TECH Stuff #12 My Thoughts and Comments

Since this is the last of a series of TECH Stuff added to the advertisement for the TQ, SLT and RT5 wheels, I decided to take the opportunity to put in a plug for the wheels and the company that offers them. They are great wheels. They are manufactured to the highest quality standards, tested to meet the SAE J2530 Aftermarket Wheel specification, and designed to offer the best sizes, fitments and styling for Hot Rods, Customs and Muscle Cars. I’m a bit partial because I designed and created them. I retired in January of 2007.

Prior to retiring, I owned and operated WheelTech International Corp. I’ve been in the wheel industry for 40 years. I started in the steel wheel business and evolved into aluminum wheels. I still like steel wheels but simple chrome plated alloys are my choice. Back in 1969 I worked with another company and developed the first Smoothie style steel wheel. I was in the metal stamping business then and built the tooling and stamped the centers. I later designed the Steel Mod wheel in 1979. After that I was hooked. I ate, breathed and slept wheels.

In 1981 I formed a small wheel company called Cal/Master. I specialized in VW and FWD steel wheels. In 1987 I sold Cal/Master to Progressive Wheel in Riverside California. That’s when I was introduced to aluminum wheels. I spent the next 4 years learning the art of manufacturing aluminum wheels, both one piece and two piece. I found I had a particular flair for designing, so I dove head first into learning everything I could about designing, engineering, testing and manufacturing.

In 1990, I fell into an opportunity that set the course for the rest of my career. I was offered a project to design the wheels for a new company being formed in China. I was part of a group that built a complete turn key aluminum wheel manufacturing factory. This factory was the second of what was to become many such factories in China and So. Korea. These factories were built using the latest state-of-the art equipment and technology. Compared to the factories operating in the States at the time, these were light years ahead in technology. The quality was far superior and the costs were much more competitive.

I designed the initial group of wheels for the Chinese factory based on what would sell in the US. After the wheels were tooled and ready for production, the Chinese came to me and asked if I knew where they could sell the wheels. After a long period of contemplation (about 10 seconds) I agreed to give it a whirl. It’s a lot more involved and complicated, but to put it simply, I again fell into a situation that got me a national account that bought and sold a lot of wheels, Sears. This afforded me the opportunity to travel all over Asia (every country but 5 or 6), see many sights and meet many very nice people. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything, even a Hot Rod built by Boyd or Chip.

In 2000, I decided to slow down a bit and get back to my favorite hobby and first love, (other than my wife of 44 years and my kids), cars. I started building a 1929 Model A when I was just out of high school, but I joined the Marines and that ended that. My first project was to build a shop at home. So I added a 1000 sq ft shop on my property. Then I found a 1954 Olds Super 88 (that’s what I had in high school). When I started looking for wheels for the Olds, I couldn’t find anything I liked. Everyone either had Torque Thrusts, Cragar SS’s or Billets. I wanted something different. That prompted me to design the TQ Rod Wheel. I wanted a 5 spoke, fairly deep dish and chrome plated. I used the Torque Thrust, the Cragar SS and the Supreme as my inspiration, and the TQ was the result.

I later discovered that the old Slotted Mags were only found at swap meets so I bought an old Indy Mag and used it to design the SLT Muscle Mag. Then I noticed that the Rodders were starting to ask for more lip (I’d go there, but I won’t) so I came up with the RT5 Retro Alloy.

Now I’m retired, and except for writing these TECH Stuff articles, and doing a little technical consulting for the factory, I’m working on my Olds and some honey-do-list items my wife laid on me my second day of retirement. I sold my three Hot Rod Wheel business to some really nice folks in Long Beach, California, Hank and Glenn Feldman. They have been in the wheel business over 30 years and have a real handle on the business and can meet any need you have. They offer tires along with the wheels. They not only sell the TQ, SLT and RT5 but some of the other wheels that I mentioned (that everyone has). If you are tired of seeing the same styles (sometimes I think Torque Thrusts were OEM on Tri-Five Chevys), then check out the TQ, SLT or RT5 now offered by HRH Classic Alloys.

As for me, I’ll never be famous, but I do know wheels. Unlike a couple of really good Hot Rod designers/ builders, turned TV celebrities, turned wheel designers, I’m a wheel engineer/designer turned 65 and retired. I have created a Blog, so if you want to rain on my parade or ask me some technical questions, look me up at WheelProfessor.com, I’d love to share 40 years of experience.

17 Responses to “TECH Stuff #12 My Thoughts and Comments”

  1. re2 Says:

    Hi there
    Ive been a fan of a particular calmaster wheel for many years and now i own a set. Ive got a rare vw golf and these wheels were originally fitted to another rare golf (the chrome golf country). Even if you did not design these wheels, thankyou for what you set in motion. 6 years of hunting and my long term project feels more like i wanted. The wheels make the car. aint that so

  2. SOG knives Says:

    SOG knives…

    Interesting ideas… I wonder how the Hollywood media would portray this?…

  3. Gary Kanel Says:

    Hello, I am trying to get ahold of Wheeltech International and am unable to find a working phone number. I need to replace some wheels I bought. They are too wide I found out. They have never been mounted. I bought them in April 2006. I know thats a long time, but like I said they have never been mounted and are still in the original packaging.

    These wheels are 16 x 8 SLT mags and are going on the front of a 1936 Ford street rod.

    Thank you for any direction you may be able to provide.

  4. Kevin Williams Says:

    Hi Larry,
    I sure hope you remember me. I am the project manager for “Project Surf Wagon” for DRIVE! Magazine. We spoke a couple years back about the project and you were very interested in offering a set of wheels to the project in exchange for magazine article endorsement and future show promo’s. I realize you are now retired, but our timing is finally here, and we are wondering if you are still on board with us, and if there is any way we can still take you up on your offer. We have decided on a set of 185-1675475c. Our chassis is ready for rolling stock and our efforts to reach you have been fruitless. Your quick reply would be a blessing.
    Thanks Larry.
    Kevin

  5. SandyB Says:

    I just disovered your Muscle Mag Slotted Alum Wheel, reminded me of the late 60′s early 70′s Muscle Car setup.
    I owned some later on but sold them and have not been able to locate a whell I liked until now.

    Thanks you for designing this wheel, I just hope there is an application for my 2003 Ford Ranger Edge, 4WD, I can’t wait.
    I have contacted a Tech page checking on them and keep hoping this will happen; if they are available I will buy immediately.

    Thanks again,
    SandyB

  6. Larry Says:

    SandyB,
    I’m not familiar with the 2003 Ford Ranger Edge but I’m sure the folks at Hot Rod Hanks are. They would be able to tell you if the SLT Muscle Mags will fit. Check out their link I have listed. I’m glad you like the wheel. I had a set of Indy Mags on a 1964 Falcon Ranchero when I was in my 20′s. I always liked them. I also had slotted mags on a kit car I bought from Dick Dean (he was a really well known car builder). The car was called a Shalako. It was built on a VW chassis.

  7. HermanH Says:

    I came across your site due to a search for SAE J2530.
    I’m curious about this “standard” so I read both your articles.

    I’m just a part time car enthusiast with only two cars that I can afford to work on (due to a 2 car garage). One is a Factory Five MkIII Roadster, the other is on the opposite end, an Audi A5.

    In any event, I’m looking a some wheels from a company in Southern California called “Forgestar” and they provided a ‘Corning Fatigue Test’ from STL in Ohio. I know zilch about the numbers and was wondering how to translate the numbers. The PDF test results are found here:

    http://www.forgestar.com/test/FORGESTAR1985F14.pdf

    I was hoping you could shed some light on what they mean.

    Thanks in advance. I’m going back in to look at more of your site.

    -Herman

  8. Larry Says:

    Herman, thanks for the inquirey. I hope yours will inspire more great questions from people interested in wheels.

    I looked at the test report and it seemed in order. I have to do some calculations to determine if the test load is accurate. The test report does not indicate what the offset of the wheel is. The offset is a factor in the formula to determine the bending moment or test load. It would be a big help if I knew the offset of the wheel tested. Since the company willingly sent you a copy of the test report maybe they would also tell you the offset and the number of wheels that were tested of that style and size. The test report comment that the wheel meets SAE J2530 requirements does not mean that the wheel can be certified to meet the SAE J2530 Specification. It only means that that one particular wheel that was tested met the requirements of the SAE J2530 Dynamic Cornering Fatigue test. There are 2 other tests required, a Dynamic Radial Fatigue test and an Impact Test. With all 3 tests, there are multiple wheels required to be tested on each test. I explained that in more detail in my Tech Stuff #3.
    If you can get me the offset and the quantity of the wheels tested I can give you more detailed information. I look forward to your reply
    Larry

  9. Aaron Says:

    Hey Larry,
    Your Cal/Masters that were on the Golf Country are beautiful wheels. Do you know if any one makes replicas based on your companies design? Or do you have any stashed away :)

  10. Michael Drögemüller Says:

    Hallo Larry.
    I turn to you,because i am just a little bit despair.
    Since fourteen years i drive my 1967 MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE as my “hobby car” and that gladly.Now,some times later,i need new rims again.
    After a longer search i discover the SLT-MuscleMags from WheelTechInternational.For me it must be this “old-style rims”(Wolfrace,Ansen Sprint,….),so i bought this SLT`s,put tyres on,assemble them,drive them and be delighted.
    But i have just one problem!I live in GERMANY (Oh,Nooooooo).So,the examiner from the german”TÜV-department”say,that i need an “official document”for the rims.My question is :
    Do you know where i become a “TESTCERTIFICATE” for these rims ? SLT Muscle Mags
    two times:P/N 417-1675450 M (FRONT)
    and two times:P/N 417-1685450 M (REAR)
    I ask this at “WheelTechInternational” two weeks ago,but there comes no answer (don`t know why).
    So,i hope you can help me.
    Thank you.

  11. iphone 5 Says:

    Very good posting ? things like it has held it’s place in good news quite a lot not too long ago and it?s interesting to find a new accept it. <a href=”http://www.iphone5base.com”>iphone 5</a>

  12. Larry Says:

    Sorry for my late reply. I moved to Arizona and have not been active on my site for quite awhile. I’m not familar with Golf Country, so I don’t know which style you are refering to. Cal/Masters are not longer being manufactured. I’d suggest going to some of the VW websites or Ebay. You might luck out.

  13. Larry Says:

    Michael, the company WheelTech International Corp., which I started and owned was closed in 2007. I retired in 2006. another group has picked up the domain name WheelTechInternational but they have nothing to do with the products offered by my WheelTech. In regards to getting Test Certificates to satisfy TUV, I doubt that is possible. I worked with TUV back in the 1980′s when I had a wheel company named Cal/Master. I received a TUV Certification for the steel, front wheel drive wheels I designed and manufactured for VW’s. The WheelTech wheels (TQ, SLT and RT5) were manufactured in China and designed primarily for the US market. The wheels were all tested to meet the SAE standard J2530 which is the most common standard in the US for aftermarket wheels. All the test data is at the factory in China. I’m sorry that I can’t help you with this problem. I appreciate your delight with the SLT wheels and hope you have good luck with TUV.
    Larry Anderson

  14. Chad Westmoreland Says:

    Just want to say THANKS SO MUCH for bringing back the slotted mags with the SLT Muscle Mags! I bought a set for my 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 4×4 and it gave my truck the retro look I was looking for. I personally am sick of seeing “ghetto” style 22+ inch rims on everything, and was having a hard time finding a custom wheel with a nice retro style until I discovered the SLT. You would be amazed at the double takes people do when they look at my truck. My only wish is that it were available in an 8 lug version for the 1978 Ford F-350 pickup i’m restoring. If they were I’d pick up another set in a heartbeat. Any chance they will become available?

  15. dano Says:

    Hey larry, I’m looking at picking up some HRH Classic Alloy SLT rims. I was wondering, do you know how much they weigh in the 17×8 rim?

    Also if your looking for ideas on new rims – please make the old “D” slot window steel rims in aluminum! Alot of guys I know (including myself) love the look of the old Nascar D slot windows steel wheels but would like the weight savings of the new aluminum rims!!!

  16. Frank Kim Says:

    Hi Larry,

    Just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to read all the articles. I have read every single one and totally agree that the aftermarket wheel market is in dire need of reform and change. I’ve seen it first hand as a sales rep in the industry.

    I’m part of a team that’s starting a new wheel company out of San Gabriel, CA and would to pick your brain and gain some knowledge. Your ideas and points align with our company believes and I know that the knowledge you provide would be invaluable.

    Would it be possible to get your email address? I would like to seek out your knowledge and consultation while we lay the foundations of our company.

    -Frank

  17. ??? ? ?? ????? ???? Says:

    Amazing! Its actually remarkable paragraph, I have got much clear idea concerning from this piece of writing.

Leave a Reply