a paint job done halfway.
Even legacy brands like AAC are routinely found guilty of it like on that early batch of their AMG Hammer wheels.
This is certainly not the case here, for wheels that have been restored so thoroughly and that, I’d assume, will be a museum piece for some time before being wrapped in rubber, that completeness is essential. It is a pleasure to look at those whatever the angle.
That is it for the presentation of this staggered set of BBS RS 070 RS 071 wheels.
They are currently available, price and details on request (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Let me close this post by recapping the specs :
BBS RS 070
7 x 15 ET 16
BBS RS 071
8 x 15 ET 18
PCD 4 x 100, center bore 57mm