Wheels are usually pretty straightforward. There are tons of designs and specialty rims you can get for your ride, but it’s not always in your best interest to “go big,” unless you want to get ridiculed. The best options are usually choosing somewhere between a 5- to 10-spoke wheel that’s chrome, maybe double-spoked, maybe black if your car’s paint job can pull off the dark, menacing look well. This is a generalization, but it’s a good place to start.
What you probably don’t want to do is put on wheels that draw all the attention away from your car, and immediately makes people furrow their brow at you, wondering, “What the heck was that guy/girl thinking?” And there are plenty of ways to achieve that effect and get that look from people.
Look, being unique is important. A lot of times, people want their cars to reflect their personalities. But the personality that these wheels are reflecting is not very favorable. There are some crazy, loopy wheels out there, in all shapes and sizes. Some of them don’t even look like they’re round! That’s like Rims 101 right there: the wheel should be round.
People can do whatever they want with their cars—modify and customize them to their heart’s content. But that doesn’t mean other people won’t be judging you and forming opinions on you based on your rim-buying decisions. And is that how you really want to be recognized, for your car’s rims? “There goes Jerry. Yeah, he’s the one with the dragon-tail wheels.” At least it makes you a conversation piece, I suppose.
Here are 20 ugly rims that drivers need to get rid of.
20 This Jeep’s Old-Timey Wheels
One has to wonder why someone would go to such lengths to make their car so ugly, especially when you have a nice, shiny, new Hummer at your disposal. Did the owner of this car actually think about this decision, or did they just roll with it? Because they aren’t going to “roll” very far with these old-timey wheels that look like they belong on a Wells Fargo stagecoach. Maybe this person just decided that it’s high time to hit the Oregon Trail with their off-road vehicle—the problem, of course, being that these wheels make it impossible to go off-roading whatsoever.
19 These Reflective Wheels
This whole car is a disaster—a true example of “I need attention! I demand attention!” Well, you have it, car owner, but it’s not the type of attention you really want. The car itself is a sort of neon-pink sedan with a shiny-reflective surface, and the wheels aren’t any better. These reflective wheels probably bounce sunlight off of them like nobody’s business, which is terrible for other drivers on the road. It must be said, however, that if you were to get these ugly, shiny rims, a car that looks like this is basically the only suitable option for equipping them.
18 These Blinder Rims
These wheels look like a 34-year-old man who consistently dresses in plaid and denim and sports a hipster beard but doesn’t know how to trim it—but the car version of that. These “blinder” rims are just plain ugly, and they aren’t doing the forest green sedan here any favors. It honestly looks like someone just took out four manhole covers and put them on a car. It looks like someone is hiding behind those wheels, spying on their neighbors—you can almost see the eyeballs peeking over the third wrung on the wheel, where the blinds were pulled down. And what is with the bottom half of the car? Who decided that “plaid jeans” was a good look for your Camry, or whatever this is?
17 These “Grinder” Rims
Not really sure what these rims are supposed to be, but apparently they’re called “grinder” rims. Grinder rims, by Status Wheels, don’t look like they offer any support whatsoever for your car, other than a single, broadsword plate down the middle of them. The plate in the middle is a little concave and misshapen to give it “appeal,” but the overall product will draw unwanted attention to yourself really quickly. And the people looking at your car won’t be looking at the beautiful Porsche, or whatever this is, but they’ll be wondering where you got those rims—so they can avoid getting that store at all costs.
16 These “Turbo-Fan” Rims
Here’s another set of rims that will immediately make everyone you know question your decision-making skills. The car pictured here looks very sleek, even though we can’t see the whole thing. It has slick lines and curves, a nice crystal-white polish… but the extraordinary red wheels that stick out awkwardly from the wheelbase don’t add to the car’s coolness. They take away from it. Don’t you just want to go up to the car owner and be like, “First off… red? And second off, do you know that your wheels are inside-out?” Change these wheels and tires up and you probably have a really cool vehicle here, but this ain’t it, chief.
15 These “Ben-Hur” Wheels
Not really sure what to call these wheels, so we’ll go with “Ben-Hur” rims, based on the hit movie from 1959 that won all the Oscars that year. Just so you know, Ben-Hur takes place in the 1st century, and it features tons of chariots that have little wooden wheels that look just like these sad boys. Oh, you could also call these wheels “Egg Beater” wheels, because they also look like what you use to mix your eggs before you make your morning omelet. Good luck driving this Bentley around without sideswiping every car on a skinny street because you don’t realize how far these things stick out!
14 This Whole Gold Camaro (Rims Included)
This gold Chevy Camaro comes with the headline “Gold Camaro Struts It’s Stuff” from RollingUtopia.com. Not only does the headline have a misspelling (It’s vs. Its), but “struts” is the perfect word to describe this Camaro. It’s very showy and gold and bright, with oversized wheels that are also very showy and gold and bright. It’s sure to turn heads (in central Florida, mainly, where the car is located) and draw crowds. But is the gold plating really necessary? Most people will roll their eyes at this car because the bling is just too much (and probably really annoying in the sunlight). Some people might have to have it, though… like the Sultan of Brunei.
13 This Lifted Corvette
Sorry, but this has to be one of the silliest car modifications ever shown in public. Hopefully, it was a joke among buds, because that’s what it looks like. Who takes a perfectly good ‘Vette and does all these shenanigans to it? First, it’s lifted beyond repair, then it’s given some ATV tires, ideally to make it off-roadable? This project probably took a lot of time to pull off, and boy was the finished product not worth it! If you put your hand over the top half of this car and then switch to the bottom half, you’ll likely see two completely different vehicles. That’s because this is a mix that doesn’t work whatsoever. Here’s an idea: retrace your steps and replace the chassis to make this Corvette worthy again—otherwise it’s just an unforgivable mess.
12 This Lincoln’s Wrap And Rims
Here’s a car that looks pretty ludicrous. In fact, it would probably make the most sense if it was owned by Ludicrous. But we know it’s not, because he drives a classic 1993 Acura Legend, and he isn’t a complete showboat like the owner of this monster. The wrap is pretty unidentifiable, and the front is lifted about two feet more than the back (probably due to hydraulics). The rims are completely oversized and useless looking—more reflective surfaces to blind other drivers on the road. We’re all the guy in the salmon shirt in the back there, looking at the car, scratching his head (or maybe he’s just on the phone).
11 This “Futuristic” Cadillac
Let’s leave building “futuristic” cars to Will.I.Am, who has become an expert at taking perfectly good, vintage cars, and completely destroying them with his car company, IAMAUTO, by turning them into grandiose monstrosities. This Caddy looks like something out of Tron, with its neon-shiny wrap and absolutely absurd wheels. You’ll notice that the wheels are more than half the height of the entire car! That’s going overboard, for sure. This looks like a perfect Cadillac ATS or CT6 that was butchered because of someone’s fantastical ideas, probably when they were in the midst of a gnarly hallucinogenic trip. There is no way to justify this car’s existence, except on the set of a movie set in 3019 (and by then, if Earth is still around, this thing will be laughable).
10 This Green Rolls-Royce
Calling this a simple “green” Rolls-Royce is an absolute understatement. This car is blindingly green—horribly, radiantly green! It has taken the concept of a “lime” paint job to a whole new level. It’s sad, too, because this is a $250,000 car that was ruined by a silly paint job and sillier wheels. Clearly, someone likes this car a lot, but to the majority, it’s a bit much. Maybe this Rolls could be salvaged if the ugly green, Tron-like wheels (sorry for the repeated analogy) were replaced with something classier. Your best bet for wheels is to go with chrome or black—maybe white or gold/bronze if you’re lucky (gold wheels on a red Ferrari looks pretty sweet). But these spacey wheels are very distracting and ugly.
9 Whatever This Is
Now, this looks like a car that Will.I.Am would make! And by that, we mean to ask, “What is it?!” There’s really no way to tell. It honestly looks like a toy from Hasbro, maybe from Transformers. It looks like a custom-made HotWheels car, and if it wasn’t placed right next to that red-sun sports car, we’d guess it was three inches tall by three inches wide. Those red wheels also look bad and aren’t doing this thing any favors. We’d call it The Thing, but that’s already a car, and a much cooler one. Google it. Perhaps it’s just another car from the future that was way too far ahead of its time. If that’s the case, let’s keep it in the future!
8 The Countach Phone-Dial Wheels On A Huracan
This is certainly not the strangest or ugliest set of rims on this list, because these wheels once belonged on the Lamborghini Countach, and they were very unique. And it’s pretty hard to make a sleek black Huracan look bad. But these wheels trying! For whatever reason, the phone-dial wheels from the 1974-1990 Countach just don’t look good on a new-aged Lambo. For some people, it might look awesome, but it just doesn’t do it for this writer. And the wheels are literally the only problem with the car, too. Everything else looks incredible! Let’s put some normal rims on this bad boy, and then you’re set.
7 These Huge Crown Vic Wheels
As it says quite prominently in the window there, this white Crown Vic has 30-inch wheels. That means the car is lifted about 23 feet off the ground (slight exaggeration), which makes this a pretty odd look. If it has 30-inch wheels, how big are the tires? 31-inch? They look tiny in comparison to the massive 6-spoke chrome rims. And why would you put these on a Crown Vic, the car most commonly associated with police vehicles? In fact, why would you put these rims on any car whatsoever? The car owner is clearly very pleased with his/her 30-inch rims, but it just looks ridiculous to the rest of us mere mortals.
6 This Orange Monstrosity
Well, we have the bright green Rolls-Royce from the black lagoon, and now we have this orange monstrosity. Someone completely lost the plot here. Who takes what looks to be a Lamborghini body and then puts tiny wheels on it with about a two-foot gap between the tires and the wheelbase? Not to mention the wheels are completely ugly, but that isn’t even half as laughable as the entire car itself. The color of this orange beast might not be so bad if it weren’t for the crazy wheels and lift kit. Plenty of Lamborghinis and Ferraris and exotics have pulled off this color before. But not this one—not by a long shot.
5 This “Donk”
In doing research, I came to discover this car is called a “Donk,” which is a high-riser: “a highly customized vehicle, traditionally a full-size, body-on-frame, V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive sedan, modified by significantly increasing the ground clearance and adding large-diameter wheels with low-profile tires.” (via Wikipedia.) In Donkland, this old Chevy is probably really awesome, and it has probably won all kinds of awards. I’ll admit the photo here is pretty cool. But to normal people, the wheels on this car are just too much. They’re trying to do too much, which, I suppose, is the whole purpose of this car in the first place.
4 This Mercedes S65 Dragon Wrap And Wheels
This dragon-skin wrapped Mercedes-Benz S65 probably belongs to a huge Game of Thrones fan, which in itself is not a bad thing. But when you turn your daily rider into a snake-skin, reptilian automobile, you might have gone too far. The color is actually not that unpleasant, if it weren’t for all the rivets and scales and the cat-slit eyes for headlights. This car looks like you could push a button and it would either a) fly, or b) camouflage into its surroundings real quick-like. To the 15-year-old in me, this car is awesome. To the adult in me, it just makes me shake my head.
3 These Lifted Wheels
What?! Who took four industrial-sized fans and put a car on top of them? These wheels are insane, and it looks like either a thin sheet of glass, plastic, or air is separating the wheel cap and the outer rims. Not really even sure how these wheels stay together, so there’s a brownie point for ingenuity. This is another “donk,” clearly, and this one looks much worse than the first. The color of this car is pretty righteous, but the wheels absolutely have to go. In a world where standing out and attention-grabbing is the #1 attribute, this car clearly wins the race.
2 These Teddy Bear Rims
Aww, don’t you just love seeing teddy bear graham crackers in wheel form? That’s basically what these wheels are. They sort of look haphazardly glued on to the rims, to be honest, and the air ventilation here must be absolutely terrible. It doesn’t help that the whole car seems to be bear-related, with the exception of the size of the car itself: it’s just a tiny box! Definitely sending mixed signals here. These wheels are sort of cute, but I’m sure most people would tire of them pretty quickly. Especially if you’re trying to go into a serious situation, like a business meeting. Good luck! For branding, however, they could be considered a win.
1 These Fan Blade Rims
Here are more “fan” related wheels that don’t look like they belong anywhere near a car. In this blue car’s case, we have the three-blade fan ornamentation on the rims, which lets out plenty of ventilation but looks pretty absurd. What is it with people wanting to put fans or blades on their wheels? It pretty much never looks good, and the support these wheels offer is absolutely minimal. Not to mention the tires are paper thin, and it looks like the top of the front wheels are fender rubbing pretty hard there! The owner here should definitely go back to the drawing board.
References: rimsandtiresmag.com, popularmechanics.com, rollingutopia.com