16″ AMG Aero I wheels for my 560SEC

When I purchased my 1987 560SEC it came with Simmons B45 Wheels.   These are a high quality Australian made three piece wheel.   I pretty quickly replaced these for a couple of reasons.   The 245 profile tyres rubbed quite badly; There was a terrible wheel wobble; and I didn’t think the suited the car.   I sold those wheels and replaced them with the replica 8 hole wheels I had on my 450SLC at the time.   I only saw those wheels as a temporary solution.   They look good, but I still didn’t think they were quite right for the car.     I started keeping an eye out for pre-merger 16″ AMG Aero I wheels, as I think they are the best looking wheel for the C126.

AMG offered a few different wheels for these cars.   There is the earlier ‘Penta’ style, which bolt up to the W126 although I think they are best fitted to the 107 and 116 series.  Then, there were a few styles of the ‘monoblock’, of which I like the Aero I the most.   The AMG Aero I was available in various widths and offsets for the W126, W124 and so on.   I have type 2801B which is 7.5J x 16 ET17.   AMG didn’t make their own wheels – they contracted the manufacture to OZ Racing.     There were also the three piece 17″ wheels, which are even more coveted by collectors.   I prefer the 16’s as I think this is the best size for the W126 and I don’t like the exposed bolts where the pieces join together.

I finally found a set of AMG Aero I wheels for sale back in June.   They were from a wrecker and were in pretty bad shape.   They had been on a terribly rusty 380SL.   The price was reasonable, given their condition and the rarity of the wheels.

AMG Aero IAs can be seen from the picture above, the wheels needed a complete refurbish.   The wheels had received so many coats of paint in their life that you could hardly see the AMG logo, let alone the smaller text along the rim.   Some of this paint was now flaking off and they had curb rash and other marks.

I started looking at various options to get them refinished.   I had originally thought I could get away with a strip and repaint.   In looking at the options it quickly became apparent this wasn’t going to be the case.   To do this properly, it was going to cost 3/4 of a complete refurbish.   There were also quite a few places that did not want to take on a refurbish of aluminium wheels with complex curves.

Based on a few recommendations I went with Barrel Bros.   Their quote was one of the highest I got, but actually the best value.   It included a complete refurbish, straightening and as close to like new as possible finish.  I’m really glad I went this route.   The wheels look amazing.   I can’t wait to get them on the car.

AMG Aero IThe next step was obviously tyres.   The advantage of the 16″ wheels is tyre selection is excellent.   I went with Michelin Primacy 4, 225/55 R16.    I purchased them before June 30 to take advantage of the $50 cashback from Michelin.   At the time I was able to agree that I would keep the tyres until the wheels were finished and then have them fitted.     They are now fitted and ready to be mounted on the car.

AMG Aero I

I now don’t really have a need for the 8 hole replicas, so they will probably be for sale once the lockdown is over.    I also have a set of replica Bundt wheels that will be fore sale too.

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