American Racing Custom Wheels - The Evolution Of Racing Rims

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Custom after-market car wheels from American Racing are a great example of how seeing and servicing a niche within an American subculture can evolve into a mainstream business. The subculture we are talking about here is the California car culture that spawned drag racing, funny cars and street racing.

The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean and others immortalized the culture in song while pop culture's Dickens, Tom Wolfe, chronicled it in his book The Tangerine Flake Cream Colored Baby. American Racing custom wheels are an object lesson in how to become a cultural icon.

After the end of World War II, car hobbyists in southern California and the San Francisco Bay areas began to customize their cars in imaginative ways. A synergy between what came to be known as Funny Car builders and street racers met in the nascent sport of drag race.

Drag racing is the only racing style to have grown out of urban driving. The original Christmas tree that starts drag races was the standard three color stop light. The quarter mile drag race was not a variation on the track run by quarter horses - it was the distance from one stop light to another.

In San Francisco machine shop owner Jim Ellison and his partner, dragster driver and designer Romeo Palamides, were looking for a new kind of wheel - a wheel that took advantage of the new strong but light metals being developed for use in airplane design.

In 1954 they developed the first magnesium wheel for an automobile. The wheels were so stylish the Funny Car crowd wanted them and so efficient in terms of weight to strength that the drag and street racing crowds wanted them. Two years later the partners, along with design engineer Tom Griffith started the after-market wheel and car accessory business, a business model that has flourished ever since.

In 1962 Griffith created the most famous after-market wheel in automotive history, the Torq Thrust. His parabolic tapered 5-spoke design broke with everything that had gone before and broke with the semi solid wheels that were the main line of pursuit of other automotive wheel design.

The American Racing Torq Thrust wheel was so innovative and so stylish that it crossed over frpm the car fanatic market to mainstream America. Cars that we think of as prime examples of American Iron muscle cars, like the Chevy Bel-Air, were actually targeting the conservative mid-market when they were introduced. But when A set of Torq Thrust American Racing custom wheels were added, the car suddenly became an entirely different animal. Today original the Torq Thrust wheels are highly prized by car collectors.

American Racing custom wheels have become pop culture icons. They have evolved with the changes in car tastes and styles over the years and continue to lead the after-market car wheel segment as they have for over half of a century.

American Racing Custom Wheels are familiar to people all around the world through the use of the product on cars that feature prominently film and television. From the quintessential 60's car race movie Bullit, to the General Lee from the 70's TV hit the Dukes of Hazzard, to the 90's Die Harder with a Vengeance to the 21st century blockbuster the Fast and Furious and Transformers, American Racing Car Custom Wheels are an essential part of the look of American culture. These are clearly the best Custom Wheels.

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