Gadget Inspector: Hooptie To Hot Wheels

[Photo: Zenetti Blades]

You know you’re in trouble when your boss asks you to write a column about fly rims, and then informs you that you’re driving a hooptie.


So what if smoke billows out of the tail pipe every time it starts? At least it starts!

Ok, so there’s no a/c, it takes a quart of oil every 200 miles, and both CVs are cracked.

At least the Gadget Inspector doesn’t have to worry about anyone stealing her ride … and if they do, they’ll bring it right back.

Maybe they’ll even throw in a mercy wash on the way.

That said, it was off to check out some rims for all of our non-hooptie-driving readers. Last time someone put new rims on my smoke machine, they got ’em for $16 at K-Mart.

Imagine my surprise when I saw what’s on the market now … and the prices!

“Take a look at Aflexo,” said the boss. “What’s a flexo?” I wondered, clueless to the classy ways of the world. Silly me—Aflexo (one word; duh) stands for Adapt, Flex and Overcome, something we all strive to do in our daily lives. Last month, Aflexo introduced their All Star Rim—custom chrome, cutting-edge technology with a 16-star design for the star in you.

Aflexo created the All Star as a representation in excellence and innovation, the goal being signature rims that not only inspire their owners, but also hopefully spark creativity and interest in engineering.

To boost this goal, they’ve created the Wish On A Star Scholarship and Grant program. A portion of sales of Aflexo wheels will fund education for college students pursuing business degrees. Learn more at, and look for more custom rims in 2008.

There’s no “b.s.” in BBS, recognized worldwide for over 30 years as the maker of award-winning wheels. Whether designing for the racetrack or for the road, BBS keeps evolving in look and technology, using their exclusive flow forming and forging processes, using stringent in-factory testing to ensure quality and performance.

Just check out their new Challenge wheel Black Edition with a stainless steel rim protector lip, the new CM with radial spokes and “Performance” inscription.

For racing enthusiasts who want to feel like they’re on the track when they’re really on their way to Target, the lightweight CX-R, with cross spoke design and the latest motor sport technology.

Whether you want speed, luxury or both, check them out at

What hath Zenetti wrought now? As if flashy rims weren’t enough, now you can sport a matching grill. No, we’re not making this up; Zenetti is launching Paul Wall Grills and Wheels, debuting with the Iced Out Grill Cadillac Escalade and the Chrysler 300, as well as optional “iced out” faces for the Masquerade wheel.

Something no Casanova should be without, right, ladies?

You can sign up for more information at Include your vehicle make and model, and find out whether Zenetti can “ice out your grill.”

While you’re on the website, take a look at the Zenetti 5 Series for sheer style and elegance.

Looking for something thin and tapered? The Zenetti Stella five-spoke is for you.

If you’re driving a truck or SUV, Zenetti Blades are for you. Choose between their chrome finish or black painted face and chrome lip, so you can look oh so cool while fueling up at $100 a tank.

Wonder how Zenettis will look on your ride? The website makes it easy to see. Just select your make, click and wait as results pull up on your screen. Be advised, though: site doesn’t accommodate everyone.

I typed in “hooptie” and got “no matching results.” Go figure.

Devino Road Concepts has been around since 1984. Based in Indonesia, they produce over a million pieces annually, from classical to radial designs, with specialties like their Silver Excellent wheels, Mirror Polished Buffing wheels, Chrome Plated wheels and Hi Silver Power.

Devinos sport mirror-like finishes with that big-wheel/small-tire look for when size matters … and doesn’t it always? Their rims come with two-year chrome warranties and their warehouses offer tremendous discounts. Models like the Duel and Stamina are available in chrome or black.

The Chomp, Dasher and Lethal will get you noticed in the next zip code … which may not necessarily be a good thing, depending on what you’ve been up to lately! Find out more at

Next time, we’ll check out the latest in audio and visual gear for your car.

Until then, happy spinning. Hooptie-do!