Project Toyota Supra MKIV: Part 19 – FIKSE Wheels is back!
Our Project Supra is now rolling on its last set of wheels: period-correct FIKSE Profil-5

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.

Upon finding FIKSE again, it was pretty cool to jump on its Instagram for the first time, only to see a post from 2019 that showcased a picture taken of my actual wheel for the EC article some 19 years earlier! Even more interesting, was the fact that—just one week prior—there was someone on there asking who the original owner of those wheels was, because they wanted more info on them. Imagine my surprise. It’s like I was meant to find this company again.
Since I mentioned it above, here is one of the last pictures I have of the old turbocharged 95 “Vader” M3 that I enjoyed from 2000-2007. Those FIKSE Mach-V wheels really did it for me (and still do). While the Mach-V FIKSEs gave that M3 a subtle, yet very menacing look, the car was far from “all show and no go”. After starting its boosted life in 2001 with one of AA’s Stage 2.5 turbo kits (which used a 60-1/20G hybrid turbo), it took overall wins at the inaugural Eurotunerfest and Hotckis Media Challenge in ’02 and ’03, respectively. It was also the first street BMW tuned with an AEM EMS (so it had to be hardwired). It left my hands in 2007 as seen here, with a built 3.2-liter boosted by a custom Speed Force Racing top-mount T66, giving me 550whp of pure joy. With 255-mm street tires in the back, this thing was silly!

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.

6 comments

  1. Wow! What a great story and throw back. I remember that black e36 so well and often site it as being the perfect turbo setup at the time for the M3.

    1. Can’t thank you enough for your feedback. With stories like this one tends to wonder if it’s too much for the general audience. I knew for the some of the younger crowd it was going to be, but it meant enough to me that–in hopes of it being for a few others who understand–that I wanted to relive it all, and try to sincerely portray in these pages what I was feeling. And the start of the just-announced GTR R33 project will be very nostalgic for me as well. That should be up any day (already completed the first 3 parts). I’ve really enjoyed these past few weeks of writing, also having not done so in a few years. Thanks Andre!

  2. I like it when wheels serve a purpose other than looking cool.
    Heartwarming to read about the history of FIKSE as I´m also employed in the automotive aftermarket.

  3. Man that is SUCH a throwback! I remember having all those EE and CC magazines. Maybe still have some at my parents house. The first time I saw Fikse wheels was on an FD RX7 built by a renown RX7 tunner, maybe Pettit? They were polished FM5s on a yellow car…gorgeous! I ended up being between Fikses or Kinesis wheels for my ride back them but ended up going with Kinesis K10s.
    Had a bit of a run in with AA back in the day too. I applied for an internship there in college but ended up down the road a ways at Mosler Engineering building the molds/parts for the first MT900s.
    This article definitively brought back a whole lot of memories!

    1. haha, yes! I remember Kinesis, too. It was the Kinesis/Fikse/HRE/Forgeline battle, it seemed. So get this, AA had a customer that needed to get rid of his K20s. Had them for sale, and no one bought them. In his impatience, he asked AA to find someone to straight-up trade them for E36 M3 contour ***stockers***, because he wanted to go back to stock. They called me and I jumped in that car so fast lol. So that’s how I ended up with my Kinesis K20s (on my first Estoril blue M3). They were impeccable, too. Yes, that’ll never happen again. And yes the Moslers (Raptor was it?). That was hot stuff. There’s one I see here in KC a couple times a year.

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