Author: Tom Magnay, Photo: Allycat Wheels
In 1976 a British company called Allycat Wheels was set up, with the purpose in mind to supply the ever changing scene in the UK at the time.
It had been set up as a brand of the Two Gates Wheels company based in Telford, who were also known as Telcast. The company changed its name a few times, and the details are vague, but they were formed from a casting company from whom Allycat was born.
Allycat were well known, and still are, for a number of classic wheel designs, including the Rallye Special (pictured below), the Mamba, a Minilite style wheel and a Slot Mag wheel. Mini and Ford fitments were massive target audience for Allycat in the 70s and 80s. The cars were tuneable and their owners were crying out for alloy wheels to "soup" the cars up as it was known back then...
Soon the Ford rally boys took the Allycat wheels on, as they were relatively inexpensive, and better looking than the "bendy" steel wheels that they would otherwise be fitting on Fiesta and Escorts.
However throughout this time, we understand the company behind Allycat was in some financial strife, and the manufacturing dwindled and the company began to fade away.
The history of this part of the Allycat story is a little vague, and despite researching things as best I could before putting this piece together, there were't many people who could answer the questions we had.
Fast forward to 2021, and Allycat Wheels has for the last 12 months or so, had a new owner. The new owner is Sion Ellis and since buying the brand name has done some of his own digging but actually only really spoken to a few people who were there at the time.
I'll let Sion pick up the story from here:
Sion Ellis "The company went into liquidation in the mid 90's. From what we could see, they made some wheels for Marcos Sports Cars, and the wheels were all recalled, and we gather they were sued for this at the time. This was the era when the company was changing hands quite a bit. And after that it went to the receivers, and disappeared into thin air, gone!"
At this point the second hand market began to soar for Allycat wheels and their value went up, people couldn't get new ones so were buying and selling second hand Rally Specials (probably Allycats best known wheel).
Tom Magnay "we don't need to go into the intricacies of it too much, but an opportunity arose for you to buy the Allycat brand, and you are now in the latter throes of relaunching Allycat which you began doing mid last year. There are some very excited people out there who are thrilled to see Allycat back on the radar. You have already got a line of cool clothing - branded t-shirts and hoodies and other goods, which people have been lapping up. What are your plans moving forward?
SE So it's been quite a long process getting to where we are, just getting hold of the name, sorting all the official things our, we own the registered trademark for Allycat so now people are aware that we are back in the game. First just hoodies, t-shirts, keyrings and stuff. Then maybe we'll look at getting out, sponsoring stuff, some drivers and so on. It's still early days. We're still looking for ideas with what we can do with it, but in the meantime we've set up social media pages which have had interest all over the world, and the question we keep getting asked is 'when are we going to bring out a new wheel'.
TM "Is that something that you're likely to do?"
SE "We want to look at that. I've spoken to a few people who can help in that area, it is a costly process, so we might think about bringing out some of the original styles again, and try and get some modern fitments, that is again very costly, we'll look into it and price it up. We've also looked at creating a brand new wheel design, which we're weighing up this option as well. There are alot of options out there for the taking. But for the immediate future, we will just look at the merchandise and building the brand back up. For now, just give us a follow on social media, follow our progress and we'll keep everyone updated on the progress of everything.
You can check out the Allycat website here which features more info about the brand and the merchandise you can buy. Thanks to Sion for sitting down with me for a chat, we will certainly be monitoring the brand for future developments.
Allycat Wheels: @allycatwheels
Tom Magnay: @tommagnay01
Tal England: @talengland
BlendLine Apparel: @blend_line
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