Love at First Sight
I’ve always loved the design of these wheels; however, finding any in a decent offset and in 4×100 is a lesson in futility. ROTA, of course, has a replica of the orignal Sakuras which they named Aleica. From 18racing.com, here are a few of their standard offerings.
I’m not a fan of either colouring offering so reached out to 18racing.com to discuss other colours as well as other offsets. After several emails and phone calls I placed my one-of-a-kind ROTA order. Just a tick longer than 6 months later, these arrived on my doorstep.
I really wanted 15×9 in order to run R-S3s and originally thought I’d run these on Scrat…
<h3>Why The Hell Not?!?</h3>
These ended up sitting in our living room for many months and I finally found some R-S3s back in stock at tirerack.com so went ahead and ordered a set while the getting was good. These have a knack for being out-of-stock often and still my thought was to run these on Scrat.
I did some test fitting of the wheels and it was pretty clear that the fenders were going to need some serious attention to get these to fit. And it didn’t take long for me to figure out that these would best be suited to run on Flipper. And so began the process of rolling and pulling the fenders to get these to fit. And they did. Sorta.
<h3> Bring on the Flares! </h3>
After demolishing the front fenders and trying to pull as much of the rears as possible, I gave up and surrendered myself to the reality that I was going to need some flares to get these to properly fit. I also resigned myself to the fact that my days of being low were over. It was time to go functional and I promptly ordered a set of Rev9 OE Style flares for flipper. After the usual two weeks of waiting for them they arrived.
I flat butchered my fenders and these weren’t going to fit with the mangled metal still hanging around. I ended up having to cut a decent portion of the fenders out to get these to fit. And they are only held on by double-sided sticky tape so good fitment was paramount.
I marked each fender where the flare would mount and just started cutting out the pieces of the fenders that needed to go from my failed rolling/pulling. Pretty simple affair; however, I did burn through 25 Dremel cutting wheels to get this done.
In the end it was a fairly simple undertaking and I’m extremely happy with the results. Oh, I would be remiss to not mention that I did have to trip the flat lip of each flare to give myself enough clearance on all four corners. And I raised the car up to 11.5″ from the top of each center cap to the bottom of each flare. I feel like I’m at 4×4 height visually but the handling is awesome and I’m just going to have to live with the ride height being what it is. A quick alignment later and Flipper is officially flared!
<h3> Center Caps! </h3>
I would like to give a huge thanks to Steve at www.r2-limited.com for my custom center cap stickers! Absolutely makes these complete!