03 January 2014

Those wheels: Pepperpots

Do you remember these Eighties classics?

PEPPERPOT wheels. My father calls them 'cheese wheels'. Probably because they remind him of those blocks of Swiss cheese. The ones with the holes, like the ones often seen on cartoons. 

Pepperpot wheels are a notable feature on cars from the 1980s. Very much in their time like Duran Duran, fluorescent clothing and Rubix cubes. From Metros to Jaguars, there were many cars from an era that had pepperpot wheels.
The Peugeot 205 GTi had them. The 1.6 GTis had pepperpot wheels, and were one of the features that distinguished them from the more powerful 1.9s.
The humble little Metro sported pepperpots. Many of them that did were earlier MG Metros.
Lancia Delta HF Integrale. The earlier 8-valve models sported pepperpots.
Alfa Romeo 146 Cloverleaf models (pictured above) sported pepperpot wheels, but so did standard 164s and other Alfas albeit with different designs. The Zagato styled SZ, also had pepperpots.
Jaguar XJ Series III wouldn't be complete without a set of pepperpots. XJ-Ss also had them.

Even though the Capri Brooklands were the first cars to have these pepperpot wheels. Out of Ford's cars, they're a better known feature on Fiesta XR2s. Ford went mad on pepperpots in the 1980s. They made another design of pepperpot wheels. Which were on the Sierra (XR4i and Ghia models) and the Orion (Ghia Injection).

Into the 1990s, pepperpot wheels soon fell out of favour with car manufacturers. But into the later half of the decade, they resurfaced and made a comeback. But unlike the cars from the Eighties that had pepperpots, Nineties cars that had them were on lower or mid-range models.

 These pepperpots from the first generation Audi A3, have become popular with VAG enthusiasts.
Entry-level BMW Z3.
Alfa Romeo continued to use pepperpot wheels throughout the 1990s and onwards. There were slight variations of pepperpots on their cars. There were those on the 145 and 146 Cloverleafs. The 166 (pictured above) had them, as did the mid-range 156 and 147s.
MINI One/Cooper. Inspired from the original Mini of the late 1990s.

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