American Racing can trace its roots back more than 50 years. Even today, it continues to reinvent itself and, quite literally, the wheel. The company still takes pride in its mission which began when drag racing innovator Romeo Palamides teamed up with San Francisco machine shop owner J.O. Ellison to design and craft high strength-to-weight ratio racing wheels for Romeo's dragster. The two men joined with engineering innovator Tom Griffith to form American Racing.
In the late 1950s when European racing wheel companies were focused on semi-solid modular designs, designer Tom Griffith conceived the tapered parabolic contour spoked American Racing Torq Thrust, which reduced wheel weight and promoted brake cooling. Considered by many to be the most famous wheel of all time, the Torq Thrust started the custom wheel craze, making the conversion from strip to street. Today, authentic "old school" Torq Thrusts are highly collectible and sold around the world. Often imitated but never duplicated, the Torq Thrust is the signature wheel for performance and custom purists.
During the seven seasons of the hit TV series "Dukes of Hazzard," the Warner Brothers studio built a total of 340 "General Lee" 1969 Dodge Chargers. All the "General Lees" were equipped with American Racing Vector wheels. Of the 340 cars built for the series, 321 were destroyed as a result of stunt car jumps. Of the 1,360 American Racing Vectors jumped and stunt driven for the series, only one wheel broke. (It's currently part of a private collection in Sylmar, California.)
Beyond Hazzard County, American Racing wheels have had cameo appearances in some of Hollywood's most famous films, including The Game, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Transformers, 2Fast 2Furious and, perhaps the most important Ford Mustang film of all time, Bullitt.
What do you get when you combine the world's most respected wheel company with the world's most respected hot rod designer? In 2005, American Racing acquired Boyd Coddington specialty wheels, bringing together two of the top names in wheel design. Coddington, a nationally recognized auto enthusiast specializing in automotive restoration and customization, continues to work on wheel designs, sales efforts, marketing, and events. In addition to his exploits in the automotive industry, Coddington became a national figure when the Discovery Channel launched the popular hit television show "American Hot Rod.
"Twenty Inches Strong, TIS Modular and Dropstars wheels are at the forefront of design. In fact, they continually stretch the imagination of what is possible when it comes to turning a wheel into a rolling piece of art. American Racing and DUB co-founder Myles Kovacs continue the rich tradition of trend-setting designs and sizes through the TIS, TISm, and Dropstars wheel lines. Known for their 20-plus inch models, these unique wheels are popular among celebrities, including today's hottest hip hop stars, top athletes, and movie stars. If you want your ride to stand out, these wheels are a must-have.
When people who know cars want to put their name on a wheel, they go to American Racing. Both Carroll Shelby and Dale Earnhardt Jr. wanted to give their fans a way to display their affection for them, but they wanted to make sure that only the highest quality wheels would display their names. Through the Carroll Shelby Legend Series and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Signature Series lines of wheels for cars, trucks, and SUV's, Ford and Chevy fans alike agree that legendary performance is attainable. However, we don't recommend that you drive as fast as Carrol or Dale on your local roads.
When it was time to expand the manufacturing capabilities into forged designs, it was natural to join forces with the industry-leading brand with more than 40 years of experience in forged wheel production. In acquiring the Weld Racing, American Racing added one of the industry's best brands of forged motorcycle, motorsports and aftermarket wheels. Whether it's John Force on a drag strip, Tony Stewart on a dirt track, or off-road or street strip racers, Weld Racing wins.
American Racing has evolved with the changing landscape of the automotive market into a company with over a dozen brands, all developed with the purpose of providing high quality, cutting edge wheels for the automotive aftermarket. Whether you're into hot rods or muscle cars, tuners or trucks, street strip or urban cruising, or on-the-road, off-the-road, or on-the-track racing, American Racing has a wheel that meets your needs under one of these industry leading brands: American Racing, American Racing Pro Series, ATX Series All Terrain Wheels, Boyd Coddington Wheels, Carroll Shelby Legend Series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Signature Series, Dropstars, Imola, Motegi Racing, TIS Twenty Inches Strong, TISModular, and Weld Racing.
American Racing Equipment, Inc. is the largest wheel company in the world, distributing more than 1.5 million wheels annually through manufacturing facilities; company-owned, satellite-connected warehouses; an independent distributor system in the United States; and international distributors in more than 20 countries on four continents.