Those of you who followed the redesign of the smart into the new 451 might have remembered those spy photos of the smart driving around on black 6 or 12 spoke rims. Well if you didn’t get a chance to see those photos I’ve included one from WorldCarFans.
The rims where the standard factory rims power coated in black to make them less noticeable. So in the sourcing for parts for the new 451 smart I came across someone in Germany who got his hands on a couple sets of these black rims.
While I had never seen the 6 spoke or the 12 spoke rims in person the photos looked amazing and I really didn’t like the factory 9 spoke rims, so I bought both the 6 and 12 spoke rims. Along with the rims I decided to have them mount some winter tires as my dealer already said they have limited supply of snow/winter tires and I didn’t want to be driving around on all season radials.
My contact in Germany ended up sending them air freight as it wasn’t too costly and ensured that they arrived quickly but I had not thought of the customs/importing aspect of things. When the rims and tires arrived in
Canada I had a little problem, turned out that you are not allowed to import “used” tires into Canada from Europe. While my tries were new they were mounted on the rims and could be considered used. I ended up have a little chat with the customs officers and they did a manual inspection along with the fact they where smart fans they ended up looking the other way and allowing both sets into the country.
As soon as I saw both the 6 spoke and 12 spoke I feel in love with the 6 spoke as the long spokes gave the wheel the illusion of being larger then the 12 spoke rims. So I have the 12 spoke rims and will post some photos and information on those later, but they’ll be sold please contact me if your interested in buying them.
Figured after the customs issue everything else would be easy but it turned
out there was a few more problems. In my initial review of the smart 451 I said that the tire pressure sensors where based on tire rotation but it turns out it’s based on a system built into the rims. So I had 2 options, option 1 was to not install these sensors into the new rims and live with a warning light and not have the benefit of the tire pressure system. Option 2 the one I went with was to have the sensors installed into the new rims. That option was a costly install but for me the peace of mind was worth it.
Installing the sensors was further complicated due to the fact they are part of the valve stem and are silver metal so I had to get smart/Mercedes to paid the tire pressure sensor black, they didn’t want to do that at first but money talks and in the end I got a all black rim. They even helped me out and painted the wheel bolts/nuts black and while the photos look good you have to see them in person to really see the beauty.