Lancia Delta Integrale specialists and enthusiasts
I bought these 4 wheels on Ebay late last year, they are 16in and looked too good to resist.
As usual when Wheeler Dealers isn't on, I was on the laptop looking for Integrale stuff.
These wheels caught my attention as 16s don't come up very often, and they looked in
good condition, so I bid and won them.
The seller was in the North East, I arranged collection via Interparcel and the wheels were
delivered, each wrapped up very well, the tyres were included, and they are servicable.
I firstly had the tyres removed, our lock-up is very close to a good tyre man. A wheel refurb company is quite local to us also, Rhino wheels, this firm had been recommended to me, so I had a look at their web site, and they do some good work.
So I threw the rims into our pick up and drove 20 minutes to Rhino.
On arrival the Rhino staff were friendly and helpful, they recognised the rims as Delta items, I asked for original finish and please check for wobbles. Rhino rang the following day saying some of the wheels were out of true and a bit bent, they asked if I wanted them fixed, I did of course.
Within a week the wheels were finished, I went to collect them and they were beautiful, the bill was £350ish, which is reasonable for the pro job they did.
Rhino did do a good job too, they straightened the rims, sorted the dents, machined off the old flaking finish, back and front, bead blasted, painted and clear laquered the wheels. No trace of kerbing or chips is visible, all the corners are cleaned out, they even left the rim to hub face clean bare metal. As you know, paint between metal faces doesn't allow correct tightening up.
I paid the best part of a thousand pounds for a brand new set of 16s, fitted with new Pirellis, 2 years ago, so although we don't actually need any more wheels this set seemed too good to let go.
I was once a big fan of gunmetal coloured wheels, but I've now got over this problem, as usual when a trend catches on, you go right off it!
Which means a good set of silver wheels might be needed quite soon.
Rhino wheels are at
The first OZ Mini wheel design
The first OZ F1 wheel
As the rallying Deltas developed, the 5 stud 15 inch wheel allowed the bigger Brembo brakes and calipers to be fitted, as the car's speed and braking effort increased, the OZ vented wheels became essential to keep the car's brakes cool.
Another less known benefit of the finned wheels was tyre warming, some modern F1 teams remove the cooling shields from around their brake discs, to allow the wheel to heat up more, therefore transferring heat to the tyre for more grip in qualifying.
As well as transferring heat to the tyre through the wheel rim, the OZ vented wheel allowed the brake warmed air to flow over the tyre wall, warming the tyre on a cold rally stage.
OZ wheels has combined Italian design flair and creative engineering to become the most prize awarded wheel maker in the world. OZ has its own style and design centre, creating wheels used by Bugatti and Lamborghini, and most of the teams motor racing today. There is an OZ wheels museum at the site also.
It's a competitive wheel world out there for makers, OZ seems to be surviving well, their Leggera HLT wheel was awarded 'wheel of the year' by a Swiss motoring magazine, that wheel looks like a spider's legs though compared to our lovely tough Delta rally wheel.
OZ wheels was established in 1970 by Silvano Oselladore and Pietro Zen, the company was founded in a petrol station in Rossano Veneto, near Venice. Further outside investment was made, and the company dedicated itself to designing wheels with Italian style, and making them to a high quality standard.
After a new factory move, Oz racing division was set up in 1983 by Claudio Bernoni, and production began for Formula 1 racing wheels. The first car using the new wheels was Eddie Cheever's Alfa Romeo, this featured 2 piece aluminium and magnesium units.
We are interested here in the OZ vented wheel fitted to the rally winning Integrales.
Braking friction converts the car's kinetic energy into heat, this heat must be removed, the best way is by convection, this is acheived by blowing cold air over the brakes and allowing heat to vent from the area. Twin skinned vented brake discs greatly help the brake cooling, also a larger wheel can help by allowing a larger brake disc to be used.
The most effective method of drawing heat away from the brake area is the vented disc wheel, OZ developed this into the style we see here. This monoblock wheel was low pressure cast and heat treated, combining strength, rigidity and as low weight as its tough job allowed. Later larger external cooling fins were added by engineers as the Deltas got faster.