Another day, another post detailing some of the custom touches on Project Kaiser I, the Retropower built Mercedes W108. We’ve already discussed the general form the car will take (here), and also its one-off interior (here), but there’s another element we feel deserves its moment in the spotlight – the wheels. We’ve talked before about how central these wheel trims are to the automotive identity of any big Benz from this era, so there was never any danger of them being replaced wholesale, rather we were determined to put our own, Retropower-brand spin on them.
It’s worth pointing out that we had no intention of retaining the standard 13in wheels supplied on the car by Mercedes – they were too small, would’ve been lost within the arches when completed, and would never have been able to house brakes suitable for the W108 in its LS-powered guise. We’ve instead sourced some custom 17in steels from US Wheel with custom offset and a PCD drilled to suit our requirements, which have since been powder coated and will eventually be painted.
Where things get interesting is when it comes to fixing the aforementioned trims to the US Wheel steels. Doing so in a manner that’s both secure and in keeping with the character of the car has involved the creation of a wheel jig, a means of correctly locating and securing mounting rings, one for each wheel. As the this image shows, said rings have now been TIG brazed into position on the US Wheels, meaning they’ll soon be ready to accept the all important Mercedes trims.
Obviously there’s some way to go before they’re ready to fit onto the car once and for all (they will eventually gain an extra coat of black and some custom trim rings), but we reckon it’s a nice detail and one which should really set the W108 off as a whole.