custom built wheels
custom forged wheels
lowered lifestyle wheels

ABOUT WCI

“When you see your brand new wheels for the first time.”

The Beginning


It’s a surreal feeling to create something, from nothing. WCI was created with no fancy education, no investors and with little outside support. Check your pockets. Chances are, if you have money there, you have more than what we started with. The “world seemed against us.”

How It Started


WCI was originally an online shop that specialized in offering big brake kits, suspension parts and wheels. We were not receiving the best customer service from some of the wheel manufactures and thought the industry needed a breath of fresh air with a creative and new outlook. We took a stab at creating one of a kind, beautiful works of art in my own way.

That first year, we begged people to run our wheels. We would spend 12-16 hours, seven days a week, holiday’s included, begging people to rock my wheels. It was an uphill battle. Why would someone buy WCI wheels when you could get a name brand wheel for roughly the same price? Did we mention, WCI at that time, had only created one set of wheels? There were 3 or 4 models but 2 or 3 of them were just renders. Who would even know if the quality would turn out, or if the wheels would be sound and safe? Anxiety and fear ran through us. We were selling other peoples wheels and it was going just fine!

We hung tough though, stayed steady, and in the fifth month, the phone finally rang. We sold our first two sets of wheels.

Introducing Andy and Pearl Faulkner


The couple was looking for something a little OEM+ but with a pop and some insane fitment. Andy and Pearl put faith in WCI. They opted for 18×9 and 18×10 BL8’s with hidden hardware, gold concave centers, and polished flat lips. The BL8 was meant to be something that could work on any car. It was simple yet much defined and had a lot of detail with engraving and machining.

fist wci wheel designs

Introducing Andy Albert


Andy only had a render to go off of. He had to trust that it would come out just like the render, and what he had envisioned in his head. Andy opted for the SY10 in brushed concave centers with chrome flat lips. This SY10 was meant to be an OEM+ wheel but with engraving on the inside and outside of each spoke to add greater depth and detail.

We will never be able to thank Andy Faulkner and Andy Albert enough for their support during the beginning stages, and taking a chance in us.

WCI second set of wheels
SY10's WCI history

The CC1


We were off running. We made 5-10 sets of wheels throughout the whole year.
Then WCI set out to create something new. A few ideas came to us that would help with innovative growth. Back in early 2012, there were very few options available for directional wheels. We created one of the very first, 3 piece directional wheels that was available in this industry. Nowadays, you can find a directional wheel from pretty much every major manufacture. The directional element and theme has been on the rise and will continue to grow. Thus the CC1 was born in early 2012. The CC1 helped us gain traction and set ourselves apart from the pack. WCI was starting to grow. Doubt turned to excitement and relief turned into drive.
CC! first set

The CC10


In 2012, WCI introduced a new cast wheel. The very first directional cast wheel that was offered in this industry. It was a concave, directional, 5 spoke design. The goal was to have it look as insane as possible while rolling. And just like that, the cast CC10 was born.
People instantly started asking if, when and where they could buy a set. We set up pre-order where people could put $500.00 down and reserve a set. We uploaded it to Facebook on September 20th, 2012. Only minutes later, the ‘likes’ and comments started piling up, and the pre-orders started flooding in.
We did our first photoshoot of the new cast CC10’s on a MK4 R32. WCI got some rollers of the MK4 R32 and some phenomenal still shots. We uploaded them to Instagram and Facebook, crossing my fingers and hoping that people would love them, half as much as I did myself. The wheels looked better in person than they did in pictures, as they always do, but it was our job to show the world just how beautiful they really were.
The cast CC10 helped us grow as a company, and reach a new market; people who couldn’t spend $4000 on a set of wheels.
WCI CC10 Wheels
first production CC10 wheels

 The MT10


In April 2014, WCI created the very first, directional mesh wheel, and the MT10 was born. Before, there was either mesh wheels, OR there was directional wheels. No one had brought the two concepts together. It was WCI’s goal to innovate, change the industry, improve on it and add something of value. The people really started to notice.

MT10's on Instagram

The Struggle of Keeping up with Demand


The 3-piece CC1, the cast CC10 and the cast MT10 helped us get momentum. Now, we have a different set of problems. Instead of not having enough demand, now we have a problem with keeping up.
We went from having to beg people for 5 months to purchase a set of wheels, to producing 80 sets the next year. Then the next year we went from 80 sets to 160 sets, doubling in size. At that point, because of the growth, we started adding employees. At this point, we had shipped our creations to 19 states and 11 countries (UK, Australia and Japan were WCI’s top 3 buyers).
We decided it was time to move things in house. Each and every customer is very important to us and we take great pride in that. Each customer spends their hard earned money with us. If someone gets paid $10 an hour and the wheels are $4,000, then that person just worked 400 hours or 10 weeks of 40 hours to pay for them. To know that our wheels are that beautiful, that great of a design, that high of quality,  then for someone to do that, is a huge compliment for us. That is the biggest compliment and the most support we could ever receive. Moving production in-house helped us make it personal.

Status Updates for Every Customer – Improve Customer Service and Updates


We had problems in the past with updating customers. There are a couple hundred pieces moving around every day. So we setup a status website. Everyone who orders a set of 3-piece WCI wheels gets a login so they can view the status of their order. Each customer gets to see the finished outers, inners, centers and final product the second it gets completed. We’ve found out a very innovative and automatic way to update everyone, because who really doesn’t love to know exactly where their order is?

Building Wheels In-House to Control All Aspects and Reduce Lead Times


Since we have started manufacturing in-house, including CNC machining, finishing and assembling, we can control all aspects of the product. Some people don’t think this is important, but it is vital to our business. If there is a rush on set, a couple of the guys can stay late and expedite the shipment. If there is a problem or UPS loses a wheel, we can quickly make a new one. If the finish didn’t come out perfect or has a blemish, we can quickly strip it and redo it.
Industry standard lead times are around 6-8 weeks. WCI lead times are roughly 2-4 weeks, with rush options available as well. We’ve done a few sets recently with wheel specs confirmed, and (Raul Estrada lead time) was completed in 2 weeks.

HOW WE DO IT 

Designing / Custom Bespoke


We design every wheel in-house (We have programs where we can make 1 of 1 or bespoke wheels). We sit down and go over what wheels you like and why, then apply that styling and make you something completely unique.
WCI tries to make very unique and different wheels and our creative edge is what keeps us hungry. Every model wheel starts as an idea and goes through multiple changes and revisions.
The small details are what counts.

Improving Machining Quality


WCI uses top of the line CNC machines along with the best cutters and parts. Each center is meticulously crafted. This is where the wheel gains it’s profile. This is where the wheel is made into a flat centers, slight concave or extreme concave. We have a vast range of profiles available.
wheel lathing

After the wheel has gotten it’s profile, it’s onto the wheel model. Each wheel is machined for the custom bolt pattern, center bore and design. This process takes hours and needs to be done without mistakes. Here is Cody machining a set of CC10’s- The machining is vital and actually helps tremendously with the finishing. Instead of having to sand out cutter marks, we can leave them as is, as the cuts are superb.

machining wheel face
machining wheel windows
machining wheel perimeter

Prepping for Finish


Each 3-piece wheel center then needs to be prepped for finish. From here, it’s decided what needs to be done, whether that be chrome, polish, brushed or powder coat. Each finish requires different prep. Some customers opt for a brushed finish wheel.

Each 3 piece wheel is hand-brushed to get precise brush marks. Here is Collins brushing a set of BP1’s- This brushing process takes hours, and is very meticulous work.

wheel brushing
From here, the wheels need to be perfectly clean and rid of any toxins or residues. If the toxins or residues doesn’t come out before, it will show underneath in the powder coat. The most crucial component is cleaning. We make sure your wheels are perfect before sending to powder coat, to ensure a beautiful finish on the final product.

Powder Coating In-House


We have recently brought powder coating in-house to reduce lead time for the customer. Powder coat is more durable than standard paint; we can create a beautiful finish within a few hours, and be able to ship the following day. This is extremely important for that customer that wants wheels yesterday or for a show in a week or two.

18
18
MD1 wheels, copper, watercooledind
18

 We Stock 3-Piece Parts to Reduce Lead Time and Improve Customer Satisfaction


WCI uses the best of the best materials when it comes to all components of the 3 piece wheels. The lips and barrels are the best money can buy with the exception of carbon fiber parts. We stock lips and barrels to reduce lead time. We stock a minimum of 75 sets of lips and barrels at all times. This means if a customer curbs a wheel, they can get it fixed quickly. Each lip and barrel is made of forged 6061 aluminum and made in California. We also use top of the line assembly bolts, which are made in Italy. Even the center caps on the 3 piece wheels, are made of billet aluminum to save on weight. The center caps are also made in California. A key component to the 3 piece wheels is also the raw forgings. We stock over 100 sets of forgings at all times, to reduce lead times and improve customer satisfaction. If it takes 8-10 weeks to get a raw forging, the customer will not be happy. Just plain and simple.

polished lips
barrells

 Aligning All of the Pieces


So now we have the lips ready from finish, the barrels in stock, the bolts in stock and the centers are ready from finish. A key component to this is making sure the wheel is completely true or round. If one of the key components, isn’t lined up properly, it can cause vibration. This is vital and needs to be taken very seriously. When done right, the wheels will feel like a hot knife, cutting into butter while driving down the road. WCI does a run out on each wheel to make sure it is to the highest standard. Here is Joe making sure the wheels are to the highest quality and the run out is perfect.

Assembly


So now that the wheels are all aligned and ready to go. It’s time to assemble by hand and with patience. If it’s rushed, a bolt can end up scratching a lip or scratching a center. The whole process would have to be redone. Pictured here, Joe is making sure the wheels are 10/10. The end product is something WCI is proud of.

So there you have it. That’s how a quality, 3-piece WCI wheel is made. If anyone would like to come and experience it in person, feel free to email or call us. We are now accepting applications for customers to order a set of wheels, and come watch them being made. We will also be adding a program where customers can sit down with us and design a set of wheels, stay a few days in Michigan, and watch them come to life and leave our facility with the wheels.
Everyone at WCI wants to take this time to thank each and every one of you, for your support. Even if you haven’t boughten from us, even if you’ve just liked 1 picture of ours on Instagram or Facebook. We simply wouldn’t be here without everyone’s support. Because of our  amazing customers, everyone here at WCI gets to do their dream job.
This is what we live for. This is what we would die for.