As the Mizati Company Gets Bigger, so do Its Wheels

Posted on April 5, 2007.

Mizati Luxury Alloy Wheels, Inc. (OTC: MZTI - News), a distributor of high-quality luxury alloy wheels for passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, announced today that it will deliver more large size wheels (26"-30") to the market during 2007.

Recent trends have made custom wheels larger and tires lower profile. "Even five to ten years ago, most OEM wheels were 14-15-inches. Car enthusiasts have since embraced the progression towards much larger rims," stated Mizati's spokeswoman Grace Wang. The twenty-inch served as the gold- standard size in custom wheels for quite some time. As vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, and Chrysler have followed suit in offering standard wheels in sizes 16-18 inches, the custom wheel market has again raised the bar. 2006 reached a new milestone as the first ever 30-inch production wheels were sold to MTV's "Viva la Bam" star and professional skateboarder, Bam Margera.

Mizati currently markets many wheels in 22 and 24-inch sizes and even some in 26-inch. "The popularity of our 26-inch wheels last year gave us some great ideas for 2007," noted Wang. For more information about Mizati and its products, please visit the company website at

Alcoa Forged Specialty Wheels Announces New Dura-Bright(R) Surface Treatment for Aftermarket Truck and SUV Wheels

Posted on April 5, 2007.

Alcoa Forged Specialty Wheels, a Cleveland-based business unit of Alcoa Inc. , today unveiled Dura-Bright® technology, a revolutionary new wheel surface treatment available on aftermarket truck and SUV wheels that offers a premium appearance combined with unmatched ease of maintenance.

Alcoa's new Dura-Bright® technology is a patented wheel surface treatment that provides sophisticated style that is easy to maintain. It is not a coating or a finish, but a proprietary surface treatment that penetrates and reacts with the aluminum thus becoming an integral part of the wheel. The revolutionary process resists peeling, cracking and corrosion. Automotive News recently nominated Alcoa Dura-Bright® technology with a Finalist nomination in the prestigious 2007 PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers Contribution to Excellence) Award competition.

"We are proud to announce Dura-Bright® technology as an innovative new surface treatment option for our one-half ton truck and SUV aftermarket wheels," said Doug Dietrich, Vice President and General Manager Alcoa Wheel Products. "Dura-Bright® technology allows us to expand our product portfolio and offer an innovative new wheel surface treatment that addresses the appearance and ease of maintenance needs of our customers."

Truck and SUV fitments were selected for the initial launch of Dura-Bright® technology since they require extensive maintenance and many owners have requested new finish appearance and maintenance options. Alcoa has found that trucks and SUVs with large brake packages generate high amounts of brake dust along with dirt and road grime accumulated in daily driving. Dura-Bright® technology continually resists brake dust, dirt and road grime allowing drivers to maintain their vehicle's appearance with minimal maintenance - just with a little soap and water.

Launch fitments for Dura-Bright® technology include twenty-inch forged Alcoa Adventure Series wheels currently only offered in polished clear coat and chrome finish options. Dura-Bright® technology allows Alcoa to offer a new finish option with unique features not currently available to truck and SUV owners. Five and six-spoke design options are planned for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Lincoln, Nissan and Toyota fitments. Adventure Series wheels with Dura-Bright® technology will be available for purchase in second quarter 2007. Other styles and options will follow.

"Dura-Bright® technology allows Alcoa to offer a premium new platinum appearance with our wheels," said Brandon Stotsenburg, Director of Automotive Aftermarket, Alcoa Forged Specialty Wheels. "A unique appearance coupled with ease of maintenance is a combination that is not currently available in the aftermarket wheel category."

Each wheel is engraved with an icon to identify the wheel as being treated with Alcoa's new innovative surface treatment allowing consumers to identify the benefits of the product.

As with all Alcoa one-piece forged aluminum wheels, Dura-Bright® technology wheels are backed with a lifetime limited structural warranty. A three-year limited warranty is offered on the Dura-Bright® technology surface treatment. Visit or for more details.

A hobby on wheels

Posted on 4, 2007.

When a hobby becomes a love and a lifestyle, you know you’ve hit it big.

Jack and Angie Truckenbrod of West Brooklyn have spent their money, their vacations and 40 years of their marriage restoring and showing old cars.

It all began in 1966, when their oldest son, John, then 5, wanted to go to a Soap Box Derby in Compton.

While driving through town, the little boy, anxiously, had to use the bathroom. With no gas stations in sight, Angie took her little son into the alleyway. While she waited, she spotted an old car parked in a garage.

“I went and grabbed Jack and said he should come look at this old antique. And he said, ‘Oh, that’s a pile of junk,’” she said.

After some checking around, it turned out the old car was, in fact, very old. It was a 1911 Model T touring car, masked by steely blue paint and a large, dark blue American Legion emblem on its door. The car had been used for annual parades, but was not in use much anymore.

The couple bought the run down car for $700 in 1966 which, ironically, is the actual price when bought new in 1911.

“We really enjoyed that old car, and it just fell into our laps. We piled the kids in there and drove around ... and our old neighbors and their kids ... and they’d always come by and ride in it. We’ve had more people in that car,” Angie said smiling.

Amazingly, the couple said, at the time, they had no knowledge how to restore it and took advice from a former neighbor on where to begin. By 1969, the years of neglect and coats of paint had been worked away to reveal a true beauty of a car. Four decades later the brass still shines and the old engine runs smoothly.

In fact, Jack estimates they’ve traveled about 1,000 miles a year for 40 years, totaling 40,000 miles.

“We’ve had it in a lot of states. We went over the Rocky Mountains with it. We’ve had it in Florida, Canada and Deadwood, S.D., out at Mount Rushmore. Going over the Rocky Mountains it was in low gear the whole way, like two miles an hour,” Jack said laughing.

“Can you imagine going to town, going to church in that, on a snowy morning and no heater,” Angie said shaking her head. “The older it gets, the more valuable it becomes. More people are seeking them out, and they’re just not available, and we found it just four miles from here.”

In 1970, the couple added a second car to their prized collection — a 1929 Pierce Arrow, Model 133 Roadster, which arrived in just as bad a condition as the first.

“I could have cried when he brought that piece of junk home, it was so bad,” Angie said pointing at the car. “I said ‘you’ve spent our life savings on this?’ but it changed our lives and we’ve been around the world with it,’” she said.

The Pierce Arrow has been shown in several states, including Georgia, New Hampshire, Maryland and Florida. In 1991, it won the Bernard J. Weis trophy, the highest award from the Pierce Arrow Society.

The couple drove the car to Buffalo, N.Y., and drove it in the parade for the 100th anniversary of the Pierce Arrow car.

“The people were crying, and we were going really slow so I yelled ‘what’s the matter?’ and they said ‘my grandpa worked on those cars’. They were actually built in Buffalo, N.Y.,” she said.

The car was restored piece by piece. A man in Dixon restored the leather and the top, while a man from Rockford brought out the shine with a new coat of paint. The couple actually went so far as to drive to Indiana to get the proper headlamps, and to Colorado to get an actual Pierce Arrow engine.

“I’d like to trace the registration on this car because it came out of Tennessee, and it had to be somebody quite wealthy because it was $4,000 new,” she said.

A few years ago the couple purchased a new baby — a 1929, Model A Roadster convertible with a rumble seat in the back.

Today, they estimate they’ve been to 25 tours and 13 local shows with their cars through the years.

“We just kind of accidentally fell into this because we’re not rich people. It became a hobby and a lifestyle. We’ve had lots of fun and we’ve got lots of friends all over. We consider it an investment,” Angie said smiling.

Yokohama Tire to raise prices for commercial truck and bus tires

Posted on 4, 2007.
Long-running increases in raw material and transportation costs have caused Yokohama Tire Corporation to adjust prices of its commercial truck and bus tires effective May 1. "We have been doing our best to contain costs of raw material, manufacturing and transportation," said John Cooney, director of commercial sales for Yokohama. "Now an increase of up to five percent in the prices for truck and bus tires has become unavoidable and necessary to equalize the soaring costs." In-line adjustments, which will be announced at a later date, are additionally slated. Yokohama Tire is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd.

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