With the first shipment of second-generation 15" RML Snowflakes just days away from hitting my LA warehouse, I thought it would be kind of cool to reflect and share what it was like when the very first sample 15" Snowflakes arrived back in 2010.

At that time 1552 was a full-service shop in Sarasota, Florida performing engine swaps, fabrication services, performance upgrades, and general maintenance. Making wheels certainly wasn't something we planned or even needed to do: I just really wanted to see a 15x8 VW GTI Snowflake wheel brought to market. After many larger wheel companies told me the concept was too niche for them to be interested, I started looking into having them made for me. How hard could it be to make a few cast wheels, right?

My good friends (and future 52 partners) Matt Crooke and Jason Sellers were both at the time involved in the wheel industry - Matt worked for a cast wheel retailer and Jason was producing his own forged wheel designs - so naturally I hit them both up with a whole bunch of questions. Turned out it actually was hard (and expensive!) to make cast wheels...but making questionable business decisions was something I had experience with so with help from my friends I moved forward with manufacturing 15x8 RML (even back then I had thing for all things retro-modern) Snowflakes.

After an almost endless amount of back-and-forth with the factory ("you need brake clearance details? X-factors? Load rating ranges?"), our first set of sample wheels arrived at our shop. Fortunately, at the time we had on hand a very tidy Mk2 GTI 8v and a clean BMW E30 325i to use for test-fitting. The E30 may seem a strange choice, but it's got a 4x100 PCD and we were dying to see how these VW wheels would look on it...

We were stoked to learn that the wheels bolted on to each car perfectly, and had sufficient brake clearance as well. Both cars had lowered suspensions and neither had any prior fender rolling. For the Mk2, this was especially important, as we chose the ET30 offset in the hope of providing the best combination of clearance and fitment aesthetics for that chassis. Mk1 chassis people would need to do some fender rolling to make the wheels work, but that was an easy fix and something the wheel aftermarket had already largely dictated for decades.

With the sample wheels approved, we moved forward with our first order of 15x8 RML Snowflakes, and later followed them up with 16x8 and 18x8.5 versions as well. The rest, as they say, is history.