Starting with the last question about the spokes, it all depends on your budget, whether you have any desire to maintain originality and by extension, whether you intend to keep the wheel sizes standard and quite how far your patience extends. Given that you're going away from stock, the originality thing doesn't seem to be any kind of barrier, so it's down to the other three factors. As you're already finding, cleaning spokes is a thankless task and having tried any number of options myself in the past, I generally end up throwing in the towel and buying new; that goes double when replacements are easily available (I baulked at the cost of getting custom sets made for the SL350s, but still went that way in the end 'cos stainless . . . ). AFAIK, the factory finish was galvanised and not lacquered, so polish away if that's your thing.2. The next step, while there is some downtime, with the majority of the larger parts (Clutter) is to figure out what rims and laces to purchase. I would do the work to restore the original rims, but it seems that they are rusted and dented beyond possible repair. As for the laces, I have been sanding and polishing the originals but when looking at my bleeding fingers and the cheap price tag of new ones, I am just about ready to throw out the emery paper. I will continue to work on them if I can be assured that I am not removing a protective layer of clear coat. I am worried that once they are put to use, they will rust all over again. As far as rims go I have seen sets ranging in price from $120 - $$$$. 4into1.com has a set with laces by “Rising Sun” for $160 however, I have been reading other threads exclaiming that “Buchanon’s” makes/sells the best rims. I am sure that they make great products but I have to wake up to my high school budget reality. ------ Rims to buy, and are the original laces worth saving?