My boyfriend just spent what I consider a small fortune on a set of fancy wheels for his car. He had perfectly nice ones on there already! I mean, cars just need to roll, right? Imagine what he could be doing with that cash. If it were me, I’d at least do a little shopping! Help this girl understand the fascination, Bree, because right now, I’m just not getting it.
Frustrated in Ft. Lauderdale
I understand your confusion. Once upon a time, this ginger didn’t get it either. Then, I sat down one day with a fan of fancy wheels, as you call them, and he helped me understand by language that made sense to me—shoes. The conversation went something like this:
Bree: I don’t get it. Why would anyone pay for special wheels when their car clearly came with perfectly acceptable ones?
Friend: Think of them as shoes for your car.
Bree: What?! How many pairs of shoes does one car need? I mean really, the shoes on it right now get the job done, right?
Friend: How many pairs of shoes do you need? Your Nikes probably get the job done too, but I bet you wouldn’t want to wear them out to dinner. It’s the same thing.
It was my light bulb moment. I mean, how many guys do you know who like to shop? How many of them really care about their clothes or shoes? Custom wheels (and tires, too!) might just be a form of personal expression (personalizing his ride) the same way shoes are for some women (or purses or clothes or earrings—you get the point). Instead of going out for a new pair of heels, some people (mostly men, but custom wheels are rising in popularity among all groups of people, women included) want to dress up their car. They want to make their car look different from all of the other cars on the street, they want to be unique. You can understand that, right?
Recently, SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) published an article on this very subject—the rise of custom wheels and performance tires. Kelly Austin, chairman of SEMA’s Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) and Vice President of MKW Alloy Inc. had this to say: “During my tenure in the wheel business, I’ve seen wheels go from a niche mostly for extreme performance markets all the way to where it is now. Currently, custom wheels are almost as popular as iPods or cell phones. It’s transcended to people we would not normally consider as enthusiasts. House moms, nannies and grandparents are all cruising the town on custom wheels to look cool.” So, you see, Frustrated, it’s not just your boyfriend; apparently, LOTS of people like to customize their cars—and they have a lot of choices available. There are at least five specifications (wheel diameter, bolt circle (pattern), rim width, backspacing and offset), as well as, types, materials and colors to choose from. At RNR, we consider ourselves something akin to the DSW of custom wheels and performance tires. We’ve got more choices than you can shake a stick at! We think your boyfriend would be really happy here.
If you want to see what all the hype is really about, come see us at RNR Custom Wheels and Tire Express, and we’ll walk you through some choices for your car. Once you see how custom wheels can change the look of your car, you might just be a believer!