The Wheel Conundrum

Option 652:
"LEICHTMETALLRAEDER 
8-LOCH"

The wheels on my cabriolet are freshly restored, but they do not have the original finish they had when they left the factory in 1995. They're painted silver, whereas many Cabriolets in 1994 and 1995 had a "machine" finish. Mind you, the wheels are not wrong; they're just not finished as they originally were. The original spare tire confirms this.

While I'm told the painted finish was far more durable and the logical choice when refinishing today, I can't help but lust just a tiny bit after that impractical—but unique—machine finish. Take a look:


WHEEL A: The factory "8-slot" alloy wheels on the car are beautifully refinished in the factory Mercedes silver-gray metallic with a noticeable clear coat. Receipts show they were refinished by a M-B dealer in NJ within the last two years at a cost of $150 per wheel. They did a fine job but.....

WHEEL B: In 1994 and 1995, the Mercedes alloy wheels were available with a special "machine" finish complete with a thick clearcoat. The finish gave the aluminum wheel a whole new look akin to stainless steel. Durability was not its forte, but it made for a striking, albeit short-lived, appearance. 


One wrong move with an impact wrench and either finish is a goner, but that machine finish is particularly vulnerable to scrapes and abuse.

My decision was to find another set of wheels so I can have a set of both types.

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