20 People Who Tried Upgrading Their Car Rims, But Failed

When you get a new car, sometimes, you feel like you want to make your own mark on it. Rather than having the same make and model as everyone else and looking the same, you want to stand out. You can do this by adding decals, getting a custom paint job, or–like these car owners–getting new mags.

The aim of your mag wheels is to improve the appearance of your ride. You want to make it more impressive and create an overall look that really stands out. When people see your car, you want them to gasp in awe. You want them to want your car.

The problems begin when you go a little too far with your customizations. Your paint job can end up looking cheap. Your decals can err on the side of weird, rather than cool. And, as we’re about to see, your wheels can end up cheapening the look of the whole car.

Instead of gasping in awe, people are gasping in disgust. Instead of wanting to own your car, they're wishing they never saw it in the first place. They’re wondering who on Earth would ever want a car like that. That's when you know that you’ve gone too far.

The people on this list didn’t heed the warning signs. Here are 20 rims that are so ugly, we’d want our money back.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

20 The Waffle Pattern

Via Pinterest

When you look at a car, you don’t generally want to be reminded of a breakfast food. And yet, these rims really do put us in mind of the lowly waffle. The pattern across the middle square is bad enough, but then it gets repeated across the sides as well. It looks like one small metal waffle lying across the top of two larger, rectangular waffles. It’s not like the car itself is in the best of shape, so these wheels do nothing at all to improve it. In fact, if anything, they look like they need a good wash—the kind of wash that can take away decades of neglect. The worst part is they were actually built on the Cavalier Z24, not added as aftermarket.

19 The Superhero Slash

Via Jalopnik

This Tesla belongs to Google co-founder Sergey Brin. It's also awful. In fact, the whole makeover was done as a prank, so it’s not very surprising that it's one of the worst things we've ever seen. We wouldn’t want to be a grown man driving around in that. Or a grown woman, for what it’s worth. Or anybody, really.

The rims here really are the icing on the cake. They look ridiculous.

The only people who don’t think Envy Monoliths look ridiculous are idiots with far too much money to spend on ruining cars that should be beautiful. If you have them on your car or are thinking about getting them, then yes, that’s you. No wheel should look like it's waiting for a giant screwdriver.

18 The Dollar, Dollar Bill, Y’all

Via Jalopnik

This is just atrocious. These rims are so cheap, and you can feel it even when you look at them. Look at that awful shine. That’s not silver. That’s not even chrome. The only attractive thing about these wheels is the hope that the yellow car reflected in them might be a nice model. Look at how cheap they look!

You’re not impressing anyone with these wheels. If anything, all you’re doing is showing how little money you have and how bad you are at spending it.

There are so many things you can do to a car instead of buying these, including just saving up for a better car. Come on, now. No cartoon Benjamins. That’s not what belongs on your car—not now, not ever.

17 The Spiked Chariot

Via Vintage Mustang

This car looks like it's auditioning to be in the next Gladiator movie for the chariot scene—that or wacky racers. And when we look at it, somehow the music of Limp Bizkit comes, unasked for, to our ears. If you drive this car, you probably think that wearing a cap backward on your head is cool. It’s not cool. And guess what? These elbows aren't in any way cool–just idiotic–and also pretty dangerous when you’re driving in a city with tight lanes. If you have a car which could also be considered to be a weapon, you might want to consider whether you’re actually a crazy movie villain with poor decision-making skills and who's about to be wiped out in a street race with our irrepressible hero.

16 The Fool’s Gold

Via Pinterest

This poor little Porsche 914 never stood a chance. These wheels are so unfortunate, it kind of hurts a little just to look at them. Look at that sad little thing, parked outside of a tiny little house, the owner obviously unable to buy a car that was made in the modern era. Instead of doing something sensible, like getting a better job, he sticks with the first car he bought and pretends he actually made a choice to get something cool and vintage. There must be a way to upgrade this, he thinks. So, he gets a can of paint from the dollar store and coats the wheels in a cheap layer of “gold.” No, it’s not convincing, and no, it doesn’t make the car look like it’s worth more.

15 The Golden Donk

Via The Coli

There may have been a very small window of time when it was cool to have massive wheels on a tiny car—cool in an ironic way that would make people smile to themselves or even give a little chuckle of appreciation. That small window closed once they became a more mainstream thing, something that's no longer new and amusing. This is a perfectly good little car, which the owner obviously takes care of. The paintwork is shiny, the interior matches, and it looks like a lot of work has been put into making it look great. This is all ruined by the fact that they couldn’t contain themselves to simple, normal-sized wheels. You could even get away with gold rims on this car—just not this mess.

14 The Blue Donk

Via BlastCars

The guy driving the car looks so pleased with himself, and that somehow makes the car seem all the worse. Look at it. It looks like a car made for a man of a much larger stature. It looks like the top half of the car has been shrunken while the bottom half stayed the same. If people are looking at your car and scratching their heads trying to work out what's going on, it’s not a good look. Perhaps the most ridiculous bit of it all is the back wheels—the way they look as though they've simply been crammed into the side of the car instead of room being made for them. You have to wonder whether they even have space to turn.

13 The Phone Dial

Via Motor1

Here’s another example of a manufacturer simply not knowing when to stop. In this case, it’s Lamborghini that's to blame. For such an expensive range of cars, you would expect the best when you buy one. But no. Sadly, that's not at all the case here. Instead, the Countach was given wheels that look like an old phone dial–and that’s being generous.

If we were being mean, we’d say they look like those toys you fit a pencil into to make nice spirals across your school textbooks.

Not only did Lamborghini themselves make these wheels for the Countach, but now, someone has also decided to recreate them so you can have them custom-fitted to your Huracan. If you have these wheels, you have too much money.

12 The Bright Pink Splash

Via davide458italia

This pink and blue monstrosity is enough to have us choking on our cornflakes. To start with, it almost feels lazy. All they did when modifying this BMW E92 M3 was to paint it. That’s all. They just took the normal mags and painted them pink. It’s not exactly specialist work. Then, there’s the fact that they chose this horrendous bubble gum-inspired mix of sickly pink and blue. Even if you're a fan of both pink and blue, you can’t say that these shades go together. Just thinking of seeing them in motion actually makes us feel a bit sick to our stomachs. It makes our eyes hurt. To put it in so many words: we're not at all impressed by these wheels.

11 The Pink and Gold Party

Via YouTube

Here it is again—that sickly pink mixed with awful, fake-looking gold. Seriously, what's the point of these faux gold accents? They don’t look gold. They look like some awful shade that makes you feel a bit sick instead of impressed. Putting these two horrendous shades together was obviously a masterful stroke of genius by someone who really doesn’t like the owner of this car.

This poor VW Golf 6 GTI did absolutely nothing to deserve this kind of treatment.

Let’s hope it gets sold to a careful owner who prefers to have it returned to the original colors and give it a bit of dignity before it retires. Just be thankful you can’t see the front of the car in this shot, as we have it on good authority that it includes a skateboard-style “pop art” decal panel.

10 The Pastel Circus

Via Pinterest

No, not even putting a ribbon on your car and supporting a good cause can make us like this one. It’s so juvenile and ridiculous. Those awful alternating colors, first of all, don’t even go together, and second of all, they look like they might've been drawn on in pen. There’s no oomph to them at all. This is another mag that you just don’t want to see in motion in case it makes you vomit, swirling around all those colors like that. This cutesy pastel look doesn’t even suit the car either. It looks like a car that needs masculine tones. Why would you even think of this color scheme when you looked at that car? The mind of the person who came up with this should be preserved for scientific examination.

9 The Flower Bomb

Via Sqwabb

Tansy Wheels are the proud purveyors of these so-called masterpieces, which make us which we were there so we could literally pull them off the car ourselves. No one involved should be proud of themselves for this. The mags look really cheap, especially with the paint looking like it doesn’t go fully around the center of the daisy with some of the white leaking out. They especially don’t do anything for this particular car. It’s a very weak shade of yellow, and against that brilliant blue, it looks awful. Not that a different color would probably improve them at all. It’s an interesting thought process when you not only buy these but also put them on your car, and then even drive it around in public.

8 The Grey-Out

Via Classic and Performance Car

Sadly, this is a case of a manufacturer doing something really ugly. The thing is, normally, we look at an Aston and can’t find anything to fault about it at all. They’re beautiful cars in every way. That’s what makes it so much more devastating to find that the Aston Martin DB7 was actually made this way. That’s right–they wanted these wheels on the car. The 1993 model looks like it just has a dull grey circle on each of the wheels. It doesn’t look nice standing still. It doesn’t add any kind of effect when moving. It’s just a grey-out disc. What a boring finish to what's otherwise a generally nice car. Somehow, blind consumers bought so many of this model that it launched the marque to real success.

7 The Sad Pink Trim

Via Driftworks

This is just really sad. There are so many ways in which this is wrong. First, there are the muted purple tones of the car along with the obnoxiously bright pink, screaming out like a cry for help, clashing horrendously. Then, there's the lackadaisical manner of the paint, applied only in the edges and without any touchpoint or reference anywhere else on the car. There’s also the fact that the car and the whole area look pretty badly abused and neglected, not to mention, old and tired. Someone out there was proud enough of this to take a picture of it and share it with the entire internet. They even offered the additional knowledge that these are their poor-weather tires and that they switch to different rims when the weather gets better. Wow.

6 The Pink Sand Dollars

Via Mad Whips

Looking at these bright pink rims; the only thing that really comes to mind is sand dollars, which, mind you, aren't as valuable as real dollars.

No, sand dollars usually end up decorating your grandmother’s bathroom along with some fun sand art.

These ones have the added, er, advantage of being bright pink. At least they match the car, but still, it’s not the kind of look we'd go for. You have to also add the fact that they're far too large for the vehicle–26-inch rims on a Dodge Charger, no less. There’s something about this whole look that simply makes us feel uncomfortable. We hate to imagine the kind of individual who drives it. Perhaps, he wears a fur coat and carries a cane.

5 The Pink Petals

Via golfmkv

Comment reactions to this image have included, “I threw up in my mouth a little,” which seems about accurate to us. This is just an atrocious use of a Golf, and if you’ve got money to spend on getting custom mags, we'd actually recommend just buying a car that isn’t a Golf. Anyway, the pink on these is most unappetizing, and the obnoxiously bright shade just makes your eyes hurt to look at it. Then, there’s the fact that they've chosen such intricately laced spokes, they end up looking like flower petals. This then gets the look a little too close to our previous daisy experience for our tastes. No thanks! We’ll stick to plain silver with silver, if that’s alright with you.

4 The M&M-Mobile

Via The Coli

Aaaalright. You don’t see this every day. First off, this is a ridiculous car, although we can kind of respect the owner for having a little bit of fun. Maybe, if you only take it out to community events to make everyone smile, it might be excusable. The wheels, though… wow. All they've done is printed the letters “M&M” on them. They don’t look like the candy, nor the packaging, nor the mascots–nothing about the mags has anything to do with the brand. Come to think of it, the paintwork doesn’t have much to do with the real thing, either. These must be the cousins of the guys from TV. It gets even worse if you imagine these wheels on a car that doesn’t have any of the other references on it.

3 The Blue Ripple

Via The Coli

Here’s another monster that should never have been brought into the world. What's wrong with some people? You take a perfectly fine car, and then do something so stupid to it that normal people can’t even bear to look at it anymore. The wheels really are the icing on the cake here. They look ridiculously big for the vehicle, not even in an interesting way. They just don’t make any sense. Then, there’s the swirl effect on the wheels, which is stupid, to begin with. Now, imagine them moving. What is this, the hypnodonk? Go take your car and hide it away in a garage where it can’t accidentally hypnotize small children into following it as fast as their stumpy little legs can carry them.

2 The Black Hole

Via YouTube

Considering that the man who actually bought these rims and put them on his car thinks they’re ugly, you can’t blame us for agreeing. The matte effect is bad enough–we’ve really seen this one done to death now–but there’s also the odd shape and the placement of the nuts.

Is this a spider web?

A washed up yet somehow perfectly proportioned shell? A black hole sucking out all of the life in the universe? Your guess is as good as ours. Mostly, they just don’t look great at all. This angle also puts them at even more of a disadvantage, as you can see how deep they are–and how they look silly with the plain space around them. It's a poor decision on all fronts.

1 The Bro Lift

Via Auto Guide

This is a really stupid truck to lift. There’s so much wrong with it, we barely know where to start, but we’re game to give it a try. There’s the fact that everything has been painted a shade of pink that doesn’t even match the detailing on the truck itself. There’s the choice of pink, yet again, which seems to be the favorite color of idiots in this niche. There’s the lift, which barely gives it any more height than your average crossover. There’s the wimping out on the wheels, leaving them with the barest hint of pink when viewed from the front. There’s the choice of tiny wheels despite the lift, which really demands something bigger. We could go on. Actually, no, we can’t–we can’t bear to look at it any longer.

Sources: Jalopnik, BlastCars, Motor1, Classic and Performance Car

More in Car Culture