It seems all things luxurious originate in Italy. It is the home of some of the world’s finest fashion houses, like Gucci and Prada; two of the world’s most exotic car companies, such as Ferrari and Lamborghini; and now the finest in two- and three-piece wheels, Forgiato.
Owned by Norman and AC Celik, Forgiato (“forged” in Italian) is based in Arleta, California and manufactures the finest wheels for high-performance vehicles, such as Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, Porshe and BMW. Alone, these cars already turn heads, but with some Forgiato wheels thrown on, they elicit coveting stares. Utilizing their Italian interests, the brothers have designers in Italy create the look of each wheel, which is why each wheel has an Italian name.
If wheels are like jewelry to a car, then Norman and AC, are experts given they first started out in the jewelry business before entering the wheel industry seven years ago. “We took techniques from the jewelry business and have been able to create styles and finishes that have never been seen before in the wheel industry,” AC says.
Currently, Forgiato is using a lot of finishing techniques one would usually find in jewelry, such as using more contrasts. “We were the first ones to paint the face of the wheel silver and the sides black,” AC says. “It creates a black shadow and makes the center jump out. Now, you will see a lot of other companies using the same technique.”
Realizing the jewelry business was a bit too dangerous, the Celik brothers decided automobiles were safer and started out by owning five dealerships. “We always put wheels on our used vehicles, and when we couldn’t get the quality of wheels we wanted, we decided to start our own wheel business,” Norman says.
Having been in the wheel industry for the past seven years, the Celik brothers started Forgiato to create high-quality, American-made wheels. “There are very few American companies that actually make their products, especially in the wheel industry,” AC comments. “Everyone else imports their stuff from Asia, but we use the aerospace industry for the parts we need.”
By relying on the latest technology and advancements in aluminum forging, Forgiato defines their luxury status by using the highest grade of aluminum—6061-T6 (the “6061” referring to the aerospace-grade aluminum often found in jets and advanced aeronautical and weapons systems, and the “T6” referring to the level of hardness). As a result, Forgiato’s wheels offer more strength with less weight, which makes for a better ride, Norman says.
Not only are Forgiato wheels built with quality materials, they also have a high standard for quality control. If a wheel isn’t perfect, Forgiato won’t let it leave its premises. “We’re crazy about quality control,” AC says. “We have no problem calling up a customer and having them wait an extra three weeks so that we can make their wheels perfect. We’d rather lose a sale than send out something that doesn’t meet our quality standards.”