The original Rostyle wheel for Range Rovers and Land Rovers

The steel Rostyle wheel was the original OEM Range Rover wheel and its simple design compliments the clean lines of the car like no wheel has since.

The Rostyle wheel was manufactured by Ruben Owen (his initials were the ‘RO’ in Rostyle) for a range of British vehicles. It was first seen on the Rover P5B and found its way to MG Midgets, MGB’s and Ford Cortinas. The first Land Rover model with a Rostyle wheel was the preproduction Range Rover. Production Range Rovers (1970 onwards) had silver painted Rostyle wheels, but some preproduction models had Sahara Dust coloured wheels, depending on the colour of the bodywork

Range Rover #1 with Rostyle wheels in Sahara Dust – image by Silverstone Auctions

When the first Range Rover parts catalogue was published in 1970, the Rostyle was simply called ‘Road wheel 6K x 16’ and part number on introduction was 607021, later changed to 598690 and ANR4635 after that. It was the only OEM wheel available on the Range Rover until July 1981, when the four-door Range Rover and three-spoke ‘Vogue’ alloy wheel arrived.

MY1992 was the last chance to buy a Range Rover with Rostyle wheels, here in entry level four-door guise. The two-door model was only available in a few countries by then.

This silvergrey painted Vogue wheel was optional on the four-door model, but not available on the two-door Range Rover through Land Rover, although it did fit. The original Rostyle wheel was standard until MY1992 on entry level two- and four-door Range Rover models (200 tdi by then). After that the entry level Range Rover wheel was the Vogue model three-spoke.

Rostyle on Land Rover 90

Very early image of a Land Rover 90 with Rostyle wheels, in this case a MY1987 90 V8 County Station Wagon (CSW)

This was not the end for the Rostyle, as they would be available on Defender 90 models until 1995. For MY1986 Land Rover started fitting them to some 90 models. The Rostyle wheels fitted to the 90 (and later Defender 90) were painted Chawton white instead of the silver finish on Range Rover Rostyles. From MY87 on, the Rostyle was standard on the 90 County. Most non-County models were fitted with regular steel wheels, although period sales literature shows a regular 90 hard-top with Rostyles:

A Land Rover 90 hardtop non-County model with Rostyle wheels from a 1989 sales brochure

Defender 90 County models later changed to the five-spoke ‘Freestyle Choice’ alloy wheel, also available on Discovery 1 and Range Rover and the Rostyle was used on regular models. Rostyles were never an OEM fit for the Land Rover 110 or 127, since their payload was not adequate (and therefore unsafe) for these heavier vehicles.

1995 was the last year Rostyle wheels were offered, as seen on this Land Rover Defender 90 County hardtop

Still made in 2020
Once regarded as just old wheels, many original Rostyle wheels were scrapped. Some companies now make replicas which are a few inch wider to accomadate larger tyres. But nothing looks as good under a classic Range Rover as the original Rostyle, in correct silver, with modest 205R 16 tyres.

Ronald Janus
De Autoboerderij

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