Article by Ryan Randels. Photography by Ryan Randels and Nick Kouris.
When you think about performance wheels, what comes to mind? Is it Rays Engineering or Volk Racing? How about BBS? Or Advan? For many, HRE Performance Wheels is the answer. Just about every motosports event we've covered this past year has had more than half of the serious contenders sporting a set of HRE wheels. World renowned for their in-house research, design, and manufacturing processes, HRE yields some of the industry's most aesthetically pleasing and properly engineered lines of performance alloys. So when HRE announced their second Open House at their manufacturing plant in Vista, California, it was quickly placed on our schedule as a "must-attend” event.
Given that this was HRE's open house, it was safe to assume that we would be able to steal a glimpse into the "behind the scenes” side of the operations. But when they rolled open their huge loading dock doors, nobody could be prepared for what was inside.
This Creations n' Chrome Ford Mustang was the first thing when you walked into the warehouse from the back lot. Absolutely stunning and flawlessly executed build.
Some may recall the recently publicized Ferrari F40 build that was featured on Gas Money Garage. Completely totaled, these guys restored this to complete and utter perfection.
As you would expect from any world-class manufacturing facility, the HRE warehouse was an engineer's wet dream. Massive five-axis CNC machines towered above the visitors with technological prowess, while gangs of router and lathe bits waited patiently for their next block of alloy. You could literally walk from one end of the warehouse to the other and follow the assembly-line process from start to completion.
Everything from the forging process to the prep, finish, powder coating, and testing is completed in-house. The only components not made at HRE's California location would be the three-piece assembly bolts made exclusively by ARP, the Carbon Series barrels made in Germany, and HRE's FlowForm wheels made in Japan. And with the three-story shelves full of product, we fully believe that statement.
Compared with last year, this event has grown substantially. What once took up the entire front lot of the facility (which was a feat in itself) now occupied every space around the entire complex. Cars mobbed the lots before 9 a.m., and many were even turned away because they didn't meet certain criteria. Even though an HRE event, wheels of all types were put on show by the vehicles present. From pure track cars to slammed show cars to luxury and exotic cars most of us only dream of, we spent hours gawking at the talent.
Every time we see a Veyron on the streets or in public we're reminded of it's shear size.
We were lucky enough to meet up with our friends and crew from Shift-S3ctor. Probably brought the biggest entourage at the event!
The guys from Targa Trophy also were present with a great showcase. We look forward to covering their next event at the end of July.
Remember this icon from MFEST 2013? Because we sure do... Was part of the Skittles crew (affectionately named by Team Revv).
Local high-end dealers created pseudo-showrooms, while some of the most well-known performance shops set up showcases to display their latest work. If you're a major player in Southern California, you made an appearance one way or another.
BBI Autosport brought out a few gems including this gorgeous 964 (?),
One of the few Subaru's we saw but nearly perfect execution on the stance.
Accuair went all out with their booth at the event featuring the BMW from SEMA along side the unveiling of this Cadillac CTS-V wagon on full-drop.
All in all, what originally was just thought to be an open house "let's check out your business” is now considered to be a true-to-form Event. And we really shouldn't have expected anything less from none other than the HRE Performance Wheels!