Lee’s 996 Carrera diary: Outlaw 001s fitted to the C4 in a world first

Wheels. They make or break the entire look of a car, don’t they. Fortunately, Porsche has provided us with a glittering array of beautiful wheel designs sitting beneath its 911 sports cars for decades now. My favourites all hail from the 997 generation (‘RS Spyder’ centre-locks, ‘Lobster Claws’ and ‘Carrera Sports’) but undoubtedly the most iconic of all time is the famous Fuchsfelge.

As a result, many aftermarket replicas have been made to varying degrees of quality, and even Porsche itself has had a go at modern evocations: the wheels fitted to the 50-Jahre Anniversary car are an obvious case in point, but look closely on the centre-locking wheels on the 991.1 GT3, RS and R and you’ll notice remnants of that renowned five leaf design. Many have tried and failed then, but nobody has arguably come up with a more refreshing twist to the iconic Fuchs wheel design than Fifteen52 with its stunning Outlaw 001.

The product of a collaboration between Fifteen52 and friend of Total 911, Magnus Walker, is a new twist to a familiar wheel design for Porsche aficionados. Made in Los Angeles from forged 6061 aluminium, the Outlaw 001 is available in two-piece and three-piece form in anything from 15-22-inch diameter and, as the three-piece wheels are custom built to order, the world is your oyster in terms of offsets.

I first read the information I’ve just relayed to you just over a year ago, when the two-piece wheels were launched. The concept – and visuals – excited me greatly, and I had more than a pressing inkling the wheel would look great on a 996: the design held great appeal in that it provided a subtle nod to the famous Fuchs, presented in a modern way that would suit the soft lines of the 996 Carrera. Curious, I photoshopped a set on to my own car, and was chuffed to find, objectively speaking, they looked great.

While it wasn’t long before I began seeing sets of Outlaw 001s appearing on various air-cooled Neunelfers on the internet, water-cooled cars were conspicuous by their absence (some 997s had opted for the monoblock 001s, finding favour with its sharper design). So, was it even possible to order a set of Outlaw 001s for my 996?

I spoke with Fifteen52 co-founders, Matt and Mark, and got my answer. None had yet been made to fit a 996, however they were enthusiastic about exploring the possibilities. We began talking offsets and sizes, and I ended up changing from my factory-spec BBS wheels of 8×18-inch ET50 (front) and 10×18-inch ET65 (rear) to 8.5×18-inch ET35 (front) and 9.5×18-inch ET30 (rears), as I preferred the stance this setup would offer. I also opted for a matte black face with matte silver spokes to best evoke the Fuchsfelge homage, with 6061 billet alloy centre caps to complete the look of my three-piece Outlaw 001s.

Around six weeks later, four boxes from Los Angeles arrived at my Bournemouth office, and inside were the first Outlaw 001s in the world to be fitted to a Porsche 996. Removing the wheels from their packaging, I was suitably impressed by what I saw and touched. The finish on the wheels is superb, the sort any established European manufacturer would be proud of. The three-piece wheels are naturally heavier to pick up than my factory BBS wheels, so those with a hankering for motorsports in their 911 should consider the monoblocks instead, but I bought my wheels to look good – and boy do they! I had the Outlaw 001s wrapped in Falken FK453 tyres (more on those next issue) and slotted the wheels straight on to the hubs using factory bolts. Perfect.

As you can see, the result speaks for itself. The fitment of the wheels is exquisite, their design suiting the 996 as impeccably as I’d imagined. I now revel in the fact I’m rocking something different that still provides a subtle nod to the car’s lineage. I’ve since decided it’s time to sell my 996 C4, but I’ll be keeping the wheels for my next Neunelfer project. For further details on the wheels and to create your spec, visit 52outlaw.com.

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