As the old saying goes, the wheels make the car. It’s just like picking the right piece of music; a set of wheels can either complete the aesthetics of a modified car or ruin them. Of all the aftermarket wheels, few look good. Even fewer look good on everything. The Volk TE37 is one of those few, and this is how Rays make the wheels in Japan.
For those outside of the know, Rays is a huge wheel manufacturer. Rays has a racing pedigree that stretches from Formula 1 in the 2000s to Le Mans in the present day, but it also works with automakers to develop mass-production wheels for road cars. What Rays is most famous for is its aftermarket wheel division that has made basically every wheel all of our modified JDM dream cars ever had. To be pedantic, there are other Japanese wheel manufacturers like Enkei, Work, Weds, and SSR, but Rays has the king of the wheels in the TE37.
It is close to perfect. As an object of design, every little radius and chamfer is carefully done, and so is the subtle concavity and convexity of the spokes. Even the cleanly scooped semi-sphere of the center of the wheel is nicely considered. What is most impressive is that almost all of those subtle things are done when the wheel is being forged into existence from a hunk of metal. Special care is taken during forging to ensure a grain structure that is cool looking enough to be painted on the wheels as a livery.
Making a forged wheel is a fascinating process, and Rays has more knowledge about it than most companies. The eagle-eyed will notice that certain parts of the process aren’t shown and even the bead knurling machine is blurred. So while we’ll never know all the secrets of making my personal favorite wheel, this is one of the best looks I’ve ever seen.
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