A Celebration of SteelWritten by Alan Lowe on 31 Jul 14:34
Sun, steel, and some seriously savage rides. At Weller, we know how to throw one hell of an awesome birthday party… For those of you that missed out, what the f*ck were you doing?! Luckily for you, here's a chat with our Managing Director Alan to give you the lowdown on all of the stand-out moments from the weekend...
A weekend to remember
After weeks of awful weather, summer finally decided to kick itself into gear just in time for our 50th birthday event which was held in collaboration with Caffeine and Machine.
The weekend was a celebration of steel which saw some awesome displays of motoring excellence and an epic turnout of cars; “there was a black Studebaker pickup which was one of the most epic cars to turn up over the weekend, that was stunning. There was a Lincoln Continental as well - Those were two cars we weren’t expecting to turn up.”
“We also had a Buick, a very bright green Buick turn up. So there was a lot of foreign cars as well as UK cars there. A lot of American stuff which was great. It was really great to see some different cars turn up.”
For this event, we wanted to give our customers a chance to directly interact with the brand and see our steelies up close and personal exactly how God intended them - on some absolutely savage vehicles!
50 years never looked so good
After relaunching our brand three years ago, we wanted to use our birthday as a chance to get to know our customer base, from those who maybe hadn’t interacted directly with our wheels before to people that have been avid fans of Weller since the begining; “If you look to some of the people that came along to Caffeine and Machine they were our original customers who knew the wheels back from the sports, the Minis and Capris of the like back in the day. What we’re finding now is a new customer base that knows we’ve got a heritage of 50 years, but doesn’t know Weller from their youth and they’re actually coming to us because we’ve got cooler products on the market.”
What made our event great was the sense of pride surrounding British steel wheels and the strong enthusiasm for all things Weller; “What you find with a lot of these events is that you go along and see some of the flashiest cars in the world turn up and they’re allowed to then go into the front paddock, whereas this was a bit different because it was a celebration of steel, so we had all sorts of cars. An eclectic mix from Mercedes to Buicks to all sorts of things in the front paddock.”
“The idea was to just celebrate steel wheels through the years. We met with a huge amount of our customers that currently run on our wheels and also new customers that are looking to purchase wheels moving forward for their VW T5 / T4 fixes etc”
Maintaining a built-not-bought ethos
We also decided to use this event as an opportunity to launch some epic new products, including our new 17” Swamper wheels for the T5 and T6, as well as our new 20” steel which will be the first load-rated 20” steel for the vans in the UK.
“The initial feedback was fantastic actually from people. They love the Beadlock, they love the strength of it, they love the look of it, it’s very different from anything else on the market and the alloys that are out there which aren’t as strong. And the 20” went down an absolute storm, people love it. So it’s something new to the market, it’s a big launch for us this year and the initial feedback has been very good and we have pre-orders in already obviously!”
Stand out moments from the weekend? There are too many to pick, but if we had to choose; “The trophies that we did for people for best in show, some of the guys were really shocked that they actually won. But I think that’s where it’s a ‘built not bought’ ethos behind steel wheels. So a lot of people have cars that they’ve built rather than these sort of “Mclaren” that if you’ve got the money you can just go out and buy. So for people to win prizes where they wouldn’t normally, I think that was probably the biggest stand out moment for me from the weekend.”