Combining the limitless possibility of the best wheel shop of Japan, the most expensive part seller of said country and an uncanny connection.
I have said it many times but having a guy as competent as Komatsu-san by your side and you start losing your footing, your sense of reality. How come a wheel shop can be so good at restoring rare wheels like the 993 Cup Speedlines or the BBS RS001 white edition, but also have the balls to do proper modifications like hub bore or PCD redrills ?
As a wheel guy the next step was for me to start combining.
Most if not all of them involving offsets, colors, widths, Hub bore and PCD.
See the W124 / W201 models have never been the most loved by the aftermarket wheels companies.
BBS produced a couple of RS batches for them but compared to the myriad they produced for other Japanese cars of similar size that isn’t really much.
Lorinser and Brabus mainly focused on the S and SL class of the time period.
Carlsson did some interesting work on their 1/11 but never produced 3 piece wheels specifically for the W201 or W124 (by the way i have a set of Carlsson 3/6 R129 fitment coming out of restoration next February, very exciting stuff !).
As a carguy eternally married to his W201 16v it just didn’t seem right.
As mentioned above lots of BBS RS in 5×114.3 PCD can be had here for still reasonable prices.
From 5×114.3 to 5×112 you can use wobble bolts for fitting without modification but since i wanted to go full restoration i thought it was important to redrill them for proper bolt-on cred.
That is something i must admit i didn’t include in my plans.
That is also why sourcing BBS RS wheels with flat backs is always a smart call.
The BBS RS317 i picked up for 100,000 yen with delivery and center caps were the right width, offset and center bore diameter (about 73mm) but i didn’t compute the very hilly indeed backs.
Komatsu-san had me covered as always and used his tried and true « taper bush » method.
But that did add a neat 80,000 yen to the total invoice.
But let’s go back to the thought process.
It has been shown before : i do love the Mercedes Benz genuine color code DB199 name Blauschwarz.
There is something inherently mean about it.
There is some complexity too, look very closely upon that paint and you’ll see specs / snowflakes of darker paint on top of the blue black base color.
This being said i also wanted a color that pop, but also since it is after all a modified set of wheels, it had to be daily proof, it is a set made for daily use on a special benz, not a garage queen locked away in original AMG boxes.
Liquid or powder is the same price at Komatsu-san shop, for the reasons mentioned above i went for the powder paint.
That pop i got, almost too much in very bright conditions.
The original DB199 has a mineral greyish tint when looked at under direct sunlight, this powder blue-black leans more on the ocean blue side.
Overall i am very satisfied with the PCD modification, the fit and finish is flawless and that very bright finish gives it a genuine look to it. Nothing worse than a redrill that ruins the look or makes the original casting marks difficult or impossible to read.
Nothing of that sort here.
Since it was a crazy project that only happened because i asked myself « What if ? » and just went with it, the money part of the equation is not straightforward.
I will list the cost of the refurb below, i would love to sell those wheels at that cost (provided all other selling costs are on top of that amount) to a fellow W124 / W201 owner.
Cost of purchase : BBS RS317 : 55000 yen
BBS RS HEX caps : 40000 yen
Cost of refurbishment : full overhaul : centers, barrels, waffles repainted in powder blue black, lips, bolts and hex caps high polished : 176 880 yen
Redrill to 5×112 using « taper bush » method : 79 200 yen
Total cost : 351 880 yen or 3042,31 USD (at the day of writing’s exchange rate)
Invoice will be provided to the buyer.
Those wheels need only one last thing : a new owner to love them
Full specs :
BBS RS 317 7.5 x 16 ET 35
Hub bore 73mm (sold of course with hub rings that reduces this to Mercedes hub bore 66.56 mm)
For more technical details see this article in japanese from Komatsu-san’s website