KN Michelotti Alloy wheels for the 21st century

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KN Michelotti Alloy wheels for the 21st century

Post by reliant-reviver » Mon Dec 14, 2015 3:06 pm

I shall be interested to see what the general reaction is here. But at present I am investigating the possibility of having the original Michelotti styled SS1 alloy wheels remanufactured and made available as a new article.

With the SS1 having turned 30 last year, it's fast become viewed as a retro classic, and as such I do feel there is the demand out there from owners who want to further developing the image by keeping these vehicles looking great. Would it therefore be reasonable to sugest that there is a calling for the original unique style of wheel to be remanufactured to gives owners the easy option of upgrading, and complimenting the SS1s styling with an authentic upgrade?

Having arranged the refurbishment and distribution of many sets of wheels over the years I know there is always this option. But the reality is, that the cost of refurbishment for single sets is approximately £50+ per wheel, and it does rely on the original wheels being in good order to start with. I have had dozens of sets of these wheels, and unfortuantely they weren't all saveable, with damage and deep corossion resulting in a good number having been weighed in.

Of course if the design was to be re-produced, then there would be the possibility and (perhaps obvious) choice to specify an alternative size. One which opens the door to better and cheaper tyres, superior road holding and enhanced aesthetics.

Have a couple of pictures to help stimlaute your enthusiasm

Image

Image

The gold ones really are marmite eh?
All comments, thoughts and input welcome chaps.


Philip Andrew.
'74 Robin Super Saloon, '84 SS1 1300, '86 SS1 1800ti, '87 SS1 1300
Previous: I lost count around fifty.

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Re: KN Michelotti Alloy wheels for the 21st century

Post by CNHSS1 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:09 pm

Hi R-R,
Good idea, and thanks as always for continuing to source bits for the cars 8)

Re the question of wheels, few things come to mind.
Firstly, i see little point in making them in oem 14" size simply as the range of sporting brand tyres in 185/60-14 is rapidly dwindling, and as with your excellent range of aftermarket upgraded springs, if a more modern size was available it would help to bring the cars up to more modern braking steering and grip levels. My suggestion would be 6.5" wide or 7" and 15" or even 16" diameter. No issues for brake disc/caliper clearance for those upgrading their brakes to more modern standards either. The extra rim width will also fill tye arches better to enhance the looks too.

My only worry is that the design may need tweaking a little. Wolfrace did those 'slots for the Noughties', Corky had some, and they were hideous imho. It should have worked but just didnt, so bumping the diamter to 15" may need certain features resizing to keep them looking 'right'. Mainly thinking of the wheel nut holes, they always looked a bit big to me, possibly keeping them the same and upping tge overall diamter of the rim by an inch, may actually help.

Next issue would be economies of scale. If in 15"/16" you may get interest from the mk2 Golf and MX5 guys looking for a retro wheel which could easily add 300-400% in terms of numbers which would certainly help keep costs lower, something the scimitar owners will whinge about if too dear! More units ordered, and the manufacturer will be more open to colour options too.

Lastly, what about a doamond cut edge version? The later Sabres had cut edges on the OZ wheels, helped to make look more upmarket?

One last point is that the originals werent the strongest wheel out there, so again some thought to either beefing up the design or better more modern casting materials would also go down well given the state of UK roads

Anyway, good luck with the research and hope it all works out well 8)


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Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
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Re: KN Michelotti Alloy wheels for the 21st century

Post by CNHSS1 » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:11 pm

Oh, but as theres only tye old 4 spoke Revolutions in 13" diameter and upto 10" wide in 4x108, if you made them light and in 4x100 up to 10" wide, all the compies would use them and an option in 4x108 13" would see a big market for the kit car boys ;-)


Racing is life, everything before and after, is just waiting--Steve McQueen
6 time Class Champ, 2006 & 2014 SSSC Champion

RIP Batmobile, await the Rise of Dark Knight 8)
Sabre 'Light Sabre' 360hp!!
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Re: KN Michelotti Alloy wheels for the 21st century

Post by scimjim » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:59 pm

13x8 with a thinner centre to give at least 4" of dish please :-)


Jim King

SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), 1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Re: KN Michelotti Alloy wheels for the 21st century

Post by reliant-reviver » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:04 am

Great minds think alike an' all. The 14" is a big no no. They exist in skinny OEM form already and size wise they are an undesirable rim given the limited and costly tyre choices. I'm committed to my somewhat unusual choice of 14's for now but once that rubbers gone I shall be looking to move on.

When I original bounced the notion past fellow procrastinatory advisor Nick K, it was with the suggestion that I would prefer to look at downsizing the diameter to 13" and opting for greater width. The issue however, is that most persons preparing competition cars are looking for a wheel of 8" width and up. In my view that is something that would seriously limit the mainstream appeal, as it would prevent the item from being a direct fit for the common road car.

Craig, your point about looking beyond the scope of Scimitars, is definitely a key one. Realistically there is no way this could be viable with the proposition of supplying solely Scimitar owners (no mention of fist tension or pocket depth - just a limited total figure on vehicles!)
In the last few years a good number of retro styled wheels have appeared from overseas manufacturers via UK importers for instance This outfit local to me seem to have gone from strength to strength since they appeared a while back.
There's plenty of interesting styles in 15x7 and 15x8 appearing at good prices (less than £400 a set) but to date, I have not come across anything close to the ole' bottle cap we know and love. So I think there is some calling for it among the wider automtive world. Think slammed Veedub. Think deep dish and diamond cut. Think TURBO. MICHELOTTI. BOTTLECAP. BACKWARDCAP. Emblazoned around the centre in vinyl lettering.

So would it be more marketable as an unusual looking 15x7 up against the others, or do I push toward the less well populated 13" end?
This would again bring me back to the worry of hitting upon a compromised size. The formers for the wheel would have to be built for one specific size really. There is the possibility of integrating a modular back half to add say an inch. But this brings more complexity and cost.

Bringing it back to the Scimitar road user though. I would speculate that it might be a hard sell to persuade owners that less is more when it comes to diameter. Whilst it is to my taste and I prefer a taller profile tyre well seated on a wider rim, I don't expect that view to be shared by many. Undoubtedly the natural progression for most, is to 15x6.5 or 15x7. I hadn't even considered 16" diameter, but I would probably rule that out as I suspect the styling would start to look a bit odd by that point, and it brings too much of a deviation from stock in terms of fitment.

Here's something you won't come across often. A 15x7 KN Diamond.

Image

Great fit, nice looking wheel. But I've been forbidden from multispoke ownership after I asked Mrs R-R to wax a set and it took her hours.

13. 15. 13. 15. Thirteeeeeen. FIFTEEN. Hmmm.

Yours,
The Resident Wheel Whore
Philip


Philip Andrew.
'74 Robin Super Saloon, '84 SS1 1300, '86 SS1 1800ti, '87 SS1 1300
Previous: I lost count around fifty.

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Re: KN Michelotti Alloy wheels for the 21st century

Post by scimjim » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:07 pm

The only logical solution to your perceived problem above, Mr RR - is:







split rims :mrgreen:


Jim King

SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), 1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Re: KN Michelotti Alloy wheels for the 21st century

Post by minibull » Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:01 am

If fitting to VW etc centre hole size may need looking at. I parted with a set to a BMW owner and they needed centre hole opening out to fit. Personally I'd like 6.5 x 15, but then I'm not a fan of overly wide wheels. Some thing else that never gets considered is insurance. Fitting wider wheels to the Sabre would have added more to premium than a 200 bhp power increase !



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