After having my 19×9 HRE P47SCs on my Audi TTRS for about a year now, I was looking to change up the look some from the original finish in matte black (photoshoot here) and shot an email off to HRE to inquire about getting them refinished. After speaking with a customer service rep a few times back and forth, I settled in Gloss Gold and before I knew it I was dropping the wheels off at their HQ in Vista, CA to get them refinished. Expecting a big price tag, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that refinishing cost HRE owners between $150-200 per wheel depending on the color you choose for most colors – not too shabby, right? They go well beyond powdercoating too, and upon receiving the wheels back they were in amazing condition with any minor curb rash gone, the sleeves for the lug bolts refreshed, metal stems, and so-on…showroom minty fresh!
After having black wheels on my TTRS for a while, and on multiple previous cars before that, I wanted something different. Silver felt a little too boring, gunmetal was tempting but felt a little too commonplace, and I’ve always loved look at race cars that had gold wheels on a white livery, so that is what inspired the look. They’re a bit loud and different, and I’m still a little on the fence as to whether I should have gone with a more conservative color, but I’m enjoying them for now and I can always get them refinished again (and again and again) if I end up growing tired of it.
What I do love about the new color is how much better it shows off the design of the wheel – these wheels have awesome concavity in the rear, but it’s lost in the matte black finish…in gold, it pops. Likewise with my car otherwise being black and white themed, it gives the entire car a little more contrast, whereas the black wheels can get lost in the wheel wells. It also gives the car a more motorsports look, which is more in line with my passion for cars in the first place, rather than the “stormtrooper” theme which is somewhat played out these days.
The other thing I love is how awesome the finish is from HRE. The wheels take on different hues depending on the lighting or angle, and it’s clear that this is far more than just a powdercoat but a very premium finish. My wife commented they are almost “bling bling” because the depth of the gloss is so strong, and while I wasn’t exactly going for a bling bling look I will say that the job HRE did refinishing these wheels is above and beyond what I would have expected and explains why they have such a reputation for quality in the first place. Attention to the details matters to an enthusiast, and HRE delivers on those details in the best way possible.
It’s also fun to get wheels refinished as it can totally change the look of the car, and for $800 it’s much cheaper than buying a new set of wheels or doing many other mods that probably still wouldn’t have as much of an impact. It also restores all of the wear and tear that occurs from daily driving, and I bought these wheels used so they weren’t in 100% perfect condition when I got them anyway. I look forward to cruising with this look for a while, but I have a feeling I’ll go back to HRE again when I’m ready for a new look and do it all over again. I have a history of changing wheels every 9 months or so, but these HREs are so light, well built, and fit the car so well that it will be hard to let them go or get excited about another wheel for a while, so refinishing them when I get the itch for change seems like the way to go.
It was also a nice excuse to get out and photograph my car, as it’s been a while. With work being crazy and summer being full of distractions, it was nice to spend an afternoon getting the car clean and ready for some glamor shots. Immediately upon getting the wheels back I ceramic coated them, something I’ll go into further detail on in an upcoming post once I have some better impressions of how it’s holding up – I also coated the brake calipers, and I’m especially excited to see how that goes. Luckily my car spends all day in covered garages so it didn’t need a ton of cleaning otherwise, but there is always something about detailing my car with my favorite products to try to get the car as close to perfect as I can…a lot of people are surprised when I tell them my car was built in 2012 and is 6 years old when I tell them.
What do you think of the new look? Is it too much or just right? I’m still figuring it out myself, but looking forward to driving it around to some cars and coffee events and seeing how it grows on me. I have a feeling it will be more of a love it or hate it look, but I’m okay with that as I mod the car for myself and not others, and despite owning 8+ sets of aftermarket wheels I’ve never done gold, so it was time to try that out – and white cars look best with gold wheels, so if I was going to try it out on any of my cars it might as well be this one.
Big ups to Lucas at HRE for the great service…here is a few more pictures from today around La Jolla Shores and UCSD campus, and many more can be found on my Flickr page here.
Thanks for checking it out and I’d love to hear any feedback you have in the comments below!