I am willing to bet that at one point you have had a vehicle with Cragars on it. Almost anyone that has been into hot rodding, drag racing, and customizing vehicles has owned a set. Over the last 55 years, Cragar has established quite a reputation for themselves in the automotive world. They are known for high-quality performance as well as its aesthetically pleasing custom appearance.
Customizing vehicles started to grow in popularity in the ’60s. One of the quickest and easiest things to customize was wheels. Roy Richter, the owner of Cragar Industries, capitalized on this. He promised to develop a wheel that would be superior in both style and strength. His mission was to produce a wheel that lived up to the Cragar reputation of premium quality and that was also able to perform on a racing level. Richter spent almost two years designing, developing, and testing these performance wheels before he announced the S/S wheel in 1964. This wheel quickly became synonymous with the name Cragar.
Breaking into the Racing World
By the end of 1965, only one year into the wheel game, The Cragar S/S wheel was an established name in the drag racing world. Then after winning the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Cragar also became a leader in customer wheel sales. Demand for the S/S wheel skyrocketed and it quickly became sought after by every major wholesaler and retailer nationwide.
Things just kept looking up for the team at Cragar. Those S/S wheels were on the Dodge Challenger RT pace car at the “1970 California 500” at the Ontario Motor Speedway. Not only that but many well-known drag racers started using them. They could be found on the vehicles of Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme.
Another milestone happened in 1970 when Gary Gabelich amazed the world by reaching speeds of 622.4 mph in his rocket-powered vehicle, Blue Flame. He did this with the aid of a set of custom made high-speed aluminum wheels by Cragar. This took place at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah- a huge event that was filled with racing enthusiasts as well as world-famous vehicles. Thanks to Gary Gabelich and his 13-year winning streak; Cragar now had bragging rights to being the “World’s Fastest Wheel”.
Modern Day Cragar
Cragar is still staying relevant today. Known for their traditional style as well as performance and quality they are updating their design for the cars of today. They offer a style of wheels for the newer modern muscle cars. Thus giving your newer car that same old vintage look and feel. This traditionally modern design has been a favorite among enthusiasts.
Cragar wheels are built around a passion for everything automotive. The name alone carries are a great amount of personality and prestige. 55 years ago this brand introduced a new way of designing and manufacturing wheels and today their legacy of wheels “Built for Real American Muscle” lives on.