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Performance Vauxhall - - CONTENTS - DAN FURR

New wheels and tyres for the VXR, prob­lems for the Zafira. Eek!

In the Vec­tra’s last project progress re­port, I re­vealed the de­ci­sion to cover the car’s Ar­den Blue paint­work with a strik­ing new 3M vinyl wrap in ad­vance of PVS. Those of you who at­tend the show will see the big re­veal on the Per­for­mance

Vauxhall stand af­ter the VXR re­turns from the work­shop of ex­pert wrap­ping out­fit (and sup­plier of wraps to the BTCC), Joyce De­sign. You’ll also see the car rolling on new wheels, which ar­rived just as we were about to go to print.

I rea­soned that the im­pact of up­dated body­work might be di­min­ished if I left the Irm­scher Sport Stars in place. They’re great rims and are in Irm­scher’s dif­fi­cult-to-source off­set of ET30 with staggered fit­ment, but if the in­ten­tion is to give the car a new look, then it makes sense to com­ple­ment the awein­spir­ing wrap I’ve picked (from a short­list of 3M Gloss Green Envy, Satin Flip Vol­canic Flare and Gloss Flip Deep Space) with new wheels.

When sold new, the car was equipped with nine­teen-inch VXR Ron­als. Reg­u­lar read­ers will re­call the chunky five-spokes were re­cently re­fur­bished by Hunt­ing­don-based al­loy spe­cial­ist, Wheel Ge­nie, be­fore be­ing put to one side for my MV6 project. I liked the idea of re­turn­ing nine­teens to the VXR – the Sport Stars (also man­u­fac­tured by Ronal) are eigh­teen inches in di­am­e­ter, leav­ing a Ri­zla pa­per’s width be­tween the six-pis­ton AP Rac­ing calipers and each rim at the front of the car – and started to look at the var­i­ous op­tions avail­able.

Much like the style of vinyl wrap I’ve picked for the Vec­tra, I wanted to fit a set of wheels not or­di­nar­ily seen on VXRs. Punch­ing the car’s par­tic­u­lars into var­i­ous on­line con­fig­u­ra­tors pro­duced a wide se­lec­tion of avail­able de­signs. Among those on of­fer were wheels from cel­e­brated Ital­ian au­to­mo­tive styling out­fit, MOMO.

There was a time when ev­ery

WHEELS IN MO­TION

other mod­i­fied car you saw was rid­ing on a set of MOMO wheels (Ar­rows were the favoured rim of the dis­cern­ing Cava­lier owner!). Since that time, a huge num­ber of af­ter­mar­ket man­u­fac­tur­ers have got in on the act, but MOMO’s out­put is still strong, as ev­i­denced by the com­pany’s lat­est range of de­signs (check ‘em out at wheelwright.co.uk).

Re­venge is MOMO’s first split ten­spoke road rim in thirty years. Char­ac­terised by in­no­va­tive carved lines, it’s avail­able as a cast sin­gle­piece wheel in sizes rang­ing from fif­teen to twenty inches. Four or five stud fit­ment, a huge se­lec­tion of widths and a va­ri­ety of PCDs are avail­able to choose from. Fin­ishes in­clude matte an­thracite and matte black, the lat­ter with the op­tion of a di­a­mond-cut face.

Straight­away, I knew I’d found the right wheel for the car; a quick Google search for im­ages of ve­hi­cles al­ready rolling on Re­venge rims high­lighted just how good they look on pretty much any­thing from Volk­swa­gens to Maser­atis. With­out hes­i­ta­tion, I placed my or­der.

The gloss black vinyl cur­rently cov­er­ing the car’s roof and bright­work is to be re­placed with 3M Satin Black at the same time the rest of the ex­te­rior is up­dated. With this in mind, a matte black fin­ish for the new wheels made per­fect sense. I’ve or­dered them as nine­teens with 8.5-inches of width and an ET48 off­set, which means they’re wider than the OEM wheels, but nar­rower than the 9J Sport Stars, which stick out at the rear and show great en­thu­si­asm for catch­ing their neigh­bour­ing wheel arches. Drat! As I write this re­port, the car is cur­rently with Pod-dweller, Gary Pem­ble, at his Dun­sta­ble-based body shop, West Herts Cus­toms, where the dam­age is be­ing re­paired. More on this in my next up­date.

The new wheels came com­plete with cen­tre caps, a new set of bolts and the re­quired spigot rings. All are MOMO parts, and I can’t wait to fit them to each cor­ner of the car. Be­fore be­ing able to do so, there was the small mat­ter of new wheels re­quir­ing new tyres. Rafal and Keith at Wheel Ge­nie wrapped the afore­men­tioned Ron­als in Yoko­hama ADVAN Neova AD08R rub­ber af­ter they’d fin­ished re­fur­bish­ing them, and it was a case of his­tory re­peat­ing when I re­turned to visit the lads with an­other set of AD08Rs and a re­quest for the bril­liant black cir­cles to be fit­ted to the VXR’s MOMOs.

We fea­ture loads of per­for­mance Vaux­halls mak­ing use of the AD80R, Yoko­hama’s “ul­ti­mate street sport tyre”. Not only is it a de­sign which looks fan­tas­tic (an ag­gres­sive ap­pear­ance en­hanced by a chunky rounded tread pat­tern of­fer­ing ex­cel­lent wa­ter drainage on wet sur­faces), the su­perb track­friendly, fast-road rub­ber de­liv­ers shorter brak­ing dis­tances and im­proved grip in all weather thanks to ex­tra car­bon, sil­ica and or­ange oil added to the tyre com­pound. Rapid re­flex twin ribs pro­vide sta­bil­ity, while steel side­wall in­serts re­sist lat­eral de­flec­tion and de­liver height­ened con­trol dur­ing hard cor­ner­ing.

Af­ter the tyres were fit­ted and the wheels were bal­anced, all that was left for me to do was to give them a clean in readi­ness for when the car re­turns from the body shop. I’ll be ap­ply­ing a wheel-spe­cific, heatre­sis­tant wax to en­sure each rim is of­fered ex­tra pro­tec­tion from dirt and brake dust, and then it’ll be time to head over to Joyce De­sign for the vinyl count­down…

a full nine­teen inches of matte black momo re­venge glory

Yoko­hama’s ul­ti­mate street sport tyre

along with the 3m wrap, these wheels and tyres are go­ing to look amaz­ing on the VXr

Big changes are afoot!

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