I was going to say that it’s rare for me to get new wheels, but I suppose this would already be the fifth set (not counting the stockies) that I’ve actually owned for the Focus. If you also count the week it spent on a set borrowed from Ketchup, in total Mustard has seen 7 sets of shoes in its 7 years.
Anyway, rewinding the clock a bit, heading into this season I was starting to get the itch to change things up. I was still very happy with the Turbomacs, make no mistake, but the exterior of the sedan had largely looked the same since late 2015 when they first went on and I was wanting to freshen it up a bit. Each year it had seen subtle revisions here and there – tail lights, livery updates, Mountune lip, etc – but there’s no denying that a wheel swap is hard to beat in terms of impact.
Of course there was only ever one brand in consideration so the debate was only over model, not make. I was initially planning on Formula GTs but I then got word that something new would be coming from fifteen52 at about the time I was expecting to order, and so my interest was piqued. Mario managed to get a sneak peek in person during his trip to California during the summer, and what he saw were the upcoming cast Integrales. When I was let in on the new offering I immediately asked about securing a set for myself and as soon as they were ready, some were sent out on their way to me.
As much as I would have liked to keep growing a wheel collection, switching up to the Integrales meant the Turbomacs had to go up for sale however. Yolanda wound up taking them for her ST, and her existing Team Dynamics then went on to Robin’s; much like when José was up here and picked up Mario’s CR Kais, one wheel purchase led to updates for a few of us. Amusingly, Yolanda and Robin messaged me at the same time (literally, the exact same freaking time) both saying that they’d take the Turbomacs; this led to a bit of a challenge in determining who’d receive them, so they then worked out the plan for Yolanda to take the Turbomacs and Robin to take the TDs instead. Thanks to them for sorting that out…haha
Anyway, along with the cast Integrales another new offering from fifteen52 was a set of aluminum valve stems complete with 52-branded caps. I made sure to purchase a set of them as well as they’d be a nice upgrade over regular valve stems, and it’d be the perfect time to fit them since there’d be no tires on the wheels!
It was no secret that we were hoping these would arrive in time for a debut at iMSS, but the window was just too tight and so they arrived a couple of days following the show. That was a blessing in disguise though as with no looming deadline, I had a chance to take my time cleaning and sealing them inside and out so that I wouldn’t hate my life (as much) later when it came time to clean them…the VMaxx BBK is a monster for brake dust after all.
When they were ready, Richard over at Stampede Collision was able to promptly swap my existing Continental DWSs over from the Turbomacs and then it was finally time to fit the Integrales to the sedan! The fitment is slightly less aggressive than that of the Turbomacs – they’re the same offset but 0.5” narrower – but hey, spacers are a thing if I feel like going that route. Of course, they were ordered in Rally White because this car needs white wheels; that’s why the 57DRs only lasted a few months after all.
With the weather we’ve had this fall, between the initial fitting of these wheels back in August and now, the sedan has only seen a handful of weeks’ worth of use. In fact, I’d say about half of its time spent on the new wheels has been spent parked in the garage, but I knew there’d be a small window anyway given they were ordered in the later half of the season. Regardless, I can say that I am very happy with the purchase. If I could change anything about these it’d be to step up to a 9″ or 9.5″ width but that’s not an option with the cast Integrales. They still fit great though, and have really turned heads with their design. The coating also worked quite well it seems (Autoglym’s Alloy Rim Protector, for those wondering), though I only had to clean them a couple of times before the sedan was parked. I will definitely be applying a fresh coating before the 2019 season starts!
And for anyone wondering, because there was some confusion as to which wheels were being sold and which weren’t; the Tarmacs (Wintermacs) are still here and will still serve as the car’s winter/storage wheels so I don’t intend to let them go anytime soon. Sorry!
I’d like to say thanks again to the team at fifteen52 for their help with this new setup, and I’m really looking forward to next year when I can get a full season of shows out of these. It’s worth noting that we’re currently having some decent weather so perhaps I can sneak in a few drives before it turns again, but at least the annual hibernation will give me a chance to possibly make some more exterior changes for next year, to further set the car apart from its previous looks.