Amongst all the elements that made Porsche a legendary brand today, you surely came accross some enthusiast showing particular rims on oldtimers and name it “Fuchs”. Taking a look at their second-hand market value, the unit approximately costs $1’000 on eBay. Text: Luca W., Porsche ©. Images: Porsche ©.

There are many reasons why the Fuchs rim became such a legend and the most important is the design. The critical impetus was provided by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche. In 1966 the aluminum wheel made its world debut. As did the 911 S.

A new challenge

In period, Porsche simply referred to these rims as alloy wheels, which were part of the sports car’s standard equipment. The modest designation of aluminium wheels reflects a logical idea: the new Porsche 911 S had to have a reduced unsprung mass. The specification for this more powerful version of the 911 demanded that its wheels are 3 kilograms lighter than the steel ones, so 12 kilograms in total.

In 1965, it was almost impossible to manufacture aluminium wheels properly: it wouldn’t withstand the various loads (weight, weight transfer). Nonetheless, the Fuchs company, based in Meinerzhagen, probably had no idea that they were actually winning the jackpot when they received the commission from Porsche. Otto Fuchs had the solution to resolve the conflict between lower weight and durability, by mastering the strengh of materials: the blank aluminium was forged, and the entire rim area from outer to inner flanges was rolled out.

The characteristic cloverleaf design

Tapered towards the end, the five spokes clearly built the original Fuchs rim design. This original shape was presented to Porsche in May 1965 and the minutes from the meeting record the following:

“In contrast to our proposal, Mr. Porsche Jr. changed the shape of the five connecting pieces between the hub and the rim for reasons of style and appearance. While our design was well-adapted to the shape of the series vehicles now being retired, the shape developed by Mr. Porsche Jr. appears more harmonious with the new vehicle.”

Mr 911 designer, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, invent the cloverleaf design that has characterized the legendary Fuchs rims ever since. Yet, many don’t know that Heinrich Klie penned the cloverlead design, who later gave the 914 its unique shape. Later on, the rims also adorned the 944 and were part of the program until 1989.