Winter wheels for the MGBGTV8

Dr Gavin Bailey (Glacier White 0199) from Surrey uses his V8 all the year round and has found a specialist firm who refurbish V8 wheels in a finish that is ideal for Winter conditions in the UK. (Nov 03)

Prior to having my 1973 MGBGTV8 restored, I thought it was high time I did something about the scruffy original Dunlop wheels that have been on the car since I bought it twelve years ago. As I run the car year-round, I was not too keen to put on the pristine set of original V8 wheels I was fortunate enough to spot and acquire recently. I also felt that a further spare set of wheels I had collected over the years could not be put on the car as they were because the chrome had started to lift. Then a few months ago I came across a company in Hampshire called Solent Wheels.

Solent Wheels claimed to be able to refurbish V8 wheels by powder coating them, the rim and centre being in a sliver colour instead of chrome, and the rest matt black as per the original spec. Given the state the spare set of wheels was in I had little to lose, and
The steel rim of the Dunlop wheel has a powder coating in a sliver finish rather than the original chromed finish. (Photos: Gavin Bailey)

having seen their "demo" wheel I gave them a set of five V8 wheels to refurbish. A few weeks later, and after straightening a few dings on the rims, they came back refurbished. I am very pleased with the result. At £50 plus VAT a wheel they are excellent value for a Winter
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set of wheels and much cheaper than going all-out and having new re-chromed rims and refurbished wheels at £300 a wheel. I also had a set of new Michelin XH1 tyres fitted at Micheldever Tyres who, as mentioned by Peter Kilmister and Alan Kingwell elsewhere in the workshop notes series, provided an excellent service. They were very careful with my new wheels and even put stick-on balance weights on the inside of the rims.

I will of course give a full report on the durability of the new wheels in due course when they have been through the rigours of our British Winter! Solent Wheels are at www.solentwheels.co.uk a useful website. Solent Wheels have confirmed they are not able to refurbish V8 wheels to the original specification including re-chromed rims. In earlier trials, they have had difficulties removing the alloy centres from the steel rims.

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