Borrani Classic Wire Wheels
Ruote Borrani S.p.A. (established 1922 in Milano) is an Italian manufacturer of wheels, famous for supplying Rudge-Whitworth design single-nut lockable wire wheels to many Italian racing cars and luxury cars up until the 1960s.
Between 1946 and 1966, all Ferrari cars were equipped with Borrani wheels as original equipment. The two businesses thus share an important part of Italian automotive history, both on the road and on the race track. Afterwards, Borrani wheels remained a major option for Ferrari owners until as late as 1984. Borrani wheels also were original equipment on famous makes like Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Facel Vega and Aston Martin.
The company was initially named Rudge-Whitworth Milano, as the splined hub locking mechanism was licensed from the Coventry-based Rudge-Whitworth, which had developed the patents since 1908. It was run by Carlo Borrani at Via Ugo Bassi 9, and quickly became supplier for Alfa Romeo, Bianchi, Lancia and other racing cars, used by such drivers as Enzo Ferrari when winning the first Coppa Acerbo in Pescara (1924). Leadership transferred to Cesare Borrani in 1937.
It changed its name to Ruote Borrani S.p.A. in the 1930s, when it also began manufacturing aluminum (non-wire) wheels to replace steel wheels. These bimetal cast-aluminum wheels were standard on Maserati 3500. On relocating, it changed name to Costruzioni Meccaniche Rho S.p.A. (1955), at a time when 1/10 of the annual volume of about 1,500 wheels were for Ferrari racing cars; motorcycles such as Moto-Guzzi were other uses. Prototype cars such as the 1953 Buick Skylark are other examples.
In 2004, the Borrani wire wheel production was sold to RuoteMilano srl., member of the international automotive Zeta Europe BV group. The activities were moved to Rozzano on the southern edge of Milan. At these new facilities, the traditional production machines were rebuilt and refurbished to meet modern requirements, and to safeguard the quality and production capacity for Borrani wire wheels. Since then, the total product range has become readily available again and a number of models have been re-entered in production.