BRM Speedwell wheels

BRM Speedwell wheels

Origins of Speedwell and EMPI

Speedwell, founded in 1957 in London by John Sprinzel, George Hulbert, Len Adams, and Graham Hill, specialized in modifying British cars. In 1965, a partnership with EMPI allowed Speedwell to sell EMPI products in the UK and Europe, and vice versa for EMPI in the USA.

Creation of the BRM Wheel

The BRM wheel, made by Rubery Owen from almost pure magnesium, was about 40% lighter than standard steel wheels. Announced in January 1966, it quickly became popular in the USA, especially in drag racing.

Features and Popularity

These wheels were not only lighter but also stronger and wider, with a 5-inch rim width. Initially sold for just £14/10s each, or five for £69/10s, they were considered a great deal at the time.

Availability and Legacy

Although several wheels were sold in the UK and Europe, most known examples today are imported from the USA at great expense. Now rare and highly sought after by collectors and Volkswagen enthusiasts.

Market Impact

The partnership between Speedwell and EMPI paved the way for serious marketing of Volkswagen performance parts in the UK. The BRM wheel remains one of the most iconic products of this collaboration, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of automotive customization.

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