One of the most widely held and stubborn of national stereotypes is that the Germans simply don’t have a sense of humour, something we’re now able to disprove once and for all through the Ronal (one of Germany’s most beloved wheel makers) alloy range. The proof in question? Well, it’s the Ronal URS of course, a wheel better known by its somewhat inevitable nickname, the Ronal teddy bear. Ronal is now able to offer the wheel in a new, 14in size and in a choice of colours, making it well worth considering if you want a break from the lines of more conventional, ‘po-faced’ offerings. As the wheel is now being ‘run out’ this is your last chance to get a new set!

Now in its 26th year of continuous sale, the Ronal teddy was nothing short of a revelation when launched back in 1991. It came about thanks to company founder Karl-Wirth’s willingness to listen to left field ideas, not forgetting the initial suggestion by board member Ms S.Z, at that time known throughout the company as ‘Bear Mother.’ One of her ear rings became the template for the iconic wheel we know today, though only once it’d been blown up to a full 13in and painstakingly hand-formed in clay – it was over quarter of a century ago, remember.

What was initially conceived as a bit of light relief swiftly took on a life of its own, so much so that it rather took Ronal by surprise! The first wheels were shown to Ford staff in 1991 and were well received by all, as was its URS designation, a nod to the Russian word for bear and also Ursa Major, one of the most spectacular constellations in the sky – The Great Bear. Of course a wheel shaped like a teddy bear isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but it is amazing how many serious, dyed in the wool tuners and track day veterans have embraced it over the decades since.

Performance and construction aside, the Ronal URS is hard not to love; it’s dominated by its teddy design, with its six ‘spokes’ being formed by the bear’s ears, arms and feat, plus delicate black detailing to pick out features like eyes, ears, nose, mouth and paws. There’s even a lockable centre-cap to cover the fixing mechanism, completing the look and protecting the bolts/studs from damage from salt, grime and other commonly encountered road contaminants.

Now available in a handy 14in diameter, the Ronal URS can be ordered in a choice of colours: Crystal Silver or White. While these are both superb shades chosen to accentuate the teddy’s features, the nature of the URS means that there will no doubt be many individuals who choose to apply their own colours and designs, and we’ve seen everything from Winnie the Pooh to giant pandas represented in Ronal form over the years

The completely unique Ronal URS’ Teddy’ is available via the Ronal website. It’s the perfect way of transforming the look of your car in time for the summer show season and beyond, and there’s no better means of displaying your sense of humour!

Ronal URS– 7×14in: £144 per wheel

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