Retro Racecar As Sole European Agent For Legendary RS Watanabe Wheels


April 6, 2016 By Mike Lee
Last updated on April 6, 2016

Retro Racecar As Sole European Agent For Legendary RS Watanabe Wheels

  • Newly-established supplier to the classic car and motor sport market, Retro Racecar, has been appointed as the sole European supplier of iconic RS Watanabe alloy and magnesium wheels
  • RS Watanabe 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
  • 10” magnesium wheels weigh a meagre 2.3Kg whilst a 15” mag wheel weighs just 4.5kg per rim

Retro Racecar, the newly established supplier to the classic car and historic motor sport markets, is proud to announce that it is launching an incredible new range of Retro Race-Mag wheels, a move that will see iconic RS Watanabe-manufactured wheels availble in Europe for the first time. RS Watanabe is one of the greatest names in lightweight wheel manufacturing, having been established in Japan in 1968.

Ivan Hayward, managing director of Retro Racecar, says: “We are delighted to bring RS Watanabe wheels to the European market for the first time. They boast a great motorsport heritage, so our Retro Race-Mag range of wheels are engineered to be strong, staggeringly light and have effectively been tested for 48 years. In the motorsport application for which these wheels were designed, they offer a significant weight and performance advantage whilst looking absolutely ‘period’ on cars from the early 1960’s onwards.”

RS Watanabe has built a world-renowned reputation as a desirable and innovative manufacturer of 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 adopted by Nissan’s factory racing department and the brand quickly became part of Japanese racing history, featuring on the early Nissan Skyline race cars and Datsun 240Zs. Nissan took fifty race wins between 1969-72, forty-nine of which were consecutive, proving RS Watanabe’s credentials beyond doubt. Away from the circuits, the wheels have also featured victories ranging fromPikes Peak to Drifting championships.

The classic Watanabe eight-spoke style alloy wheel will be the one the most in demand. Suitable as a fitment on numerous European and Japanese sports and touring cars, the wheels initially offered are available in magnesium construction in a variety of colours, rim sizes and offsets. By combining design and testing with traditional manufacturing skills and high quality magnesium materials, the wheels offer lighter un-sprung weight and significant performance gains.

To illustrate the available weight saving, a JWL approved RS Watanabe 15 inch, 5 stud wheel in magnesium, weighs in at an incredible 4.5kg and in Aluminium just 6.4Kg,  which compares very favourably to a well-known alternative wheel currently on the market, tipping the scales at a far heavier 6.8kg in magnesium and  8.35Kg in aluminium.

“In competitive motorsport, this is a huge performance gain area”, says Ivan. “It’s possible to shave close to 30kg off a car fitted with four RS Watanabe magnesium wheels versus competition wire wheels, and the standard alloy wheels offer significant savings too. Weight savings of that nature are hard to find elsewhere on a race car”.