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Thread: Chrome wheels; in or out?

  1. #1

    Chrome wheels; in or out?

    Are chrome wheels in or out as far as trends are concerned?
    Maybe they were never in? Maybe they never went out?
    In in California and out in the rest of the world?

    Oh, I am not talking about 24" chrome either....

  2. #2
    .036 Hoonigan™
    E500E Boffin
    gsxr's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Boise, ID, USA

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    Chrome wheels tend to have problems when they age, with pitting or peeling in the tire bead seat area. Eventually the air leaks become a real headache. In general you'd want to avoid chrome wheels unless they are either freshly chromed or in mint condition (assuming you like the look).

    Dave M.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member leadphut's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Portland, OR

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    If you like the look, I would support your choice for chrome rims. Otherwise, I support your decision for pewter. Please let me know what you decide, my good Man.

  5. #4
    Mercedes Flopper
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    In my mind they were never in. I bought a 99 SL500 with 2 24" chrome wheels (the fourth did not come with the car which had the spare on). Even though I did not have a full set, I was able to sell the wheels within 3 hours of listing them.

  6. #5

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    I had leaks with my original chrome 500e rims.
    I am on the fence on the chrome look, but because they tend to leak and pit, my choice will be paint or powder coated rims.

  7. #6
    Senior Member outrbnks's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    In recent tears, I've come across 3 sets of vintage AMG wheel sets that were chromed with peeling and pitting, 1 set of the 17" Aero I Mono's, a set of 16's, and a set of the 3 piece OZ Aero's. I bought the mono chromed wheel sets, and let the 3 piece go to someone else, just too badly pitted.

    I just thought it was a crime to take rare classic wheels and bling them up with chrome, not caring if it hurts them in the long run. I still have the 16" Chrome Aero I's, but it doesn't make economical sense to pay to strip the chrome then repaint them. I didn't realize at the time it would be expensive to remove the chrome, and only then find out if there is pitting or not.

    Painted wheels can be stripped and color changed any amount of times, but once you've chromed them the rest of the owners after you are committed to chrome as well.

    If the wheels in question are the stock 8-hole wheels (or similar), it's one thing as they are common, but chroming up rare wheels isn't anything I would ever do.

    On my wife's 380SL we have chrome bbs wheels they look nice, but are losing air regularly. I've already bought new painted finish replacements, and soon these chrome wheels will be aluminum scrap or boat anchors. If they had been just repainted instead of chromed years ago, I would be repainting them again myself instead of throwing them away.
    04 E500-359 * 00 SL500-040 * 99 SL500-366 * 94 E420-744 * 92 500E-481/498 * 92 500E-199 * 92 300CE-199

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  9. #7
    Senior Member Glasgo_Chris's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Houston, Texas

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    I really dig the stock wheels in chrome these days - if a mint set came available I would probably buy them.

  10. #8
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2015
    Evansville, IN

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevester 500E View Post
    Are chrome wheels in or out as far as trends are concerned?
    Chrome wheels are like baby rattles, once you develop they are chrome and/or baby rattles appear a bit juvenile. This opinion or my thoughts exclude spoked wheels, example = Wire Knock-Offs on a Healey, or some mesh wheels, example = BBS RS on occasion. Chromed stepped lip RS's are too much chrome, chrome BBS RS usually look best if they are offset with some color.

    There is a photo of a Red 911 with bags floating around the inter-webs on chrome Rotiforms, it looks pretty sick but when you take into consideration keeping them clean on a regular basis, I'd argue they don't look nearly as good on the daily.

  11. #9
    Member KoLoS's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Poland, Warsaw

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    it all depends on taste, but i can assure you, that chrome wheels are nightmare in long term.
    Bought my car with chrome wheels, they looks good on pictures, but when you look closer there is a lot of work to clean them and maintain in mint condition

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  13. #10
    Site Honcho
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    gerryvz's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Annapolis, MD

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    Brake dust left on the wheels doesn't play nicely with chrome. Most chrome wheel cars you see came from dealerships in either Southern California or Florida. My car had them and I got rid of them many years ago. Too much bling for me....

  14. #11
    500E Terminus Illuminatus DerFuror's Avatar
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    Mar 2010

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    Clean chrome & 040 make a nice combo. This Limo looks badass with chrome wheels. Purportedly Aaron Spelling's 1999 S600 V12 low mileage stretch limousine. Currently for sale. Imagine the possibilities...


    " Destination ???, It's the ride that takes you there! "
    1993 500E W124.036 040/271
    1965 220b W111.010 Heckflosse

  15. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Re: Chrome wheels; in or out?

    Chrome is very personal taste and 9/10 people and most on the board would prefer the original look to chrome. That said, it can look appealing in certain instances. I swapped out the chromes on mine too.

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