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Finally, some automotive "bling" I like

I've always had a bit of contempt for people who "pimp" their cars. (As well as for those who use the word "pimp" in anything but a derogatory manner, but that's a topic for another time.) I've mocked the big spoilers, the ground effects, the stupid paint tricks, the tires barely an inch thick, the lowering to within an inch of the ground (especially around here in Cow Hampshire, home of roughly 30% of the world's supply of potholes, frost heaves and speed bumps), tinted windows, and so on. My car is completely unadorned, generic, and completely unworthy of attention -- and I like it that way. I've had too many cars vandalized in the past to want to stick out in anyone's memory.

That being said, the other day I saw a set of rims on an SUV that impressed the hell out of me. It's rather hard to put into words, but I'll try.

The rims were apparently in two parts. The outer part of the rim and a second, larger set of spokes were not attached solidly to the actual "working" part of the rim, and were apparently on ball bearings. That meant that they turned independently of the wheel. I was sitting next to it at a red light, and I looked over and saw they were slowly rotating, as if the vehicle were moving. They kept that speed as the light turned green, proving a great distraction as I watched the SUV speed up without the wheels seeming to change speed at all.

That's the kind of "ornamentation" on a vehicle I can respect -- it's basically a rolling optical illusion. I would almost consider getting them for my car. That was one driver who put the full meaning of the word "trick" into tricking out his Explorer.


Update: OK, OK, I see I have yet again proven how terminally uncool I am. They've been around long enough to become a cliche', and I hadn't noticed them. I still like them, though, for the optical-illusion aspect. I don't think I'll get some myself, though. Their appeal is in watching them, and if they're on MY car, how the hell can I properly enjoy them? I can't see them from the drivers' seat...


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Comments (29)

They're called spinners and... (Below threshold)

They're called spinners and are all the rage with a certain crowd (speaking stereotypically of course). I don't think they come in rim (wheel ?) sizes less than 19" and I have seen TV shows (Spike TV, etc) with up to 24" wheels.

Apparently Wal-Mart is selling plastic hubcap versions that stick out a good bit beyond the tire, undoing any cool factor... Beware.

I remember when I first saw... (Below threshold)

I remember when I first saw them. I was, like, "what the...?"

Then I found out they are called "Sprewells." Yes, after Latrell Sprewell. No, he didn't invent them. But he gave them a huge kick-start. Which means either:
1. My (and your) taste is awful.
2. His (Sprewell) taste has improved.
3. Some things transcend personal taste.
4. The medication's still not out of my system.

I'm selecting "H": all of the above.

Funny. These things were go... (Below threshold)

Funny. These things were going on my list of Most Hated Trends of 2004.

Oh, crap. "Sprewells?" I ac... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Oh, crap. "Sprewells?" I actually LIKE something endorsed by that two-bit thug?

I'm gonna go for the "broken clock" option, basil. No one is perfect, and Sprewell being a punkish scumbag doesn't necessarily mean that whatever he likes is bad. It's a good indicator, but not foolproof.

And I bet he couldn't even PRONOUNCE "optical illusion" or "counterrotating" or "independent revolution."


Geez, that's too bad, Miche... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Geez, that's too bad, Michele. I was gonna send you a set...



<a href="http://www.hbo.com... (Below threshold)
First time I saw a set of t... (Below threshold)

First time I saw a set of those was when I was test-driving what was about to become my current truck. Guy selling the truck also saw them and said he'd seen those "spinners" going for thousands of dollars.

I just don't see the point. I can think of quite a few things I'd like to put on the truck to trick it out, but they would be things related to what a truck is for.

Independently rotating hubcaps? WHY?

It was kind of cool the fir... (Below threshold)

It was kind of cool the first time I saw one out here in California about a year and a half ago.

But when every other vehicle has them it kind of loses it's appeal.

I thought they were kinda n... (Below threshold)

I thought they were kinda neat when I first saw them a year or so ago. Within a few days, I was them in the auto parts store.

While there may be "thousand dollar" versions, these were chromed plastic and cost about $25.

Hey, if you get one of those neon light kits for the underbody, at least it's relatively expensive!

Oh, and that's $25 for the ... (Below threshold)

Oh, and that's $25 for the set of four.

They're ugly and pointless.... (Below threshold)

They're ugly and pointless. Maybe if people spent that money on oil changes or maintaining their cars instead of fussying them up, there wouldn't be the need for laws like Houston's "Move it or lose it" Law that takes effect 1/1/2005.

Oh dear god almighty. Not ... (Below threshold)

Oh dear god almighty. Not the friggin spinning pimp daddy rims.

Not only are they so old th... (Below threshold)

Not only are they so old that they're "uncool", they don't age well. Maybe it's the harsher weather and rougher roads here on the East Coast, but you see lots of stuck/slowly spinning/reverse spinning/missing Spinnerz now, sometimes all on one truck! Luckilly, we're also seeing fewer of them too.

I hope this isn't 'tarted u... (Below threshold)

I hope this isn't 'tarted up' too much.....



Any number of cruel retorts... (Below threshold)

Any number of cruel retorts come to mind, but it is practically still Christmas, so never mind. Although they would go nicely with OP corduroy shorts and a Member's Only jacket.

I first saw these things on... (Below threshold)

I first saw these things on a custom chopper. The last time I heard the term 'spinner' it referred to a replica of the knock-off racing wheel hub.


I doubt they would do anything for my rat truck, I must be gettin old.

Call me a redneck, but if w... (Below threshold)

Call me a redneck, but if we're talking about vehicle modifications I favor pickups with big lifts, big tires and exhausts so loud they'll knock your granny off her rocker.

But that's just me. I live in a red state, so what do you expect?

luckily I don't see these t... (Below threshold)
tee bee:

luckily I don't see these too often; I have the kind of migraines that react to patterns and light, and I nearly threw up after a wave of vertigo when I first saw one. other than that, it was cool.

I saw a story about these s... (Below threshold)

I saw a story about these somewhere (maybe the Boston Globe). One of the guys who invented these was working for Reebok as a designer and had drawn these up for a school project of some sort.

His friends saw it and they decided to make a prototype. They patented it, made a prototype and it took off from there. They're doing really well, and are working and living in Providence, RI.

Found it, <a href="http://w... (Below threshold)
It seems Spreewell wasn't f... (Below threshold)

It seems Spreewell wasn't first... he was the knockoff.

Jay,you crack me u... (Below threshold)


you crack me up and I'm telling the Wizbang world that I have never seen rims like you're talking about either. So if that's uncool, so be in. I bet if you took a toll of New England (who still doesn't have snow!) there would be a lot of uncool people with spinners. I've never even heard of them. So you are not alone there.

an Uncool Cindy

Tee Bee - I'm with you. The... (Below threshold)

Tee Bee - I'm with you. The car stopped like that would seem like it's moving and that alone would cause nausea and if I had to watch it, I would definitely toss my cookies, too.


Roscoe, Like the C... (Below threshold)


Like the Cobra ??

Don't like the oil leak evident under the right nerf bar...

Tom,Not an oil leak.... (Below threshold)

Not an oil leak.....water laying on the driveway. Took me 2.5 years to build.
Check the build site I set up at
Pic of me and the Cobra at Pocono International

Pure adrenaline,

Well since you admitted tha... (Below threshold)

Well since you admitted tha you were behind the 8 ball on what's hip I won't take any shots about the rims. Down in Sunny Florida these things are all over the place. Being older and very practical I can't see any use for these other than aesthetics unless it helps you get women. Then it's cool.

Unfortunately I see them on cars that probably cost less than the set of Rims. (Rap version of dueling banjos in the background)

haha RR haha... (Below threshold)

haha RR haha

Actually they're called dub... (Below threshold)

Actually they're called dubbs.

I read this topic. I think ... (Below threshold)

I read this topic. I think may be more optimistic opinion...






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