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Driving Me Crazy: Houston Slab Culture wire 'swangas' wheels spotted in Portland

We're talking Swangas, 30-spoke wire wheel extensions that look like something James Bond would have on his custom Aston Martin.

PORTLAND, Ore. — "Those CAN'T be legal" said the viewer who submitted video of a Cadillac SUV rolling down the freeway with some majorly tricked out wheels, whose rims poked out half a foot -or more. So what are those things?

They're called swangas or elbos, really big rims that extend several inches (perhaps as much as a foot) from the wheel.

KGW's Mike Benner actually saw the same car and tweeted: "...the best thing you'll see all day." https://twitter.com/MikeBennerKGW/status/1215791112289316864 

They're a big part of Slab Culture, a very Houston hip hop thing. More on that here:


They're not a cheap. A Google search for Texan Wire Wheels shows some cost nearly $5,000 for a set of 4.

But are they legal? 

David House from the Oregon DMV tells me there is nothing specific in Oregon Law about wheel widths, but vehicle width is limited to 8 feet 6 inches.Those accessories would make up part of that vehicle's width. 

Oregon essentially defaults to federal vehicle safety standards. In addition to width of the vehicle, there is a potential of violating an adjacent lane, parking space or bicycle lane with wheel extensions, but that would be up to law enforcement whether to cite and a traffic law judge to interpret.

In addition to overall vehicle width, Portland Police Bureau Sgt. Ty Engstrom tells me there is a statute pertaining to the use of metal objects on tires. Oregon State Police Captain Timothy Fox listed a few laws pertaining to fenders and mudguards that this may violate. 

Our sister station in Houston, KHOU was asked a similar question last year.

VERIFY: Is there a law on how far rims, or 'swangas' can stick out?

I do the Driving Me Crazy feature as a generally lighthearted (but not always)  take on things that drive people nuts on area roadways. Most of us can relate, and most of these topics are your ideas. What drives you crazy? Post your videos and pictures on my facebook page. On twitter. Or if you're just anti-social you can email me cmcginness@kgw.com

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