Wheel colour

OK - this is going to be one of those questions that really has no answer other than “It’s your choice…”, but here goes anyway.

My car (a True Red 2009 PRHT Sport) has the OE 17" alloys. I’m thinking of buying some aftermarket alloys, with the idea being to retain the OE alloys as “second best” and keep my Winter tyres on them. Other family members say to stick with silver wheels, but I’m not sure. Part of me says to go with silver (some sort of multi-spoke design) while I’m also rather taken by the Wolfrace JDM style (and other similar styles from various manufacturers), possibly in gunmetal or even black. Yet another voice urges me to look at black and polished styles (again in some sort of multi-spoke design).

I’ve spent hours poring over websites, and still I’m no nearer making my mind up. So what do others suggest? I’ve even been though a lot of the pictures over in Readers’ Rides looking for inspiration. I think one of my issues is that with True Red paintwork and a hardtop the car is very, very red indeed. Anyone else got a True Red MX-5 with aftermarket alloys and would be prepared to share a photo to help me in my choice?

Hi Raymondo
I havent got a red one, mine is Mariner Blue NA but been going through the same decision…finally decided, the best of both worlds…Rota RB with gunmetal spokes and silver polished rims…the silver lifts it and the black adds depth and contrast…good luck with whatever you choose! Will be fitting them soon…

Each to thier own, but i’m not a fan of black wheels.

Black wheels with black tyres just doesn’t do it for me.

I much prefer silver wheels with the black contrast of the tyre.

At work but will post pic later 

I believe bally3, above, has Wolfrace JDM type wheels in gunmetal on his. Very smart looking too! Images in his thread, below;


I think that the true red would look nice with white wheels but I suppose you would have to be always cleaning them! I am definitely not a fan of black wheels.

No need - I’ve seen the pics in your thread!


One of the features that drew me to our present MX-5, when my wife and I first saw it on the dealer’s forecourt, was the black alloy wheels with the Galaxy grey paintwork.  With no bling on the car whatsoever, somehow it makes this particular MX-5 a meaner-looking motor, and not quite as ‘pretty’ as others we have seen with ‘silver’ wheels, and lots of chrome accessories.  A thought which has often crossed my mind is that the PRHT would look nice if I had it painted (or wrapped) in black - to match the wheels, and perhaps black stripes along the bottom of the doors.

Of course this is all a matter of opinion…


I think wheel rims should be light/silver to defile the shape of the wheel in the arch and the shape of the car overall. I don’t think it matters what the colour of the centre is.

Matt Bronze goes very well with red. 

If you want to go black wheels, you really need a light coloured car. 

Everyone to their own, it’s one of the beauties of MX-5 ownership…


MX5 Sport Black

I had white Watanabe wheels on my NA Mariner, it looked stunning. I found that two minutes with a pressure washer kept them clean

Would be a great fit with the red car



Exactly the point I was trying to make in my post no.8 Mac - black wheels, black PRHT and no bling - very mean-looking and very unusual.  Great-looking motor.   




I agree with Geoff here, white is the only colour that goes well with red (other than silver) and if the wheels are powder coated you can’t go far wrong. The colour of wheels should contrast with the tyre, and complement the car colour, so I’d make that choice anytime. My car is crystal blue, so I have silver rotas on, which transformed the view from strange to suiting the car. - Original wheels were the infamous curly spoke wheels, which pointed in a forward direction on one side and towards reverse on the other. White would achieve the same result as silver, but it depends on your choice of wheel, I’m very happy with mine as is.

Black wheels work well on a red car, this is our MK2 Sport.

Had black rims on my NC. First thing i did was change them back to silver.

I find this an interesting topic, and as said earlier everyone has their own opinion.

Years ago (1960s -1970s) when all wheels were black steel with chrome hub caps, I painted my bitsa’s wider flat ledge rims silver.  The gleaming wheels took the attention away from the faded maroon paintwork on the car.

SWMBO liked the way that Mercedes painted the wheel hubs to match the bodywork (she always wanted a pagoda-top), so for the new red Astra I painted the silver plastic wheel trims red to match the car, and it looked so much better, also they are less likely to be stolen (as happened to two of them while still silver in a car park a month after I bought it).  The bad point here was that the red on the car faded to pink over the next 205,000 miles but the wheel trims remained Flame Red.

The old Vectra was dark blue, so I made a point of keeping the plastic wheel trims bright shiny reflective silver, because at least they were visible on a dark night even if the car wasn’t.

The Niseko is a pale powder blue “Icy blue”, it was detangoed at the factory, so only silver wheels can go with this.  Anything else would look odd on it.

My daughter recently bought a pretty little light blue Polo, and was going to paint the trims light blue to match, because she had happy memories of driving the old Astra.  However, the Polo was nicked from their house via a burglary this week, so she now has two rattle cans of light blue paint and no car and a fight with the insurance company.  And why nick the slowest most basic poverty spec Polo?  The Police think it will be used on a job and then torched.


Interesting point Richard, though while not that it makes any difference to your daughter, my commiserations to her for the loss - that is a sad end to what to her was an essential necessity I imagine.

Referring to your point, some years ago, I went to Halfords and bought some blue Hammerite paint, intent on doing my calipers the same colour as the GT stripe (Olympic blue) only to find the colour didn’t match anything, so I only did one. So much for swatches. That’s been the odd one ever since, and apparently never noticed by anyone - till recently in our Tesco’s car park, a guy came up to me and said “Did the car come like that, (pointing at the offending wheel) or did you do it?” I explained “Yes, I did it, and it’s the only one painted as the colour was wrong!” He replied “interesting - - - I think I’ll do mine now”.

What really sets a wheel - and tyre - off is a white stripe on the tyre sidewall, an asset available in North America, but never popular here. A carry-over from the old whitewall tyres, which always attracted scuff marks, so tyre manufacturers changed it to a thin white stripe running round a protected edge of the tyre, which was very popular on some cars. Being an oddball, I wish they were available here.

The ultimate in wheel bling was white rubber paint, which you could buy to paint lettering on the sidewall, - when rotating it gave a white blur to the tyre, which made the wheels stand out. Strictly a ‘show’ thing, but unfortunately it didn’t last that long. I did the ‘MICHELIN AZ’ tyres on my Tiger, but tired of keeping it painted! - A ‘Brooklyn bridge’ job (North American expression - compares to the Tyne bridge here!) When new it got lots of remarks and attention - more than the car did in fact!

As did the sill FORD stripe I added to each side, as that often got Queries - “I thought it was a Sunbeam?” - Good for a laugh anyway!

I think Rota GT3s go with anything…once you choose the preferred spokes. 

Not that expensive, and we think they finished off the restoration well enough.



Rota GT3 Alloy Wheels Set Of 4Rota GT3 Alloy Wheels Set Of 4Rota GT3 Alloy Wheels Set Of 4