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"Romeo Palamides, an early drag racing innovator and grandfather of jet car racing, designed and crafted leading edge, high strength-to-weight magnesium drag racing wheels for a competition dragster designed in the early 1950s for competition. The vehicle debuted on the cover of the November 1956 issue of Hot Rod Magazine. The car gained attention but, in the early years of hot rodding, there was considerable street enthusiast interest in the lightweight, high-tech wheels he had custom-designed for the car. Romeo's vision, working from Jim Ellison's small machine shop in San Francisco, along with engineering innovator Tom Griffith, evolved into America's leading aftermarket wheel company. In 1956, they formed American Racing Equipment."(http://www.americanracing.com/company.asp)
American Racing became famous with the Torq Thrust wheel that, although first applied on the dragstrip, became a popular street racing wheel. The Torq Thrust was specifically designed with a "tapered parabolic contour" spoke, as opposed to a semi-solid modular design, to increase brake cooling and simultaneously decrease wheel mass.
The Baja was one of American Racing's first aluminum truck wheels and remains a great seller to this day. It is a one piece 8 hole design and comes in a polished finish. This wheel is still extremely popular with trucks, Jeeps and other off road type vehicles and is available in many sizes, offsets and lug patterns.
The Libre, sometimes known as the "daisy" wheel, was a 4-lug, 4-spoke wheel popular with sports car racers, often seen on MGB's and Datsun 510's. Each spoke appeared to bulge slightly in the middle, giving the wheel a robust appearance. These were cast in magnesium for racing and in aluminum alloy for street use. American Racing eventually sold the Libre molds to Shelby American, who marketed the Libre under their own name. Some 13" Libres have raised lettering on one spoke reading "SCCA", indicating wheels that were specially made for SCCA's Spec Racer program.
The 200S used the "daisy" spoke of the Libre in a 5-lug, 5-spoke design. The 200S was popular with Corvette owners and street rod builders. Also, one of the first wheels to go over 200mph Safely thus came about the 200S name.
The LeMans was another 4 spoke, 4 lug design, cast in sizes and fitments for sports cars such as Alfa Romeo, MGB and Datsun 240Z. Each tapered spoke was wider at the hub than at the rim, giving a lightweight appearance similar to Ferrari wheels of the period. BRE 240Z's used these wheels in SCCA competition, and many street-driven 240Z's followed suit.
This was AR's take on the 4-lug, 8-spoke British Minilite wheel for sports cars. The main difference was that one side of each spoke was relieved near the hub for lug nut clearance. with the other side of each spoke continuing to the hub circle. These were cast in magnesium for racing and in aluminum alloy for street use.