Why Do Some Sports Cars Have Spinning Rims?

Have you ever seen a car cruising down the street with rims that seem to float or even roll backwards as the tires roll forward? Or perhaps you’ve pulled up next to a car at a stoplight that had ceased moving, but its rims were still spinning. These accessories are called spinning rims and they are a popular car accessory because many car customizers think they look cool.

Who invented spinning rims?

Spinning rims began with just a spinning center hub. At this point they carried the brand name “Tru-Spinners.” These prototypes were invented and built by J.D. Gragg in the 1980s and 1990s.

Promo photo of Dub's swyrl spinning rim
Swyrl spinning rims | Dub

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According to LiftaBrand.com, J.D. Gragg built wire rims with a spinning center hub so a logo or design on the hub appeared to float. He built a small number of these and sold them to customizers building high-end concept cars.

Several other companies began experimenting with similar designs. This is when the full-width spinning rim was invented. Throughout the 1990s, spinning rims were still a rare accessory to encounter on a custom.

When were spinning rims popular?

In his 2001 episode of MTV’s “Cribs” NBA star Latrell Sprewell showed off his custom car with spinning rims. The custom car world was intrigued, and spinning rims exploded in popularity.

Joker spinning rims | Dub

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Even though the main brand of spinning rim was “Davin Wheels” at this point, people did not call them Davins. Because of the MTV debut, most people called the spinners “Sprewells.”

Both lowered custom cars and donk-style custom car s enjoyed much popularity through the early 2000s. Many of their customizers chose spinning rims, and so the popularity of spinning rims increased.

Are spinning rims still popular?

Today, spinning rims are not as popular as they were in the early 2000s. But some customizers still choose to install them. The good news is that many more companies are building spinner rims now. You may even find a set of (plastic) spinner hubcaps at Walmart.

Supreme Supreme spinning rims | Dub

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While both low-rider and donk-style custom cars were cutting edge at one point, they are now becoming a classic style of modified car. As these styles of modification become more niche, so too do the accessories that are connected to them–such as spinning rims.

Curious about these customs? Find out what is a donk or see spinning rims in action in the video below:

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