- You remember being on the playground and you'd, like, you'd go up there and they had the bag, and they put the bag on the ground and had the football and the soccer ball and all that sort of stuff and all the kids ran to it 'cause they wanted to get the soccer ball and the football and the kickball? Mostly the kickball, the kickball was the best one. And everybody ran and they got the kickball and then you were always the slowest and you didn't want to push anybody out of the way 'cause that was rude and your dad taught you not to be rude. - What would you do if there was a child right in front of you?
- And, um... (crickets) I don't know where I'm going with this. The world of wheels has some serious history behind it. If you look back at some of our series, we talk about the rich history of BDS. We talk about the controversial history of Art in Motion and if you really want some cringe-worthy moments, we also talk about XXR in our first wheel history. Well, you guys asked for it the most, so today, we decided we're gonna talk about Advan wheels. So Advan is owned by Yokohama and Advan is their primary flagship brand for the Yokohama Tire and now, Yokohama was founded in 1917 between a joint venture between BFGoodrich and, well, you guessed it, Yokohama. And they just decided we're gonna get into rubber manufacturing and over time, Yokohama was like, "Wait a minute. We can make wheels and tires." And then there's an engineer that was like, "Yeah, we can." And then there you go, that was the story of Advan. They just decided that they were gonna start making wheels because Yokohama had such a pinpoint market in the Japanese community in terms of racing and motor sport and things like that, that it just made sense for them to start developing wheels. Now, this is where it really starts to get complicated because the Advan Wheel name has a ton of history behind it, it stands for Advanced. That's it. So Advan truly began to launch their wheel brand in 1974 and with Yokohama behind them, they had access to absolutely everything they needed to become an established wheel company in little to no time at all. Advan continued to just go in and make pretty much anything and everything they could that partnered with the Yokohama Tire as well as it could.
So Yokohama had racing teams out there, they had different partnerships and they had different accounts that they could really just be like, "Hey, by the way, we now offer wheels. You're contracted with us, why don't you pick up our Advans as well?" And because of the way that the entire was set up through Yokohama and Advan, it just worked. So Advan became making everything from just your standard low-pressure cast to your spin foraging to your fully foraged to your race spec track wheels. Then because Yokohama had so many connections, Advan just followed suit and is pretty much like being the rich kid on the block because you could just get everything handed to you. Now, that's not to say that Advan isn't a good brand, it's just to say that they jumped to the top in really no time at all. Advan is known as Advan, but if you go overseas to where Advan is actually probably way more popular, such as Japan, it's called Yokohama Wheel, it's not anything to do with Advan and in fact, Advan has a tire brand that's associated with it, not just a wheel brand. So what ended up happening is that even though Advan began to go into markets outside of Japan, they really didn't have a huge focus overseas, especially in America, just Advan didn't need to do anything. Their focus was with Yokohama's partnerships and a lot of their strong motor sport partnerships were in Japan. And because they focus on lightweight wheels like the RG and the RS, some of 'em didn't even break 15 pounds of wheel, it was like, it was incredible. And although they did a good job, Advan never tried to get into the limelight. Because they were partnered with Yokohama, they just had the way to get involved in pretty much anything they wanted to, so they never had to work too hard at getting partnerships and contracts and publicity because it was with Yokohama. If Yokohama wasn't there, Advan was there, especially in the early days because it just worked well for everybody involved.
And when the company really started to get going and get moving in motor sports, Advan just decided to do whatever they really wanted to, it was like the little brother at that point where they could do anything and not get in trouble because Yokohama was behind them. So Advan really started to develop a different style than a lot of other companies usually do. You see, in motor sport and things like that, you develop a one-style wheel, something that really works for the community and really especially in racing. Advan, they had a lot more creativity in mind in their wheel. And maybe it was Google Translate or maybe it's Maybelline, but they decided that in their slogan of wonderful company words that they were going to make the lightweight wheels that still had all of its cool personality. Now, with most wheel companies like I said, you just had the wheels that made money and you never deviated from it, Advan was like, "No, dude, we're gonna do whatever the hell we want." And they did just that, Advan continued to just get involved in making cool and different wheels, and a lot of the wheels that they came out with in the early days and continue to this day are pretty darn cool, but a lot of companies, when you get into how they develop and make their wheels are usually pretty hush-hush. You can't go out onto a website and learn where they make their wheels or if their multi-piece wheels come from the same two companies because they don't want you to know that. And Advan is just like, "Yeah (bleep) it, here you go." Advan is a company that a lot of people respect because of the way that they were formed and they have lightweight wheels and they just kind of look cool. But the coolest thing about Advan is how much respect they put into their wheels, which reminds me a lot of work and other companies that come from Japan, is that they have a lot of pride in how they do things, especially when it comes down to even their low-pressure cast wheels. Advan has a lot of technology that reminds me a lot of Rays. Now, if you remember, Rays has a forging machine that is the biggest in the world and I believe it's around 10,000 tons of pressure for their forging wheels. Advan isn't close behind, they have an 8,000 ton pressure machine that allows them to make their fully forged wheels as well. And as much as I would like to talk about all the techniques that they use, you'd probably fall asleep in 24 seconds, but what you do need to know is the reason that Advan wheels are expensive and that they have the heritage that they do is because they take every step to make their wheels good.
That's just who they are. Oh, I gotta burp again. (sighs) there we go. And then also uses a cooling process with argon gas to make sure that any sort of structural integrity issues brought up before anything hits the road. But here's the coolest thing about Advan and this is why I think the brand carries such a huge prestige: if you go out and you want to buy Advans and you look and you're watching WRC or DTCC or something like that or just anything that has to do with motorsports and you see the Yokohama Tire and you see Advan wheels and you're like, "I want a set of those, but those are probably super duper expensive and there's no possible way I could afford 'em." Advan doesn't do that. Any wheel that you see on any of their sponsored cars is an actual wheel product that you can buy same as is on the vehicle that you're watching on TV for your car in real life. They don't actually promote any sort of difference between the two wheels, the wheels that you see are the wheels that you can buy, they do a couple different things to kind of increase it if they need to, but if you're looking to pick up a set of RSes because you saw 'em on, let's say, a World Rally Championship car, that's an actual, normal, Advan Wheel that are going through those trails and just busting (bleep) just like everything else.
And that's what makes Advan so cool is that they take a lot of pride in their wheels and they're not afraid to tell a company that they're not going to make them wheels if they're not willing to keep the same spec, weight, and everything and techniques as what they would do for commercial use. And they refuse to let that statement go, they will not ever falter from the fact that they want their wheels to be used across the board, regardless on if it's with race, track, street, or if you're just gonna make it a car show car. And that's everything that has to do with Advan Wheel, so we hope you guys enjoyed. Let us know what you'd like us to talk about next, drop a comment of what you like to see, but leave a like and check out fitmentindustries.com if your interested, we have wheels, tires, suspension airlift. But I'm Alex from Fitment Industries, we'll see you later. Peace.
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