I am hardly an off-road enthusiast. Certainly not on the order of a Collins or a Tracy, so I’ll usually defer to them. But I am a wheel enthusiast, and when I see a rare and weird set of wheels, it just gets my blood pumping. I haven’t done an Vintage Aftermarket Wheel Of The Week post in a very long time, but that’s how I cut my teeth on this very website a handful of years ago.
So why pick up that old thread and run with it? Why now? Well, I just found a listing for a brand new set of Weds Adventure King Of Mad wheels, and I absolutely had to share it with you all.
The Weds brand started off as Nippo, Ltd. producing wheels under contract for Nissan in the mid-1960s. Nippo offered a line of aftermarket wheels called Elster in 1969, and was later renamed WEDS in 1973. WEDS stands for World Elster Distribution System. In the mid-70s it started developing its own three-piece wheels for motorsport use, and is now quite famous throughout Japan as a supplier to various racing teams up to Super GT.
Japan was producing some pretty serious off-roading equipment in the 70s and 80s. World class machines like the Toyota Land Cruiser, Nissan Patrol, and Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero were beginning to catch on throughout the world as standard road going vehicles. If you wanted to modify them, you could throw on a flashy set of off-road wheels with chunky tires and go almost anywhere.
This gorgeous five-spoke machined face wheel from WEDS is known as the Adventure King Of Mad. I have no idea why they were named that, but it’s such a weird esoteric name for a wheel that it’s part of the reason I love them. The other reason I love them is the purely JDM style of representing each spoke of the wheel as a different mountain from each continent. In fact, WEDS thought so highly of the King Of Mad that it put the tallest mountain from each continent (or the main ones anyway, sorry Australia) on each spoke.
I just love that. The spokes read as follows:
EVEREST: King of Eurasia
ACONCAGUA: King of S. America
KILMANJARO: King of Africa
VINSON: King of Antarctica
MCKINLEY: King of N. America
How freakin’ cool is that? I almost want to buy these beautiful wheels just to hang on my wall. They’re so cool.