This blog post has been a long time coming. A long time. As long as I’ve been rebuilding my car since The Bonk. See, after I decided to rebuild Sharka, I started looking around for a new set of wheels. That was last November. I found these unique RP-F1s in June. I paid for them around the beginning of July. And now they are MINE.
Back story: A guy named Mr Mazda329 on the ClubRoadster forum started a thread about these rare RP-F1s. Other sizes are easy to come by, but 14x7s are only available in Japan though a company called istyling. The flat face and low offset are unique to the 14x7s, as is the 8.6 lb weight.
And the CR.net thread really took off. A couple dozen guys were all about it. At least ten guys were ready to put down cash on a group buy. Several of the interested parties started shopping around the idea of these wheels to various Miata parts sites. Goodwin Racing said “sure!!!” and the dream became reality.
Several things happened behind the scenes and Enkei decided to produce this wheel in both +28mm offset and the original +19.5mm offset. Long story short, I secured a set of FIVE in the +19, in silver, just as I’d hoped for. I figured I’d buy a spare just in case I bend one. Several long months were spent waiting for Enkei Japan to machine up a set of wheels for Sharka.
The months finally passed and the wheels arrived in my garage. Prior to this, I secured tires (Toyo T1-Rs), lug nuts that wouldn’t destroy the wheel finish, and a fender roller to take care of any fender lip problems.
The last bit of back story… it seems that Enkei is now planning to sell these mass market-style. No waiting for their machine shop. No group buys required. Just browse over to TireRack and place an order. Note the part number on the label? They also list the 14×7 RP-F1 in their 2010 literature. So, maybe these wheels aren’t as rare as I’d hoped, but that’s not getting me down. I’ve got my set and I’m loving life.
Bet you thought the installed pix would never get here. =)
And with this post, I’m calling the Sharka Restoration finished. I won’t add any more blog posts to that category. I’ve still got stuff to do and many, many ideas, but I feel that I’ve reached a landmark. I feel done with the rebuild. I feel that Sharka is complete again. It’s been a LONG year. But today, I feel free.
Keep those tops down, my friends.