Magnesium racing wheels became popular in the ‘60s thanks to their lightweight properties and strength for competition use. They soon made their way on streetcars, with several popular styles available with the most sought after in the UK being the minilite style but there was a more brutal looking alternative. The 5 slot style was known as slot mags and produced by many companies such as American Racing, Cragar and Gyro. In the UK, Wolfrace became a leading exponent of the style and boosted the popularity of the style here. The slot mag is one the few cheaply available alloy wheels that look good on almost any classic or retro car and became a popular choice on custom cars and modified cars. The wheel slipped into the mainstream in 1977, being featured on the 007 Lotus Esprit in the film ‘The spy that loved me’. Several other notable TV cars of the era featured the wheels and its 5 hole imprint was sealed in the mind of many car owners. Due to corrosion and safety issues, magnesium wheels are seldom seen on race or streetcars these days, but the style still persists in slightly heavier aluminium form. The slot mag is still very much with us, transforming the looks of a tatty classic and adding a little menace and cheeky attitude to today’s slightly overwhelming array of expensive and desirable alloy wheels. The Ford Torino was one of the many cars that helped keep the wheel in the public eye.
A lowered and brutal Hillman Super Minx
A different pose for this Vauxhall Viva, echoing the style of a jacked-up rear on the ’70s.
Another lowered look, transforming the appeal of this Morris Marina.
A slight angle rake and bumper removal on this MK1 Ford Cortina was a hugely popular look.
This Datsun Sunny was regularly being used on track days and quarter-mile strips – perfect use of the wheels.
An unusual application on the elegant Volvo P1800 shows how the wheels suit svelte coupes well.
A stanced Hillman Imp on Mags gives the car complete attitude.
The versatility of the wheels shows how well suited they are to every classic.
The wheels were a standard fitment of many cars in the ’70s, including this muscular AC 3000ME.