Restoring JDM Wheels.

After a few months of searching for a pair of fifteen-inch, five-lug, five-spoke Longchamps, Dylan managed to find some locally and scooped them up immediately. Although being in decent condition overall with no visible curb rash, dents, deep scratches or bends we decided to refurbish them before he puts tires on because there was some oxidization on the spokes and lips and Dylan planned on replacing all the hardware anyways. 

A few days after acquiring them we headed out to the shop where Sandra’s R32 now lives and had the opportunity to catch up with Keegan who recently picked up a few old Corollas. He demonstrated his boomer tactics of wearing PPE around his neck and smoking darts while sanding with a sander that’s hooked directly to a hot dog compressor with no lines. (Don’t ask). It was good to see Sandra’s R32 in its new home beside Matt’s R32, which is one of our favourite local Skylines.

We got to work refurbishing the wheels and took them through half a dozen grits of sandpaper (all applied by hand) and then shined up the lips with a hand-applied layer of Eagle One Nevr-Dull. Eventually, we will hit the lips with machine-applied polish to hopefully get them up to a mirror finish, but for now, even with all the steps being done by hand, the wheels look excellent. The centre spokes were only sanded up to 1000 grit to leave them with a dull brushed aluminum finish, and the lips were sanded to 2000 grit prior to receiving the hand polish. Patience definitely gets rewarded during a process like this and after five hours of giving ourselves carpal tunnel syndrome, the results spoke for themselves.

To really top things off; while I was sanding my life away on the Longchamps, Dylan was quietly working out a deal with our friend Dan to surprise me with a set of wheels that I owned many years ago. When I finished up on Dylan’s wheels he let me know that he snagged back my old 16×7 0mm Speedline SL390 mesh wheels. In 2016 I pulled these off of an old Crown Victoria LTD I  got for free and drove while I waited for my Skyline to arrive in Canada. At that time I had no idea just how desirable or cool these wheels were and only after parting ways with them I learned about their history of being made in Italy and being partnered with BBS during that era to build wheels for Ferrari and other major brands, plus just how much the FC RX7 community loves them. I’m not 100% sure what the end vision or use for them will be, but we definitely want to restore them and use them for something cool!

Before you go, our latest drop of Japanese good goods, new stickers and all of our Checkpoint branded merchandise are available now, take a look at our store using the following link:

Thank you for your constant support!



Published by Alexander Turnbull

Automotive photojournalist, traveller, blogger, and meme enthusiast. Enjoy car life.

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