The Lone Star Roundup started off with a really great event called the “Garage Crawl.” Borrani Americas and partner A&M Garage were fortunate to meet up with hot rod legends Mercury Charlie and Gene Winfield. Enjoy some pictures from the event and share them with your friends!
Wow…that is the only word that fits the Lone Star Round Up event. This renown hotrod event held every year in Austin, TX has a little of something for everyone. From traditional rods and customs to swap meets and live music. The fun never seems to stop. The day starts at the Travis County Expo Center and finishes on South Congress Ave. with an amazing cruise and stop at the famous Continental Club.
Borrani Americas Texas distributor A&M Garage had the pleasure to hang out with the Kontinentals of So. Austin, TX and meet up with other car groups throughout the event. We also spent a lot of time with legends Mercury Charlie, Gene Winfield and John D’Agostino.
There is so much to take in that two days just doesn’t seem long enough. Thanks to all who stopped by our booth. If you want a second look at our world-famous rims just give our Texas distributor A&M Garage a call to set up an appointment with Mercury Charlie or Steve Wertheimer. If you’re interested in more information on Borrani wire wheels contact A&M Garage at http://www.aemgarage.com or (512) 487-9013.
We’re looking forward to next year’s event April 5-7, 2013. Here are some of the cars that caught our eye. Enjoy!
Steve Wertheimer, Lone Star Round Up organizer and owner of the Continental Club added a set of custom-made Borrani Classic rims to his ’57 Cadillac. Designer Matteo Bosisio, head of the Classic Department at Borrani (Italy) sketched out the 72 spoke wire wheels and hand assembled the rims. Steve was thrilled with the look the rims gave his Caddy. Steve’s custom features bodywork and paint by Gary Howard and renowned custom upholsterer Vernon McKean.
Don Garnett of Lubbock, TX towed his flathead-powered Chassis Research K88 dragster. This car was found hanging as a ceiling decoration in a restaurant in New Mexico. Don decided it was too beautiful to have hanging there and bought it. This dragster is in the restoration process and sports front Borrani rims.
Charlie Runnels a.k.a. Mercury Charlie made a name for himself in the hot rod world with his custom rides and ability to turn standard cars into showpieces. His newest venture is a ’26 Ford. This car is being customized and fitted with unique features such as Borrani wire wheels.
Others for your enjoyment:
Borrani has a reputation of being the “Gold Standard” of wire wheels. Our rims are known for their reliability and elegance but where did this come from? Rudge Whitworth Milano was established in Milan, Italy on April 22, 1922. The owner, Carlo Borrani was born in Napa City, CA in 1887. His family had emigrated to the U.S. looking for a better life. Just after WWI he met his future partner Ettore Ambrosetti.
Carlo saw the automotive industry rapidly expanding and proposed to Ettore a new and exciting business venture that would take him back to his European home. This was the beginning of the remarkable Borrani wire wheel story. Carlo purchased the Rudge Witworth license from Coventry, Great Britain. Whitworth had registered a patent for mounting a wheel on a hub by a unique splined drum fixed by one center lock nut. Borrani bought this license and set up shop in Milan, Italy. The company then called Rudge Withworth was focused on wheels for cars, motorbikes and cycles. The success was immediate, the lightness and fast mounting of the wheels aroused the interest from the most important race car designers. Within the first year of business Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Bianchi, Isotta Franschini, Itala, Fiat and Lancia all started to equip their racing and luxury road cars with Borrani wheels.
Borrani never went to a race, personally drove a car or even applied for a driver license as he was convinced he would be too distracted to be able to sit behind a steering wheel.
The association with Enzo Ferrari started during the 1924 “Coppa Acerbo” when Enzo achieved one of the best results of his racing career. He had an Alfa Romeo equipped with Rudge Whitworth wheels. From that point on Ferrari always used Borrani wheels for his “Scuderia Ferrari” while racing Alfas, motorcycles and later with his own production vehicles – Ferrari.
In the early 1930s Borrani started to experiment with light, rigid aluminum rims to replace the usual steel wheels, reducing the rotating mass and obtaining perfect rim roundness these wheels were called “DD” and the basis of them remains to this day the main characteristic of all Borrani wheel.
In 1937 Carlo Borrani pasted away and his son Cesare, a young engineer, took over the company. At the beginning of 1939 he was forced by the Italian government to modify the company name from Rudge Whitworth to a more Italian sounding name. So in memory of his father who started the company he renamed it Carlo Borrani S.A. Then again in 1924 during WWII to Carlo Borrani S.p.A.
Borrani branched out into other industries including aviation. Until 1943 Borrani designed brake and hydraulic control systems, shocks, fuel pumps and of course wheels. This was directed by a branch of the company based in Rome, Italy called Sezione Avio. The company icon was the traditional Borrani hand logo with the addition of a pair of wings.
The post war period for Borrani was a roaring success, serving
such famous manufactures as Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo,
Aston Martin and later in the 1960s Lamborghini and Ford
(for their famous GT40) plus many others in the racing field and for road cars.
By 1955 production volumes were increasing and by 1961 Borrani’s production numbers were at 1,500 car and 5,000 motorcycle wheels per month. A new location was found and the name changed to Ruote Borrani.
The late 1960’s and early 1970’s for Borrani was a period of great change. The automotive manufacturers began to equip their cars with the new style of cast alloy wheels, a change that had occurred in racing circles about 10 years earlier. This new “fashion” indicated the fading popularity of wire wheels for cars. Motorcycle wheel production however was running at over 15,000 pieces per month. All the main motorcycle brands used the Borrani “RM Record” wheels such as BSA, MV Augsta, Guzzi, Harley Davidson, Gilera, etc.
The 1980’s and 1990’s found production at this all-time low. The company was mainly serving its clients that were in need of replacements or restoration of original wheels.
From 2004, Ruote Borrani has been operating from the south side of Milan. Production has steadily increased and a new line of rims was introduced in 2010. Borrani is also reaching out to establish themselves internationally. Borrani Americas was established in 2010 as the exclusive importer and restorer of rims to North and South America.
To stay current on all Borrani happenings “like” our Facebook page. Keep your eyes open as a new website launch will soon be here.
Join Borrani Americas at the 2012 Lone Star Roundup in Austin, TX April 13-15. (www.lonestarroundup.com)
We’ll have two vehicles showcasing our dynamic rims. The first is a 1926 Ford being restored by Mercury Charlie (www.mercurycharlie.com). Charlie is one of the leading restorers in Austin. You may remember his name from his work on Sweet Nadine. This 1951 Mercury Coupe won top awards and was featured in the Rodder’s Journal. http://rodders.netricksmedia.com/ – page 66-77.
After the completion of his Ford, Charlie plans on taking his newest ride into the judging circuit. We think you’ll be seeing a lot of this car in the upcoming months. Stop by the grounds to see Charlie’s hand-made rims and special engraved knock-offs.
The Lone Star Roundup is in its 11th year and going strong. The show has amazing cars, musicians and artists from across the country. Started as a small gathering of gearheads who had a love for hotrods and customs this event has turned into one of the largest shows around. With over 1,500 show cars and 15,000 spectators the Lone Star Roundup has a little for everyone. Learn more about the event here. http://www.lonestarroundup.com
Stop by Borrani’s booth on the grounds to see some outstanding cars and talk to a number amazing people. In our booth area will be Jim Wallner and Beth Nelson from Borrani Americas and the head of the Borrani Classic Division, Matteo Bosisio from Italy. Matteo is the designer and craftsman of these one-of-a-kind hand-made rims.
In addition you’ll have an opportunity to meet:
- Mercury Charlie www.mercurycharlie.com
- Gene Winfield www.genewindfield.org
- John D’Agostino www.johndagostinokustomkars.com
- Anna Lorenzi www.aemgarage.com
Our second show car is a 1957 Caddy. This vehicle is owned by Roundup organizer Steve Wertheimer. Steve’s couldn’t wait to put a set of these spoked beauties on his car. Steve would love the opportunity to talk to you about his car and the custom hand-made wheels. Stop by at the Travis County Expo Center during the event or downtown at Jo’s Parking Lot or Continental Club on Congress Street. He’s always got time to talk about his pride and joy!