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"Never give up, don't let the haters get to you and keep your mind fresh"
Whilst sat in my hotel on the first night I saw an image get shared on Facebook from Stephen Brooks & the Scene Media team who were currently hanging out in La with the Rotiform crew, I thought I'd have a stalk and see how far Rotiform was from me and it turned out it was about 30 minutes away from where I was saying, always the opportunist to meet some new people & get some coverage for the site, I dropped them an email asking if there was any chance I could also pay a visit to their site and get some images for 6TWO1 , not long after I got an email back whilst I was walking around the mall saying to come down to the shop whenever I wanted, due to having family to visit & also the Eibach meet on the Sunday, the only time to visit was the Monday morning before we left LA back to England, which meant a nice little fair well to LA in Rotiform style.
Rotiform seemed to appear out of nowhere to become an almost house hold name through out the car scenes, more on the German side but they do branch out, making wheels that can custom fit any manufacture of vehicle.
First, some background to Rotiform, the company was started in mid 2009 by Jason Whipple and Brian Henderson. Both of whom were working bland corporate jobs for other companies, but as enthusiasts they both saw an opportunity to really change the look of what was available in the wheel game. Which came to fruition once their first big hitter the BLQ really took off.
I asked Jason for his background as a car enthusiast, so I could get more in the head of one of the founders of Rotiform and work out how they really came about, I'll copy his quote exactly to give you guys the exact picture he painted me...
"I have been playing with cars for over 20 years now. My first car was a 1981 Civic 1300dx hatch. It was awesome. I drove that car so hard, eventually smashing the oil pan while "rally" driving it on a gravel road. From there I got into VW's. I made some engine mounts for the VR6 cars called "Turn2" motor mounts in the early 90's. Then I started hanging out with a guy named Oliver Kuttner in Virginia who really was the catalyst for me automotively (is that a word? It should be.) He took me pro racing in the IMSA WSC class in the 90's. We built a few cars to run in that series and in the 24hrs of Daytona - life changing for me. After that, I moved west and started working for BRITS Inc (the AP Racing brake and clutch importer for the US at the time) selling real race parts to real pro race teams. Add in a stint doing WRX and 3rd Gen RX7 parts for a while. Then it was on to STaSIS Engineering for some Audi racing and tuning love and.. Well here I am."
The guys knew that if they could make wheels that they would proudly run on their cars, they would be able to win over the die hards in the car scenes, which is what they did. Once the BLQ dropped and went global almost like a viral video can do, Rotiform were a prominent factor at every Volkswagen show through out the world, I even mentioned this at Ultimate dubs earlier in the year.
"We are so grateful that woe found our niche in the Euro/UK Market. You guys really help drive the scene and have a fresh outlook and tend to be very open minded about design. I think that is we jell so well with you"
Working to the ethics "We put our nose to the grindstone and don’t pay attention to any of the drama in our scene. We will keep plugging away finding cool shit to make for as long as we can."
Once I'd spoke with the guys for a while they gave me free reign to wander the premises to get images & see what they were about, Carl was kind enough to move a couple of the cars out of their spaces so I could get some images of them...
This all took place just outside their front door..
As you walk into their main entrance you are greeted by a colourful selection of the wheels that they produce..
Their office is very much what I hope if 6TWO1 would be like, if I ever needed a proper office. Haha, Its so chill, Jason works from in here...
followed by the team next door..
Very much a re-occuring theme through out all the premesis I visit for them to have some of their achievements in print on their walls! Very cool features, one from the Fatlace RWB Porsche & the other from Essex's very own Carl Taylors Audi RS4..
Rotiform do not just design & build their own branded wheels, they also rebuild wheels that are now deemed as Classics, either for customers or ones they would find, bring back to life & sell on as a new wheel once more.
This really show's the enthusiasm they have for keeping the scenes fresh, even if a car doesnt have THEIR branded wheels on they are willing to help build up a set to make them fit perfectly or even resize them...
Rotiforms can be ordered in any colour, getting a custom paint job done before you even get to see them..
They have plenty of old wheels they have been collecting to refurb, rebuild and give a new lease of life..
Fresh, ready to be boxed up for customers...
Rims on rims on rims...
For a true wheel whore, who would know any make & model, this little tour I got would have been a dream come true, I loved it myself & I am not the most clued up on European wheels.
The Rotiform Sticker bombed fridge!
I want this poster
Jason then said he wanted to show me his Scirocco Racecar..
& what a race car it is... sat on Lightweight Forged Race TMB's..yes they do race wheels too...
Also with this Cadillac tucked away behind the AWOL Van...
Orbit wasn't exactly excited to see me...
This Audi rocked up just as I was leaving... Looked amazing...
I cannot thank Jason & Brian enough for allowing me to just walk around, take pictures & bother them for information all pretty on the spur of the moment.
Rotiform is a great company, creating great products with a fantastic work ethic, run by great guys who employ great people. I know I sound like I'm brown nosing but it's hard not to say such good things when they were so welcoming.
Also big thank you to Players Carl Taylor for everything whilst I was there & since I've been home.
See you at Sema Guys.
I'm also now able to offer certain Rotiform wheels, so if you have any enquiries please drop me an email!