Fuchs wheels perfectly embody the character of Porsche models. They underline ageless design and the desire for technical perfection. This is their story.
That the wheels make the car is a well-worn cliché, but at the same time still a valid slogan. Some bike designs have even created the image of a brand or a given model, and function as the main recognition element. Incidentally, we can mention the multi-spoke wheels on the BMW from Alpina, the turbine design of the Mercedes SLR or the five-ring set from the Alfa Romeo workshop. And then we have Porsche, typical of his “telephones”, but perhaps even more of a hole in the world was made by the five-spoke Fuchs wheels, which are still produced today in both the original and modernized designs for newer models.
They underline classic design and sporty spirit, thus maintaining the same values for almost six decades. In the first half of the 1960s, Porsche needed new wheels for the more powerful 911 S. The idea was to design light and durable wheels that would help reduce unsprung mass. The choice fell on aluminum, which was supposed to save 3 kg on each piece compared to the steel derivative.
The wheels got their final shape during a meeting in May 1965, where the court designer Heinrich Klie presented his design. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche subsequently changed the shape of the spokes for a more harmonious impression. An appearance very similar to the original design was later used by Fuchs for the NSU Ro 80.
The Otto Fuchs KG foundry from the town of Meinerzhagen, located east of Cologne, undertook the contract. Instead of traditional casting, Fuchs came up with a new method that allowed him to produce a forged wheel as a single piece from an alloy of aluminum, magnesium, silicon, manganese, titanium and other additives. By the way, this composition is still used today. It was a completely new technology in its time, which Fuchs strengthened its prestige. Few people know that in the early 1970s, Fuchs was the first to produce large-scale cast “baroque” wheels fitted as standard on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Fuchs wheels first appeared on the Porsche 911 in 1966, and the automaker offered them as standard or optional equipment for the next 20 years. As a symbol of the sportier series, it has become an integral part of racing specials. It adorned the triumphant Porsche 911 with which Vic Elford and Björn Waldegård won the Monte Carlo Rally twice (1968 and 1970).
Although the design changed minimally, technically the wheel was still developed at the same time as the 911 models. A good example is the increase in rim width from the original 114 mm to 203 mm for the 911 Turbo version of the 930 series. Fuchs wheel production continues today and is an integral part of the Porsche Classic range. You can buy the kit not only for the classic 911, but also for the 993 generation with the latest air-cooled engine and its successor, the 996. The Boxster type 986 was not left out either. The traditional design also appeared in a modern concept on the driver-oriented edition of the 911 Sport Classic from 2022.