HISTORY OF DOMESTIC AFTERMARKET WHEELS
December 11, 2019
Whether you are a hardcore enthusiast or just started looking into the aftermarket car parts scene there is no denying that aftermarket wheels have played a huge role in changing the look of a vehicle. It is pretty awesome to get the perfect set of wheels for your vehicle. A lot of you can probably raise your hand when I say that the Fast and the furious got you into the hobby.
In the beginning
So, cars have come really far, if you look at a Model T and compare it to a Porsche 911 they look like they came from different planets but, way way way back in the day there were carriages and that’s where it all started. You would have people painting their wooden carriage wheels which lead into swapping them out for steel wheels which would officially make you the baller on the block.
The first actual “car” happened in 1885 known as the Benz Patent-Motorwagon and this is where the concept of a tire came into play but it was just a piece of rubber slapped on a wheel. Better than nothing? Gotta have to start somewhere. This leads to modding culture.
Domestic Custom Cars from our Gallery
Picking up speed
You are likely familiar with American Racing if you are into aftermarket wheels. Well, they were kinda the OG in terms of highly popularizing the aftermarket wheel scene. This is thanks to the Torq Thrust which was a pioneer for modern wheel design and resembles what you see every day on the road; it also kicked off the muscle car craze.. This wheel was revolutionary because it reduced the weight of the wheel and made it easier to keep the brakes cool. It was also a big deal because it was just so darn cool looking and futuristic.
Lovely aftermarket business
Here in 2019 and moving into 2020 you can order everything you need for your car on your $1000 glass rectangle, you are on a website that has a lovely selection of wheels and various other aftermarket goodies for you to have shipped to your door. Well, back in your grandparents’ day you had to go to an actual physical store which may or may not be close to you; the horror!
There was a hotspot aftermarket and performance modifying shop call Bells Auto Parts that pretty much started the concept of a shop where you would go to get your aftermarket parts. This, of course, made them a really big deal. They would create their own wheels that didn’t exist which resulted in them finding quite a bit of business because there was nobody else to compete with them.
In the 70s it was about low and slow; just chilling out and taking a drive. This is where the lowrider scene really took off and gave birth to the wheels that defined the lowrider look; Dayton Wire Wheels.
The need for furiously fast cars
As mentioned earlier, a lot of you were likely influenced by media depicting a flashy tuner car culture. Those are absolutely awesome but, it kicked off in the 80’s when people wanted cars that could take a corner and not just pure dragstrip numbers. You started seeing a huge variety of wheels to choose from because there were a lot of different types of different car users now. Drag strips and cruisin’ around never died and so the number of wheels and mods to choose from just started piling up into a mountain-sized aftermarket heaven.
Wrapping it all up
There has always been an interest in aftermarket wheels since the very beginning. Cars bring people together because they can change to what you want it to be; no matter if someone does a good or bad job with modifying their vehicle they are showing interest in the hobby and that is what is important.