Instead of Changing Things on My Car, Maybe I Should Try Changing My Attitude

On the way home from work today, I saw a red Mazda Miata with big tires and black wheels on all four corners, and my knee jerk reaction was, “That  looks just terrible.  No shiny metal at all, no white letter tires, just four black blobs.  I can’t imagine how anyone would think that it looked good.”  Regardless of what I might think, it seems like the black wheel fad is going to be around for awhile, especially with trucks.


I don’t get the black wheel thing.  Never have, but people have been painting aftermarket truck wheels, (what we always referred to as “white spokes”) black, for years.  The manufacturers have been offering them in black, almost as long as they have been making them.


Is it just me?  I always felt that any custom wheel should have a white, or unpainted metal finish.  This is my reasoning.  The cheapest stock steel wheel you can get is black rim with a solid disc.  Most custom aftermarket wheels have some type of holes in them.  When on a car or truck, these holes usually appear as black spots, due to a lack of light behind them.  The black holes and the white or metal colored wheel contrast nicely.  If the wheel itself is black, everything appears to be black, the wheel, the holes, the tires (In this age of no white letter tires. Whatever happened to them?  I always liked white letter tires.), everything.


When I was young, the first thing you did to a car was put on a set of shiny wheels.  If you had a truck, you could also put on a set of white spokes.  The only thing that might prevent you from doing it was a lack of funds.   Nothing looked worse than black wheels.


Honestly, what's the difference?
Why spend good money on a set of these,
when you can probably score a set of the
ones in the left picture for free?












When I was sixteen, I bought a ‘66 Chevy 4x4.  I couldn’t afford a set of mags for it, but I did come across a set of extra wide steelies.  I painted them white, and the lug nuts and wheel hubs, black.  I was tempted to paint a circle of eight black triangles on each wheel, to simulate white spokes, but I was afraid that it might look stupid.  Where I came from, people really frowned upon fake stuff.   I always wondered what it would have looked like.  I bet that from a short distance, my wheels would have looked like white spoke mags. Maybe someday, I’ll take an old wheel, and give it a try.  


If everything inside of your wheel wells is black, why spend $2000 on a set of custom wheels?  Why not just get the cheapest black OEM type steel wheels you can find?  I know that I’m probably showing my age here, but what’s wrong with bright wheels?  Aren’t the tires, the holes and the dark areas between the tire and the body of the vehicle enough black to go around for everyone?  Apparently not.


Maybe, I am wrong about all this.  Maybe I should embrace the black wheel trend.  It’s got its advantages.  The first is obvious.  You can save a lot of money on wheels.  Just get some black stockers out of the junk yard.  Secondly, if you do spend money on black custom wheels, after they start to look weathered, you can just paint them black again.  Third, you don’t have to waste a lot of time polishing them, and finally, they can get  them all covered with grease and brake dust and who’s gonna notice?


What I’m saying here is that maybe I shouldn’t so often, be stuck in a rut of a never changing my opinions.  Maybe I should more readily accept new trends.  It would certainly work to my advantage.  The more things a person likes, the happier they’ll be.


It’s not just with wheels either, maybe I should open my mind to other things.  There was a time when I shunned all four doors.  A long time ago, my neighbor bought a ‘57 Chevy.  At first I was all excited.  Then, I noticed it was a four door, and I immediately lost interest.  I even gave him a hard time about it being a four door.  I didn’t even say, “Hey, nice car!”  Boy, was I a dick!


Since the late ‘80’s and the proliferation of new four door cars, four doors are starting not to look so bad.  A four door ‘57 Chevy, in good shape, with a set of mags, looks pretty good.  

Ya know, that doesn't look too bad!



There’s a guy running around my town with a ‘67 four door Chevelle.  The body is far from perfect, but the flat black paint job hides the rust.  He’s got homemade stainless steel side pipes on it, and a set of Centerlines with extra wide tires.  Other than that, this guy’s put all of his money into the motor and suspension.  It’s got a big block with a gear drive cam.  You can just tell that car is a potent street machine, when it drives by.  It just looks plain mean.


Last night, I went to Taco Bell and saw an ‘80’s Malibu four door.  Nice body, big tube duals, and wide, black steel wheels with chrome lug nuts.  For some reason, it looked good to me.  Maybe, I’m comin’ around.


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