After running my mildly widened steelies for about 2 years I wanted something for the Summer season. When looking around I had a couple of wishes that turned out be quitte restrictive:
- They had to be originals
I have been modifying for quite some time and I have seen the difference in quality when it comes to aftermarket parts. Therefor I wanted original wheels only, no imitations. Of course money is a limitation, but I rather spend a little more on decent quality.
- Preferably 16 inch tall
When I was looking for wheels the Swift was the only car I had doing around 20K a year. As its pretty uncomfortable already with the coilovers, bars & camber I wanted to keep a little tyre for comfort. I also just really like the look of a 16 inch on the Swift
- Naturally wide
I wanted something wider than my steelies, but without spacers. You might disagree with me on this, but I prefer to drive spacer free.
On a local marketplace I saw a guy offering a nice multispoke wheel in 4×100, without any descriptions and some very unclear photos that only showed a golden multispoke wheel and 3 others in black. They had a lip though so I thought; ‘could be interesting’. I messaged the seller asking for the specs and brand of the wheels. He said the wheels were 7.5J wide and from a brand called “Scorpion”. Sounded like imitation to me so i asked for a photo of the inside of the wheel, which showed they were actually Borbet wheels. With the specs and brandname I started Googling around…
I couldn’t find anything on these wheels until I found a post on a foreign forum where a guy mentioned a collection of Borbet wheels made exclusively for Abarth long ago. And do you know what logo Abarth has? Thats right, a scorpion!
So the range of wheels, produced in the early 90’s. There we’re three (awesome) wheels made for Abarth, all in 4×98:
- Borbet BB (the ones I have) came in 15″ & 16″
- Borbet FB
These came with decorative bolts that are removable, but are just for show, so it’s is a 1-piece wheel. Really looks like a mix of the BB & FA (which could explain the name!)
- Borbet FA
A very similar design to the FB with the same decorative bolts. It has a removable center cap and the spokes are machined flat. (I’m not 100% sure this centre cap is original)
Long story short, I made an appointment and picked the Borbet BB’s up. Turned out the seller changed them for Lenso BSX’s… Well, not everybody cares about having originals I guess? I had them restored because they had to many scratches and dents in the heart, and had the centers painted in matte gold. The only thing I’m unhappy with is that that the wheels are not 4×100 as advertised but 4×98 which is common on many Fiat wheels, therefor I’m running them with ‘wobble’ bolts. Can’t have everything I guess?