Carlo Borrani may not have invented the center-lock wheel, but the company that bears his name was instrumental in bringing the technology to the forefront of the automotive world in the post-war era.
After WWII, during the revival of sports cars and racing and for many years afterwards, a set of Borrani wire wheels was all but de facto footwear, and not just for Italian manufacturers and teams. Ferrari road and race cars of the period were spinning Borrani wires around the world, but so were many of their international rivals. Some of the first Ford GT40s were sold with Borranis for instance, and like the Nardi steering wheels in last week’s film, a set of wheels from Ruote Borrani was rightfully seen as a stamp of quality, of artful engineering carried out by passionate people.
The company is an old one, having survived the second world war and a few changes of ownership since its founding in 1922 by Carlo Borrani, but the methods used in the production facilities today are still rooted in the traditions that earned them a lasting reputation. Borrani wheels are still made by way of hands manipulating tools, not on a cold assembly line run by robots. It would be hard to argue that wire wheels are the cutting edge of the industry these days, but Borrani does more than just offer nostalgic style, they will also take in vintage Borrani wheels and sympathetically restore them, strengthening the bond between the company’s past and present one beautiful spoke at a time.
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