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American Racing Wheels 1956-2008

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by greenfuzz, May 6, 2008.

  1. My apologies in advance if I'm regurgitating old news, but I've heard some strange rumors and wanted to verify it if it's true. I wouldn't want to jeopardize the person who originated this mail so I'm omitting the name, but according to this person American Racing as we know it is no longer, having been at least bought out by Wheel Pros as of April 30, 2008.

    Here's what I got:

    "I just wanted to let everyone know that as of April 30th, 2008, American Racing has effectively passed on as a company. AR and a few of its brands will be run by Wheel Pros and the management will be based in Denver. Co.

    Most of the remaining employees at the Rancho location have received notice of termination. 19067 and 19200 S. Reyes locations will be fully closed sometime this summer. It remains to be seen what happens with the manufacturing activities located in Kansas City.

    I've attached the communication we have received and the above should fill in the blanks.

    Let's all remember American Racing for what it was..."

    I've also attached the .pdf of the company memo regarding the merger/conquest. Again, my apologies if you've already seen this. I'm not going to apologize for the lack of introduction, though; I did that about seven years ago. I just type slow so I don't post too often.

    Attached Files:

  2. jonzcustomshop
    Joined: Jun 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,926


    bumer if they quit making ar wheels.
    I wonder if it will be like harleys in the 70's(?) still had the name, but wasn't much of a bike...
    let me guess all new ar wheels will come from china.....
  3. Too bad if it is true.
  4. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,387

    from Nebraska

    God, I hope that doesn't happen.

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  5. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 10,191


    To late, they moved manufacturing there a few years ago......
  6. I was told my Salt Flat Specials came from China by a salesperson.
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,408

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

  8. officerfalfa
    Joined: Oct 21, 2005
    Posts: 221


    Yeah, I just bought a new set of torqu thrusts and they said made in China on them. Thought it was kind of ironic, AMERICAN racing wheels made in China!
  9. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,387

    from Nebraska

    Oh, my bad. Guess I shouldn't be surprised, though, either.
  10. 54BOMB
    Joined: Oct 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,043


    I just saw an add for some new reissue 5 spoke torq-thrust style wheel that looked really good, wonder if it even got to production.
  11. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,988

    Member Emeritus

    One more down the toilet.

  12. PumpGasRatVette
    Joined: Apr 5, 2008
    Posts: 114


    Nothing sacred in this country anymore!
  13. Bull
    Joined: Mar 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,282


    I heard about this buy-out by Wheel Pros at an American Racing open house a few weeks ago. The rep I was speaking with said that the brands will remain the same. Apparently this will make Wheel Pros the largest wheel distributor in the world according to the rep. I guess they run LOTS of the wheel brands out there.
  14. Hmmm...sounds familiar. Isn't WalMart the largest Retailer in the United States?
  15. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,706


    Just Googled this - sounds as if Wheelpros are being merged with the existing ARE which is apparently owned by Platinum Equity. Hold your PANIC buttons:

    Platinum Equity has acquired Lakewood, Colo.-based chrome wheel distributor Wheel Pros Inc. from Florida Capital Partners, according to LBO Wire. No financial terms were disclosed. Platinum will merge Wheel Pros with existing portfolio company American Racing Equipment Inc.

  16. RancheroMan
    Joined: Mar 31, 2006
    Posts: 260


    i got my wheels at Rancho site some 7 years ago. what a cool place.
    some 7 buildings and tons of warehouse room. i remember seeing wheel boxes stacked as high and as far as i could see to the other end.
    what a bummer.
    we dont make anything anymore, we just consume.
    kinda scary.
  17. Ford Fairlane
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 178

    Ford Fairlane

    I hate to say it, but I just bought a pair of Torq Thrust D's for my Mustang, and was shocked to see the label on the side of the box said "Made In China". The wheels also had a sticker inside the bead that said the same thing. So I believe it's probably true. Damn IT!:mad:
  18. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,706


    Yup - good ol' Chinese Racing Equipment eh? That's why I will only run original ARE wheels from the 1960s.
  19. FritzTownFord
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,020


    Halibrand had to go to China for casting because the American made stuff had about a 60% flaw rate. They tried several U.S. founderies and none could produce the quality they wanted. Plus the China wheels cost them only about $75 each - polished, backspaced, and boxed!

    The question is will we pay the $400-600 per wheel like Real Rodder's or Dayton's American made wheels cost or just bitch about loss of American jobs? Shop at the locally owned store or Walmart? It's tough, but we're killing ourselves a few bucks at a time.
  20. Jeem
    Joined: Sep 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,885

    Alliance Vendor

  21. Ghastly
    Joined: Sep 13, 2006
    Posts: 448

    from DETROIT,MI

    I second that.
  22. aceuh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,360


    I guess it's safe to say that this ad won't be reissued for nostalgias sake?

  23. FritzTownFord
    Joined: Apr 7, 2007
    Posts: 1,020


    About ten years ago I was consulting with a well know speed parts business that was thinking about moving some of their manufacturing operations to Mexico in order to save money and because they just couldn't find or keep good welders and machinists.

    I strongly advised against it because I thought the idea of foreign made parts would kill sales. Well, they stayed put and went out of business two years later because racers wouldn't buy the American made stuff at the price needed to be profitable.

    Of course all you guys like to get your parts out of a basement or stash of scrap iron, but when you do need something new, buy American!
    Joined: Mar 20, 2008
    Posts: 295


    No wonder,Bought a set of TTO's for my Vette, Made in China,needed about a pound of weights to balance each wheel.
  25. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 12,726

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    Rickshaws don't need wheel weights.
  26. There's wisdom in them thar statements. If we (collectively) stopped buying garbage at Walmart, we could save the money we would have otherwise squandered and use it to buy things based on their value instead of their price point.

    For example, America is very capable of doing top-shelf boutique work, but quality costs money no matter how you slice it. For example, in the domestic market H-brand certainly could get quality far beyond their expectations; however, it may not have been able to get it for the price it was willing to pay. The company approximated much of the physical quality by having the wheels made in China, but it lost the essential value of supporting our domestic market.

    Quality products certainly cost more, but they generally have far greater value. To use RR wheels for an example, the quality is greater than the physical properties of the wheels themselves. In that case, part of the quality is preserving domestic manufacturing. It's an investment in our economy, culture, and future.

    Since our grandparents didn't have the option of shopping at Walmart, they had to pay the higher prices of domestically made products. If you had tightwad grandparents as I did, that might justify the way they thought about things.

    I'm sure lots of you had "tinkerer" grandfathers. They didn't necessarily do it because they enjoyed being pain-in-the-ass tightwads. They probably did it because they paid a lot of money for the things they owned. It's likely because they remembered forking over every dollar bill for that toaster they were working on. They needed to get the most life from it. Remember, there wasn't a Walmart to sell them a disposable toaster for 1/4 the price--a toaster they'd buy six times over their lifetimes instead of once.

    Whenever it's viable, I buy American. Sadly, it seems the only American enterprises that are thriving any more are garage sales and swap meets. :(
  27. Shaggy
    Joined: Mar 6, 2003
    Posts: 5,208

    from Sultan, WA

    That Sucks and i was just looking at picking up a set
  28. shoprat
    Joined: Dec 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,462

    Member Emeritus
    from Orange, CA

    I have had my AR 5 spokes since the 60's.:)I am retired on a fixed
    income and you'll NEVER see me at Walmart. It's bad enough trying
    to buy American any where else, but for sure not there!:eek:
  29. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,647


    I'll not buy a set. I'll find them used.
  30. Terry
    Joined: Jul 3, 2002
    Posts: 1,825


    Well that settles that, I was trying decide between Salt Flats and Radir tri ribs. Now I know.

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