It’s often said that the wheels make the car. And while that little phrase might seem a bit simplistic, it’s actually pretty damn accurate. After all, how many times have you seen an otherwise nice Camaro absolutely ruined by a set of hideous rollers? Wheels need to fit the overall vibe of the car they are rolling under. Back in the day there weren’t many options in regards to wheels. You could customize some stockers or choose from a handful of aftermarket options, but today the sky’s the limit. In fact, there are hundreds of styles, finishes, and sizes to choose from. Prices range from under a hundred bucks to well over a grand. Sorting through all the possibilities can almost induce brain lock up.
The four main criteria you need to factor into your search are style, size, weight, and most importantly, price. As you determine how much you can afford to spend on the wheels, remember that you will most likely need to get tires as well. Once you have your budget set, you can then start narrowing the field. After all, it won’t matter if those three-piece billet wonder wheels are perfect for your Camaro if you don’t have the coin to buy them. If your wallet is fat with cash, then you can get just about anything imaginable. Five spoke, six spoke, ten spoke, smooth lip, stepped lip, polished, chromed, painted, or whatever, chances are that someone has the ability to make your vision a reality.
We hit up 21 wheel companies and asked each of them to send us one of their favorite wheels. The goal was to give you a taste of the huge range of options on the market. If you don’t see exactly what you like here, then just visit their websites for hundreds of additional choices. Also, keep in mind that pricing can vary greatly, even on the same wheel, due to sizing and finish options. If funds are tight, you may be able to shave hundreds off the cost of wheels and tires by going with a smaller size, say 17s instead of 18s, or opting for a less expensive finish on the wheel.
Whatever you choose, remember that wheels are a big investment that you’ll have to live with for a long time. In addition to ratcheting up the looks of your ride, they also have an effect on performance. Think of this guide as the manly version of window-shopping.
The SP3P is by far the most popular roller in Forgeline’s inventory and it’s obvious why: a simple design makes any ride it’s mated to it look killer. Forgeline takes pride in offering nearly unlimited options for finishing. Forgeline’s most popular finish is something they call “diamond cut.” They powdercoat the wheel center, and then CNC a bevel around the perimeter of the wheel to give it a layered look. These wheels are custom-made to order, so you can have them painted or powdercoated any color in existence for the look you’re craving. Forgeline also offers weight-saving options like titanium fasteners.
Finishes: Brushed, polished, diamond cut, chrome, custom paint
Diameter:18-20, 22 inches
Width: 8-15 inches
Weight: 21-26 pounds
Source: Forgeline Alloy Wheels
Vintage Wheel Works
Nothing says cool like rolling old school. The Vintage 45 has five curved spokes that have a rounded “D” shape. It has a media-blasted center and polished outer barrel. The center disc is manufactured from virgin 356 aluminum ingots and heat-treated to a T6 factor. The outer barrel is made from spun 6061 sheet aluminum and has a fully polished front surface.
Finishes: Machined lip, media blasted center
Diameter: 17 inches
Width: 7, 8, 9, 9.5 and 11 inches
Weight: 19-25 pounds
Pricing: $250 - $350
Source: Vintage Wheel Works
Fesler’s newest addition to their three-piece wheel line comes in response to the overwhelming popularity of their first five wheels, which were introduced at the ’06 SEMA Show. Fesler’s three-piece wheel line was designed to accommodate the hot rod, muscle car, and street machine market. Every three-piece wheel is engineered and constructed using T6061 aerospace grade billet aluminum, which has been heat-treated to T6 for exceptional strength and durability. Standard color finishes feature three coats of oven-baked powdercoating followed by two coats of clear. Custom color finishes feature three coats of high quality automotive-grade paint with two coats of clear for a deep, lustrous finish. Wheel centers are triple chrome plated in the USA to ensure the highest quality finish.
Finishes: Brushed, chrome, polished, clear, and custom colors
Weight: 23-30 pounds
Pricing: Starting at $1,100
Source: Fesler Built