Ever see a donk stopped at a stoplight, only to marvel at how its wheels are still spinning somehow? Spinning wheels, also known as “spinning rims,” are a highly popular alternative to the usual static donk wheels. As their namesake shows, spinning wheels feature an independent cover and heavy-duty roller bearings that allow it to rotate even while the vehicle is stopped.


The history of spinning wheels is just as fascinating as the wheels themselves. The following shows how spinning wheels evolved from their spinner cap predecessors to the bold and beautiful creations commonly seen today.


From Spinner Caps to Spinning Wheels


Before there were spinning wheels, spinner caps were the eye-catching automotive novelty of their day. While older “knock-off” spinner wheels were fixed in place, later wheels featured floating hubs that allowed logos and images to remain right-side up as the wheel spun around.


The modern spinning wheel was developed during the late 1980s by inventor and entrepreneur J.D. Gragg, who would go on to receive the first U.S. patent for spinning wheels by the early 1990s. Gragg’s “Tru-Spinners” spinning wheels were initially produced in very small quantities for custom and concept cars. However, other wheel manufacturers would eventually copy and capitalize on Gragg’s designs.


“Sprewell Spinners” and the Start of a New Trend


Although spinning wheels grew in popularity, it wasn’t until they were showcased by NBA player Latrell Sprewell on a fateful early 2001 episode of MTV’s “Cribs” that the unique wheel design really took off. Despite being marketed through Davin Wheels at the time, those flashy spinners were known afterwards as “Sprewell spinners” or “Sprewells,” for short.


Sprewell’s promotion of spinning wheels sparked a trend among donk owners throughout the 2000s. If you had a clean donk, then you had to have a clean set of spinners to match. Despite the trend slowing down towards the 2010s, these wheels remain popular with donk owners in search of that special something that sets their rides apart from the rest of the pack.


Whether you have modest 22-inch spinners or a clean set of 32-inchers, we have custom lift kits that can easily accommodate your ride. For more information, simply contact us at (877) 995-4382 or give us a shout through our online contact form.