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Change Wheels - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content

Change Wheels

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(before anyone starts) - I love my S2 wheels, all that sidewall rubber and the authentic S2 etc etc.

I am also a bit of a wheel lover, and there are so many nice rims out there nowadays - seems a shame I can't slip on a set without anyone noticing.

A friend once said that the small hubs give a distinctive look to the S1/2 - a F1 racing look (like a go cart), and changing the rims could wreck the image.

I was checking out the wheels on Brent's Turbo Esprit Garage sale and they look great in the pic of the car. I love the honeycomb design.

Has anyone jumped models and fitted wheels in the G cars? I note the wheel stud pattern is 5 studs - is it easy to convert?

I would love to see any pics you might have - so here is a chance to show off your car!


PS - don't burn me as a witch :)

Edited by iainskea
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IMHO the S2 had the nicest wheels of all the Giugiaros and personally I'd just get them repainted nice and bright, but hey what the hell do I know.

Always thought it interesting that the S3 was officially advertised with S2 Speedlines as standard for the first year or so and the BBSs listed as an option, yet have NEVER seen an S3 with with them on. Considering the hubs are different this must have been a red herring by Lotus to add a bit to the startlingly low list price for the S3. <_<

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Always thought it interesting that the S3 was officially advertised with S2 Speedlines as standard for the first year or so and the BBSs listed as an option, yet have NEVER seen an S3 with with them on.

The Turbo was developed with them on too:


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Strange, they look odd on the turbo! I think because the speedlines wheels are quite fussy they go perfectly with the clean shape of the S2. The flatter shape of the compomotives compliment the sharper lines of the S3 & turbo but look a little bland on an S2.

Keep the speedlines Iain!!!


Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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Ian, DONT change your Speedlines <_<

Your friend is right, changing the rims will spoil the car. :P

A wheel should complement the styling of a Esprit, not take all the attention away from it.

The Speedlines are not bling wheels, but sculptured in a functional way for strenth and brake cooling (as were the F1 wheels of the period) B)

I personally like them better than the S1s Wolfrace wheels . :P


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I never saw that style of Speedline in any other size except the 6x14 and 7x14 sizes.

I believe they were specially designed and made exclusively for Lotus to use on the Esprit and Eclat/Elite.

Speedline were supplying the f1 team with wheels at the time, so were probably talked into doing them by Mr.Chapman <_<

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sorry guys iam going to have to put my head on the chopping block and say............ " they can look good with modern wheels" there i said it. have a look at andy hills car in the owners section of lew. he shows the car with old and new wheels side by side , i know what gets my vote. also check this out

Click here: Turbo Esprit Wiki - Esprit.Wheels

if you want to go the modern wheel route andy has the drawing for the spacer. send him a message i'm sure he will help.


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...take it back Wayne <_< Wolfraces are amazing :P

I never got into the look of speedlines... At least not on any Lotus I've seen them on. Prob. my least favorite Esprit wheel (this including the cuisinart ones on early S cars :P)

...and even if Wolfraces aren't found in a variety of sizes, Ansen slot mags were... which is why you see them on everything from 240Zs to buses :P

I'm not a fan of most modern wheels on the early Esprit...

Edited by slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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The Woolfe Race wheel (as it was originally called) design was based on the US Ansen wheel that was super popular in the states, a drag racing wheel (used on rods, musclecars , buggys and vettes).

It was never really used on road racing cars (too heavy)


On the S1, The rear negative offset wheels (dished) look great, but the front wheels (positive offset) never looked right to me :P

You can see Giugiaro used the same dished front and rear wheels on the silver Esprit showcar.


The Speedline rims design helps camoflage the huge difference in offsets used (as do the later Compomotive and BBS ones).

As for the modern rims, they look out of proportion on the Guigiaro Esprit, making it look smaller and cartoony :P

If you want people to gawp at your rims, go large, but if you want them to admire the whole thing stay standard! <_<

Edited by WayneB
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Always thought the S2 looked good with Compomotives on. And agree, looks best with deep side walls.


I love this look.

Andy Hill's pics do show the change in look when you increase the rim diameter. "The car was fitted with the 15" BBS Mahle alloys" - are these available these days? What about the stud pattern - new hubs?

Also, there is a site in OZ:

Here you can pick your car and change the wheels online. No Lotus though.

Is there any sites similar where you can copy a pic of your car and do the same?

Keep up the pics - they are great! <_<


Edited by iainskea
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Yes I heard that, same dimensions as well. Shame as there is even some new ones in this parts sale coming up!

There have been other cars with similar looking wheels, I often wondered if they were speedlines too but the chances of checking out a Momo Mirage or a Monteverdi up close seem slim;

Sorry for hijacking your thread a bit Iain, I'll get back in my box now.

I recognise the Montaverdi wheels as being made by Millia Miglia (also known as 1000 Miglia) of Italy. :P

The Momo Mirage wheel has me stumped, but I know Frua did the body :P

I was hoping the thread hijacking would distract them from buggering up there cars <_<:P

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For all of those purists out there :P , since it is almost impossible to get S1 wheels here in OZ, I was thinking of keeping the retro theme of the car.

Wasn't going to put these on it.


But something like these (keeping plenty of rubber showing B) , not that low-profile stuff <_< ):



Similar to Ferrari 308 of the same era. And I'm not going to source a Ferrari set. :P


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The Japanese seem to have no problem attaching modern wheels to classics. The S3s and G turbos respond surprisingly well to it;




And just as I was about to say the earlier S1s & S2s don't seem to suit new rollers I saw these;







I also see this guy has had the same idea I had about a "hot air extractor" that coincidentally masks your numberplate <_<


Edited by britten_mark

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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I'm not having a go at you here, 1b2b7d82.gif, but bravo to them2838833e.gif, they've managed to make a classic British sportscar look like every other Japanese racer on the streets.41c2cbdc.gif

Don't take this post too seriously.

Those low profile tyres look more at home on the 'Stevens' than the 'Wedgie'. If you're after that kind of look then each to his own, but it's just not what I'm after.

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I beg to disagree with Wayne on the origin of the Wolfrace wheels.

As I recall, they were made by an Italian firm (Wolfrace of Italy, Da! ) and were a favorite of Giugiaro.

I will dig out some info this weekend. I am almost sure I have a small ad, which depicts the wheels as having come from that shop. I also think there is something about this in Walton's new Esprit book.

I'll post what I find.

As for the look of the wheels, I had no problem dumping the OEM wheels on my 74 Elite when I found a set of gold centered BBS wheels. I love that look.

I have been tempted to look for a set for my S1 but everytime I look at the Wolfrace wheels (all be it 14 inch) they seem to just look right. I suspect I'll keep them until I simply cannot find the damn tires for them any more.


Edited by dglotusltd

Dom Giangrasso

1977 S1 Esprit - Lagoon Blue

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