Spinner (wheel)

Spinner (wheel)

A spinner is a type of hubcap that spins independently inside of a wheel itself when the vehicle is in motion, and continues to spin once the vehicle has come to a stop. Being an attachment to the car's wheel, spinners operate by using one or more roller bearings to isolate the spinner from the wheel, allowing it to turn while the wheel is at rest. The spinner's own momentum helps it overcome what little friction is transmitted through the bearing. When the car is in motion, the small amount of friction transmitted through the bearing sets the spinner in motion. Spinners are popular within the hip-hop community of the United States.


In October 1992, a United States wheel spinner patent was filed by American inventor James (J.D.) Gragg who conceived of the original Tru-Spinner in the late 1980s. The American Tru Spinners Wheel Enhancer spinner patent (United States Patent #5,290,094) was issued on March 1, 1994, making it the first free-spinning wheel spinner patent of its kind. [cite web |title=United States Patent Office |work=USPTO |url= http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=16&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=5290094&OS=5290094&RS=5290094] This patent became known as "Tru Spinners". A foreign patent for Tru Spinners (#187,015) was later issued in October 1997. Davin Wheels holds the patent for a spinning technology, called the continuous motion wheel. [ [http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6554370.html U.S. Patent 6,554,370] , issued April 29, 2003]

The invention of the spinner is generally attributed to David Fowlkes Jr., who graduated from Rufus King High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin before moving on to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design when he was 17. With a sketch and a prototype Fowlkes created the first spinner for a design project in 1990. The prototype then remained stored until 1998 when Fowlkes was working at Reebok and met his future business partners, Hank Seemore and Ian Hardman. Together the three formed Davin Wheels with a $250,000 loan from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp.fact|date=June 2008

In the 1995 film "Batman Forever", the wheels on the Batmobile used a counter-rotating gear assembly to keep the bat-emblem hubcaps upright when the wheels were in motion. The technology was never marketed.

Introduction to market

American Tru Spinners originally introduced free-spinning wheel enhancers in 1994 by appearing on select custom cars and hot rods for car shows. Davin Wheels later introduced a version at the Los Angeles Auto Show. When Davin Wheels was unable to obtain a booth at the Auto Show, they were invited to join another vendor at the show, NBA star Latrell Sprewell's Sprewell Racing. Coincidentally, Sprewell is a Milwaukee native. For this reason, spinners are sometimes also called "Sprewells", although Sprewell has stated that he was not the inventor of Sprewells. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B00E4DD113CF934A15751C1A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2 Barron, James. "In Some Circles, A Man Is Judged By the Cut of His Wheel" The New York Times, December 27, 2002] , retrieved on 2008-06-13.]

The Rolls-Royce Phantom has anti-spinners — the "RR" logo in the center of the hub is mounted on a spinner with an offset weight designed to ensure that the logo is always the right way up when the car is parked. The hubometers used on large trucks and buses operate by this same principle.


Spinners were popularized by the 2003 Three 6 Mafia single "Ridin' Spinners", and other popular songs by T.I., Nelly, Lloyd Banks, Chingy, Jadakiss, G-Unit, 50 Cent, Master P, DJ Quik, Redman, Baby, Twista, Dem Franchize Boyz, and Big Tymers. Multiple music videos have featured the use of spinners. Spinners have also been features in television shows such as MTV's "Cribs," ESPN's "The Life," BET's "How I'm Living," and "NBA Inside Stuff." Spinners have been further popularized by many celebrities who use them including, Latrell Sprewell, Hulk Hogan, Shaquille O'Neal, Busta Rhymes, Donovan McNabb, and Allen Iverson.

The monster trucks Escalade and Annihilator use spinners specially designed for their large wheels and to take the large amounts of abuse.


The term "spinner hubcaps" has been in use since the 1950s, but describes a different item from those used today.

These classic spinner caps feature a rigidly mounted propeller-like center element, usually with two or three projecting "blades", intended to simulate the knock-off hubs that were used on vintage racing vehicles and classic sports cars.

These spinner hubcaps were most often an optional appearance upgrade to the standard equipment hubcaps or full wheel covers that attached to stamped steel wheels.

These hubcaps were the inspiration for a Detroit-area R&B/soul group, The Domingoes, to rename themselves The Spinners in the late 1950s. A second-tier Motown act in the 1960s, the Spinners would go on, in the early 1970s, to score a string of hits in the Philly soul style.

ee also

*Conspicuous consumption
*Custom wheel
*Thug rap


External links

* [http://www.mkeonline.com/story.asp?id=303811 Interview with David Fowlkes]

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