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Borrani Wheels History
On April 22nd 1922 the Italian company ‘Rudge Whitworth Milano’ was established in Milan with a share capital of one million, 200 thousand lira. The owner was Carlo Borrani. The business was located at Via Ugo Bassi 9 and its activity was the manufacture and sale of ‘wheels for cars, motorbikes, cycles and equivalent’.
This was the official beginning of the remarkable Borrani wheel story. Production started with a licence from Rudge Whitworth in Coventry which had registered a patent for mounting a wire wheel on a hub by a unique splined drum, fixed by one central lock nut. This made for easier and faster mounting and dismounting of the wire wheel.
This also aroused the interest from the most important racing cars constructors. After just 12 months in business, Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Bianchi and Lancia started to equip their racing and de luxe cars with Borrani wheels.
Later in the ’30s the Company modified its name to Carlo Borrani S.p.A. During this same period Borrani started to experiment with light, rigid aluminium rims to replace the usual steel rims.
Times of growth
In 1955 the premises in Via Bassi became inadequate for the rising monthly production volumes, that increased from 1000 to 1200 and then 1500 wheels in the space of 6 years. The name was again changed into ‘CMR’ ‘Costruzioni Meccaniche Rho S.p.A.’, and moved to a new location. The production of wire wheels went on, linked to the Ruote Borrani Milano trademark.
Ten percent of Borrani wheel production was devoted to racing cars. Ferrari was Borrani’s best customer at that time; This alliance was not accidental, as in 1924 the young Enzo Ferrari ran and won the Acerbo Cup in Pescara with a car equipped with Rudge Whitworth Milano wire wheels.
Borrani also became famous in the motorcycle world as supplier of renowned manufacturers as Benelli, Gilera, Guzzi and MV Agusta. While among car makers even Ford purchased Borrani wire wheels for the first version of its iconic GT40 and used them on their Le Mans race cars. Thousands of national and international victories were achieved on Borrani wire wheels during this period.
Borrani Bimetal Wheel on Lancia Aurelia B20
Ruote Borrani Milano are happy to announce the launch of the ‘new’ re-edition Bimetal wheels for the Lancia Aurelia.
Carlo Borrani was a pioneer in the field of alloy rims for wire wheels, and also used these rims for a light wheel with steel centre-piece, initially called “CABO”, and later “Bimetal”. Many of these wheels were sold in the ’50s & ’60s either as factory fitment, or as sports upgrades for brands like Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia and Maserati.
Following numerous requests from all over the world, Borrani recently decided to re-issue a limited edition Bimetal wheel for Lancia, identical to the original project (which was launched in July 1952 for the Aurelia models). Now suitable for all six B20 series and other Aurelia variations, the basic wheel measures 165 x 400, using an alloy rim with steel centre-piece, ideal for fitting the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ 165x400 classic tyre. A Bimetal wheel for Flaminia models will follow in due time. Faithful to tradition, the new Bimetals weigh around 20% less than conventional steel wheels, thus importantly reducing the un-sprung weight, and improving the car's handling. As many are ordered for competition & rally use, the wheels are available with or without hubcap attachments at the client's choice.
Borrani Bimetal Wheels
After a successful period for wire wheels, the cast-aluminium wheel gradually took over the market as first equipment. Looking for new ways, Borrani started to mount a pressed steel wheel disc in their existing aluminium rims. These "Bimetal" wheels, which were produced already as early as 1954, had their fair share of success and were mounted on famous brands as Alfa Romeo, ASA, Abarth, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati and others.
The Borrani Company
Ruote Borrani Milano
Ruote Milano srl, located in Rozzano, in the southern part of Milan, has recently taken over the production of Borrani wheels.
This included all the historical tooling, machines and materials, the specialized workforce, and the complete technical archives , which go back to 1922. All of this is now located in a 3000 sq-m factory specially renovated for this purpose.
Even the most sophisticated robots cannot replace the capable hands of workers who make Borrani wheels with enthusiasm and skill, with the highest quality and reliability as final objectives. Ruote Milano's first target is to supply the complete historical Borrani product range, including wire wheels for competition use and special products.
Ruote Milano produces Borrani wheels for classic and vintage cars including: Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Austin-Healey, Chevrolet, Cisitalia, Ferrari, Ford, Iso, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Lancia, Lotus, Maserati, Mercedes, MG, Osca, and Porsche. And for formula race cars, small sports barchettas and formula Junior such as Bandini, Ermini, Stanguellini and many more. Ruote Milano are the only company who can offer professional restoration of existing Borrani wire wheels with steel or aluminium rims, including the replacement of all spokes, balancing, polishing, chroming and/or painting.
It is also possible to manufacture Borrani wheels for those cars which were not originally equipped with them. Typical spare parts like hubs, drums, locking nuts, 3 or 2 eared spinners and octagonal nuts are now available from stock.
The complete Borrani archives include all the original projects and drawings for all standard cars, and for special cars equipped with Borrani wheels. This forms a crucial support to answer the wide range of requests from customers all over the world.All Borrani wheels were developed in close collaboration with the related car makers as a complicated and sophisticated technical product. Borrani wheels in most cases were an integral part of the car's homologation and were also extensively tested as such.
All Borrani aluminium rims are identified by a stamped RW-code of four or five figures, the unique Ruote Borrani Milano stamping (there are several variations), and a stamped internal production number. These codes also apply to the hubs. All numeric codes correspond with Borrani technical and production documentation.Borrani wheels cannot have the following characteristics:
- the use of stainless steel spokes
- the absence of the above-mentioned stampings
- the use of spokes of different diameters in the same wheel
- the use of wrong-angled spokes
- the use of non-matching components according to the RW-code of the wheel
The mounting of a non-original, modified or unprofessionally restored wire wheel on your car can pose serious risks and can cause you harm and damages. It can affect the original approvals and homologation, as well as the handling and safety of your vehicle.
Wire wheels offered on the international market as ‘Borrani style wheels’ or ‘Borrani replacements’ by other parties have absolutely nothing to do with the original Borrani products and are not certified or authorized in any way to replace original Borrani products.