Thursday, 29 September 2016

Rays Engineering SUPERVOLK - 15"

Rays Engineering, Super Volk.
15x6.5JJ +18
Monday the 17th of June, 1985.

Sounds familiar? That'd be because I wrote a very similar post a whisker over 11months ago, covering the 14" SuperVolks I'd just restored to run on my AW11.
The time since has been tremendous.. and I still love those little wheels on the AW11. 

Instagram shot from last Saturday. Yep; no real intention to change these wheels anytime soon...

So. The set at hand. The "New Old Stock set of 15's" mentioned in the post above.
One inch bigger... half an inch wider... a little lower offset... and never been used. Thirty-plus years of just sitting around...
Picked the set up off Yahoo Auctions Japan sometime... err... 18ish months ago? They're a damn classic - I couldn't say no..!

Repeating what was no doubt covered in the previous post: they're a one-piece cast-hollow wheel, with a centrally-mounted valve filling the tyres through those hollow, pressurized spokes; properly directional (the wheel used for this photoset is a left-side wheel); and a recipient of a Good Design Award when introduced the year before. It was those hollow spokes, I'm sure... 

Tapped hole for the specific valve, hidden behind the centrecap...

One pack of two valves for each pair of wheels, with instructions..

Two caps and a cap removal tool for each pair of wheels..

SUPER VOLK. Love the packaging, as always..

The simple domed caps, and familiar Rays Engineering cap removal tool...

...*all together now*...

The original SUPER VOLK spoke decal, I hadn't bothered reproducing for my other set...

Love that little curve/radius where the spoke rolls up onto the lip of the wheel...

The angled leading-edge of the spoke, designed to cut at the air within the wheel.. pulling air past the brakes. The fact this actually gets noticeably more brake dust than the back of the spoke? It's definitely doing something.. 


...aerrrooo wheeeeeel...

The cap removal tool is designed to simply hook in, and pull on the back of the cap - not lever on the face like a screwdriver on the edge of a paint-tin!

A look down one of the hollow spokes; paint coverage quickly fading away...

Reverse of the wheel. A flat mounting pad, perfect for redrilling; and the original silver wheel spec decal. 

RAYS ENGINEERING. Artisan spirit, we are obstinacy.

A better look at those valves again, with the classic RAYS marking on the cap.

Now for a little period advertising: a nicely-done series of magazine ads in 1984/1985...
Very strong two-page fold-out advert, with two of the three available colours. Getting mileage out of that Good Design Award...

On a second-generation, A60 Toyota Supra (Celica XX); showing off those hidden valves...

A neat technical illustration of the tyre inflation; a little artistic license used for effect, as obviously only the spoke with the valve actually fills the tyre.. 

Surprise use on an Audi. Upmarket intentions...

A little more relatable, on a pair of awesome little 3rd-gen 'Wonder' Civics....

...and last one; a properly epic shot of the hollow spokes, and full advantage taken of that Good Design Award. It might be little too abstract to get a readers attention when flicking through a magazine; but hell.. even folded we're looking at a 'GOOD' 25% the height of the page! Love this advert.

One of my absolute favourites. 

Click here for a link through to most of the wheel-in-detail posts to date.


  1. imho one of greatest wheels from the 80s :D

    1. Technically interesting, unique, and iconic; what's not to love? :P

  2. An awesome wheel, good to see in such good condition. Those two Civics sport them very well. Is it difficult buying from Yahoo auctions? There are many things I'd love to buy on that site but don't know how to go about it.

    1. Yahoo japan auctions isn't too bad, just have to use or a similar broker site to purchase.

    2. Yahoo japan auctions isn't too bad, just have to use or a similar broker site to purchase.

    3. As commented above; I also use a broker to import these things from Yahoo Japan. Ask around people in your area - there'll no doubt be a reputable service the majority are using... then it's just up to your learned skills of interpreting poorly-translated auction listings..!

  3. Just purchased a car from Japan and the car as these wheels on.Need refurbing so might need a few graphics.But great looking wheels