Borrani: Nearly 90 Years of History and Success
On April 22, 1922 “Rudge Whitworth Milano” was established in Milan, Italy. The primary focus for the company at that time was production and commercialization of wheels for cars and motorcycles.
Production started with a license from Rudge Whitworth in Coventry, Great Britain, which had registered a patent for mounting a wheel on a hub by a unique splined drum, fixed by one central lock nut. This enabled an easier and faster mounting and dismounting of the wheel. This new system for mounting wheels drew interest from the most elite car makers in the racing industry. Within a year, Alfa Romeo, Auto Union, Bianchi and Lancia started to equip their racing and luxury cars with Borrani wheels.
In 1924 the young Enzo Ferrari ran and won the Acerbo Cup in Pescara with a car equipped with Rudge Whitworth Milano wire wheels. A partnership was formed and in years to come Borrani rims would become standard on Ferrari models. Other car makers such as Lamborghini and Maserati also found the rims to be ideal for their racing needs.
As early as the 1930’s Borrani started to experiment with light, rigid aluminum rims (cerchi DD) to replace the standard steel wheels. This was the beginning of a technologically advanced way of producing wheels that is still used today.
Times of Growth
In 1952 Enzo Ferrari and Cesare Borrani, Carlo’s son, developed an idea to manufacture special molded hubs. In 1955 the demand for Borrani rims exceeded the current facilities production capabilities and the company relocated to a facility in Baranzate on the northeast side of Milan.
Thousands of national and international victories were achieved on Borrani wire wheels during this period which is why we use the phrase...Wheels of Glory!
- Ford Motor Company purchased rims for the first version of its mythic GT40 and used them on their Le Mans race cars.
- Between 1950 and 1961 Borrani rims were standard equipment for Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati racers winning eight F1 Driver World Championships and two F1 Manufacturer World Championships (Vanwall and Ferrari).
- Borrani rims contributed to countless Ferrari and Maserati victories in Sport and Protoype races from Le Mans to Nürburgring, from Sebring to Monza.
The Bimetal Era
After a successful period for wire wheels, the cast-aluminum wheel gradually took over the market. Looking for new ways to stay competitive, Borrani started to mount a pressed steel wheel disc in their existing aluminum rims. These ‘Bimetal’ wheels, which were produced already in 1950 as CABO wheels, had their fair share of success and were mounted on famous brands as Alfa Romeo, ASA, Abarth, Fiat, Lancia, Maserati and others. In the early 1960’s, Borrani wire wheels became an exclusive accessory on these manufacturer’s new models.
Since February 2004, Ruote Milano has held the license for the manufacturing of Borrani wire wheels. The new facility is located in Rozzano, in the southern area of Milan. The rims are still hand-made by highly skilled workers, who guarantee quality and compliance with originality and tradition. Unlike other rim producers only a select number of rims are manufactured every year so the value of the rims stays intact.
With the introduction of the rims into the Americas through Borrani Americas, Ruote Borrani Milano is making their elite wire and bimetallic rims available in limited numbers.