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      02-17-2019, 10:04 PM   #1
Brigadier General
Curt2000's Avatar

Drives: '93 Supra Turbo
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington D.C.

iTrader: (25)

Pedigree, HRE Wheels Production Process


In an industry saturated with shameless replicas, unregulated safety standards, and a race to the bottom price point, a 40-year-old company found in the rolling hills of Vista California is a shining beacon of hope! With a vast line of wheel designs all offered in an unlimited variety of bespoke fitment and finishes, HRE Wheels is a long standing industry leader in 3-piece and 1-piece forged aluminum alloy wheels for racing, performance, and luxury applications.

Few companies offer the level of customization available through HRE because most manufactures source their designs as batch runs through high volume wheel mills. Even fewer companies offer products that adhere to DOT standards, meaning a large majority of aftermarket wheels do not meet federal safety standards that OE manufacturers are held-to. HRE stands out because they have their own facility and mills for their forged wheels and also have chosen to ensure all of their designs meet not only DOT, but also stringent European TUV safety standards. Most recently, HRE rocked the automotive industry by partnering with GE Additive to create the world’s first set of 3D printed Titanium wheels. All factors that contribute to a culture of innovation and quality that is unmatched.

For several years, I have owned HRE products for my various project cars. Four different sets of Flow Forms adorned my E92 M3, F80 M3, and F31 wagon. I briefly owned a used set of R101 on my Sunburst Gold F80 M3 that was the epitome of my show car hobby, featured in a number of Michelin displays at Monterey car week 2016 achieving social media fame through my Instagram page @C2KMotorsports. A brand new custom order set of HREs seemed to be a unicorn on my salary, but just as the old adage says: all good things come to those who wait. After a decade of waiting, counting the years of coveting before my first set of Flow Forms, I was finally able to place my custom 3 – piece forged order!

Special Wheels for a Special Car

Few cars have achieved ‘hero status’ at the level of the MKIV Supra. The guaranteed first image that pops in your mind when you hear the phrase ’10 second car’ and it’s most likely orange. An artifact from an era of legendary Japanese sports cars that has aged impeccably. The value of well kept Supras seemed to ride a price point right outside of what I could responsibly afford until very recently when I finally was able to land my very own, completely stock, 1993.5 black on black Supra Turbo Targa.

By far, the Supra has the most personality of any car I have owned. In addition, the car draws an exponential amount of attention compared to my BMWs. People honking and giving me a thumbs up with a smile on their face happens multiple times per drive regardless the distance. It’s a mini-mobile car show with people approaching me wanting to talk about it everywhere I go. Not to sound too new-age, but the only way I can describe it is the car has a kind and exciting aura that attracts positive attention where-as the BMWs elicited a more aggressive reaction…same amount of honks, just different finger gestures…

So now I have a pristine, completely stock Supra, which is a rarity in and of itself, that attracts an incredible amount of attention from an admiring public and social media following on the C2K page. If any car deserves a bespoke set of carefully hand made wheels, this is it! In an interesting experiment, I chose four designs from the HRE catalogue to be used in a coordinated campaign with HRE on social media where we solicited a vote from the masses to see which design would rise to the top. Early on I decided that I would commit to what the public chose and after hundreds of votes the Classic 305 was the clear winner. I consulted with HRE designers to define the perfect spec that would be as flush as safely possible aided by the adjustable KW V3 Suspension. We also ensured the wheel would fit over the planned Brembo brakes, going as far as requesting engineering diagrams from Brembo – Race Technologies to ensure clearance. Consideration is also given to the size and characteristics of the tire choice, in my case the award winning Michelin PS4S. Finally, I chose gloss white face with chrome barrel/lip in what feels like a good example to the era of her prime.

VIP Backstage Pass

I’m humbled that HRE not only helped out with the choice of my wheels through posting my car with renders of the various designs on their incredibly influential social media pages, but they also professionally catalogued the entire production process! I have toured HRE’s facility at their annual Open House, which is one of the highest quality shows of the season, but never gained an appreciation of the amount of work that goes into each set of wheels that leaves their facility. They captured my wheels from the time they ordered the aluminum blanks to the final packaging and in doing-so revealed a multi stage process that flows through the hands of multiple artisans.

The photos speak for themselves, but what you will see are the various phases of production:

- Aluminum blanks: Forged slabs of aluminum in the general shape/spec of the custom ordered wheel.
- Milling: Cutting of the AL blanks into the design.
- Hand sanding: When the wheels come out of the mill they are very course with sharp edges and require de-burring and sanding
- Tumbling: Further preparation of the surface through tumbling in a pit of polymer beads.
- Cleaning/chemical bath: Stripping the wheels of all resin from the previous processes and prepping them for paint.
- Paint: Hand sprayed with the custom ordered finish
- In-parallel the custom barrels are chromed and prepped
- Final assembly and inspection
- Glamor shots!

A New Bar

The end result is a perfectly spec’d wheel for my Supra…a carefully considered, tightly designed, and expertly assembled masterpiece!

As the Supra build moves forward, I’ll be keeping true to era specific modifications and brands as well as throwing in modern twists. With all of my other builds I greatly value the feedback of the following on my social media pages. I find that my general creative direction refined by the occasional public vote on which part or color I should buy has produced great results. With the 2019 MKV Supra reviving the Toyota flagship sports car line, I foresee a renewed interest in the MKIV as people search for nostalgia of a legendary pedigree. Now that my Supra sits on HREs, I have set a bar of quality and tastefulness that I will strive to meet with the rest of the planned modifications. Just like with KW, Michelin, and Brembo, HRE has earned my repeat business and only further engrains my loyalty with every new purchase.

Special thanks to Jorge Martinez, Patrick Moran, Brent Chastang, and Satoru Yamaki at HRE for coordinating and producing my order and photos of my wheels, all great people that comprise a great company!


Former Car: '16 SUNBURST GOLD F80 ///M3--6MT/Carbon Cloth (ED Thread)
Former Car:'13 SANTORINI BLUE E92///M3--6MT/Speed Cloth/ZCP(ED Thread)