Let’s set the record straight. It’s FiKSe (pronounced “fick-see”), not Fiske. And it was the last name of two brothers who’d started the company in the 90s.
It’s not that FIKSE was ever gone, but after new management took it over from the founding brothers, Matt and Jim Fikse, it was like the company wasn’t a large part of the racing world like it used to be and, as far as I knew, they weren’t around anymore. Before I jump into where they’re at now, oblige me a walk down memory lane.
I’d first learned of FIKSE Wheels back in late 1997, during my one-year stint in Miami, Florida. I hung out daily with my buddy, Larry, who arguably had one of the fastest BMWs around at the time. It was a 96 E36 BMW M3 pumping out over 450whp (that was crazy power for any BMW before the the turn of the millenium) through a customized Active Autowerke turbo kit, but also with a Euro-spec Getrag 6-speed conversion. But one of the things I never forgot from Larry’s car was the gorgeous set of polished FIKSE FM-10 wheels it was rolling on. They were definitely a step above anything I’d ever come across.
(As a side note, Larry’s M3, along with a couple of the other turbocharged M3s from the Miami-based firm that I got to ride in, were my first real “turbo tuner car” experiences, and they forever changed my life. I can say over 23 years later that I wouldn’t be writing any articles without that experience–more on that after the sources list on Page 6, if you wish to know)[Nostalgia]
In 2000 I was fortunate to become a part-time freelancer with european car Magazine (thanks to the AA owner for introducing me to then EC senior editors Les Bidrawn and Greg Brown), and stayed with it until its close in 2018. EC was also a sister magazine to Sport Compact Car, which our own Mike Kojima was with, too.
Early on, I got to start on the first of my several magazine projects—my own AA-turbocharged E36 M3, just like my old friend’s. Like Larry’s it was black, too, but I took it a step further with a carbon hood, trunk, and wing, and finishing the “Vader-out” process with a long-awaited custom set of FIKSE wheels. The style I chose was the Mach-V in an anodized black finish called Race Satin Black. To this day I vividly recall laying eyes on them in the office for the first time. I was mesmerized. These wheels were beautiful, and just so different than anything else, but classic at the same time.
FIKSE Wheels was one of the top three-piece, high-end forged-aluminum wheel manufacturers up to then. At track days it was common to see several Porsches, Ferrari, Corvettes, and Vipers equipped with Fikses. But they were also on the likes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans GT3-class winning Porsche GT3 RSR in 2003, and the Target/Ganassi Lexus-Riley that won the 24 hours of Daytona from 2006-2008 (see Page 6)! This wheel manufacturer was legit.
Fast forward to 2012, to when I reintroduced this Supra project with MotoIQ from Kansas City. I say, “reintroduced” because I had actually started this car as “Project Supra” for Turbo and Hi Tech Performance Magazine—another sister magazine—back in 2003. Yes, I’ve had this car a long time. Since I wasn’t able to afford a set of FIKSE wheels for the Supra out the gate in 2003, I made another go at it in 2012. After all those years they were still my favorites. I loved their “hidden bolt” assembly process, which uniquely hid the assembly bolts on the inside face, creating an especially clean look. Sadly, I couldn’t seem to locate them.[They’re back!]
It’s been now exactly two years since my last article on this Supra. Quite frankly, there’s been nothing to report except a whole lot of fun in this thing. It’s still boostin a modest 24 PSI, good for 800+WHP on pump E70-E85, thanks to the Precision 6870 Gen2 turbo and FRP built 3.0-liter tuned by MKC Performance via the AEM Infinity. This past summer, though, I got the itch to search for the last set of wheels I’ll ever get for the Supra. I’ve enjoyed the Forgestars (which are not really forged) for many years, but I wanted something on the next level that would also bring back a more period-correct look, but still look great.
During my search, I came across one of the Porsche online forums and saw mention of FIKSE wheels, but also with a reply from the company itself. “Surely this was an old thread,” I thought to myself. But sure enough, it was from July 2020! I quickly registered for the forum and private-messaged the user, Danny Goll, who was one of the original employees still with the team. Silly as it sounds, this was nostalgia-overload for me. I mean, here I was, inquiring about Fikse wheels again, nearly two decades after my first set.
Thanks for bearing with me as I walked down nostalgia lane. Okay, back on topic: The next day, I heard from Brant Gladstone, the new CEO, who I bombarded with questions like an excited spaz. I’m sure he thought I was pulling his leg as to what finding his company again meant for me (but surely he believes me now). After a long couple of chats with him, it was “go-big-or-go-home” time, and so I pulled the trigger.