If we take a step back to 2008 shortly after I had bought the gtv6 i got in touch with someone online who was selling replica SZ alloys. He had a beautiful SZ at the time and used to carve artistic SZ models out of lumps of brass. Interestingly at the time he was considering to sell his SZ which had these 17” alloys and looked staggering for the price of around £24,000 but it was over market price due to the low mileage and I didn’t see the value! If we only knew then what we know now!… I bought 16” SZ replicas for the gtv6. As it transpired they are ‘Image Wheels’ and still available online today in 2019. https://www.imagewheels.co.uk
The problem however was whilst they looked great the rears were just too wide for the car and scuffed the rear arches hacking lumps of rubber out of the tyres (literally) so initially i thought maybe changing the springs would fix the problem but the guys at EBSpares instead of simply selling me parts advised that the Harvey Bailey springs were quite high to start with so perhaps that wasn’t the solution. Of course it could also be true that the rear springs were tired and had lost compressive strength and perhaps this is why the rear squats down under acceleration but the problem existed 10-years ago when I last drove the car so more likely attributable to the massive wide wheels!
Initially i decided to revert back to the OEM wheels which i still had. I thought at least if they are cleaned up and fitted we will be able to fully test the theory of springs versus wheel width and then make an informed decision pertaining to new wheels.
So my dad kindly dug these out of a shed.
At a glance (from the photo) they looked fine so they were sent off to a wheel refurbisher for a rub down and a lick of paint… but… the previously mentioned shed was not particularly watertight and these wheels were magnesium and it had been 10-years! The result on close inspection was not good as the photos below detail:
So the upshot was these were scrap. Around about this time (2019) I connected with a guy on instagram @alfabuildblog (Luka) located in NI who was embarking on his own home build project: restoration and improvement of a rare white Alfa Romeo 75 2.0 twinspark. His approach being practical, affordable and DIY. Something all of us can appreciate. I happened to ask if he had any 75 alloys for sale and he replied that his Dad had an original set of speedlines. These wheels are mostly seen on US/AUS market cars but i’m told they were an optional extra on UK gtv6’s when sold new.
They were straight but needed a little work and repaint. So a deal was struck and Luka kindly organised everything including powder coating and polish by @cobracustomsni, new Toyo tyres and delivery to JRC Auto.
it can be argued at this point that a gtv6 restomod looks better with a modern classic wheel whether it be 5-spoke revolution, ronal, sz replica etc. and I don’t disagree with that however there was something about going back to the original look that appealed to me with this project at this time plus it wasn’t actually the original look or at least not for 99% of UK gtv6’s. Ive never seen another UK car with these specific OEM wheels. I guess the final judgement will have to come later…