Retro Racecar was formed in 2014 with the initial objective of building and racing a pre - 66 FIA Appendix K car with HTP papers for International FIA events. MGB no. 83 pictured pictured on our home page is the result of that first build. Not shown however, are the much loved black competition wire wheels the car was originally completed with… Inevitably, it was conceded that the wires (at 10Kg per rim) had to be replace with a stiffer, lighter alloy rim, but which one? Most 14” x 5.5” alloys were around 7-8Kg, some were heavier or the wrong offset, whilst magnesium wheels were bespoke (code for eye wateringly expensive) or simply no longer available… that was until discovering RS Watanabe.

Incredibly, RS Watanabe had built a renowned reputation as a JDM manufacturer of light alloy wheels since being established in Japan in 1968 when the first set of classic 8 spoke wheels were made and raced by the company founder Toshiyuki Watanabe.

With ‘RS’ standing for ‘Racing Service’, the wheels were used on early Japanese Touring Cars, and the brand quickly became part of Japanese racing history, featuring on the early Nissan Skyline race cars and Datsun 240Zs. The company’s motor sport heritage is rich, and includes victories on Circuits, Rallying, the Pikes Peak Challenge, drifting and in various open-wheel formulas.

In the end we shaved close to 30kg off MGB no.83 by fitting four 14” x 5.5” RS Watanabe magnesium wheels (at 3.7Kg per rim) versus the competition wire wheel set up. The Aluminium versions also offer significant savings too (at 5.3Kg per rim). Savings of that nature are hard to find elsewhere and actually represents good value for any serious racer.

  • The iconic lightweight RS Watanabe alloy and magnesium wheel ranges are now officially available in Europe for the first time
  • Incredible weight-savings over most alternative alloy wheels
  • Designed and tested in JDM motor sport since 1968
  • Classic 8 spoke designs tailored to suit many makes and models from the 1960s through to modern sports cars
  • Magnesium Rims from 10” at 2.3Kg to 15” at 4.5Kg.
  • Alloy Rims from 10” at 2.9Kg to 15” at 6.2Kg
  • One price structure for “Stock” and “Custom” wheels


RS Watanabe boasts a great heritage but above all they are a superior wheel amongst the classic 8 spoke types available and are engineered to be staggeringly light within JWL industry standards.

By combining decades of design and testing in motorsport, traditional manufacturing skills and high quality alloys, RS Watanabe Wheels offer reliability, lighter un-sprung weight and significant performance gains.

Check out our Stock and Custom wheel pages and look out for new historic racing products coming soon...

For media information, please contact Peter Haynes at Torque Agency Group on [email protected]