Houston Slab car culture is the latest trend to hit the mainstream Here’s why I think it’s not just long wire wheels on a car and is a pretty respectable trend.

Disclaimer: I’m just some blogger who literally looked all this stuff up half an hour ago so please don’t take my word for gospel.

Technically, a slab , according to the authority on all things Slab Culture, Dr. Langston Collins Wilkins, is an “older model American sedan (Cadillac, Lincoln, Oldsmobile, Buick etc.) and it’s embellished with various types of body additions, the first and most important being the rims called swangers, an explosive stereo system, and a trunk display that conveys a particular message.”

The wheels, called 83s and 84s, have an equally as interesting story. As per Urban Dictionary which gives one of the best description of what these wheels are

“These are the 30 spoke wire wheels that were a very rarely chosen upgrade option avail. on 1983, 1984 FWD Cadillac Eldorado’s and made by Cragar wire wheels for a very short time period, hence the terms 83’s, 84’s, which denotes their model year made.”

For a more nuanced and full description of what a Slab is, I encourage you to watch this video by Insider put up earlier this year that describes Slab culture, in a nutshell, and is where I got the quote above.

Dr. Collins Wilkins first mentions that Slab culture came out of the late 80’s and early 90’s drug culture that permeated the United States, more specifically, in the Houston, Texas area. Flush with cash and how so many car trends start, this is how this particular sub-culture decided to outfit their cars to impress their neighbors and the competition.

After drugs peaked, declined and reached a plateau, Slab culture seeped into Houston Rap music just like these videos show below.

As such, Slab Culture evolved to include newer model cars, extravagant paint jobs, and more powerful audio systems as audio technology progressed.

Unlike lowrider culture which birthed itself all throughout the United States with its genesis in Southern California, Slab Culture is specific to Houston, and as such, you’re probably not going to find a Slab Car outside of Texas.

I mean, you could technically build yourself a SLAB Car anywhere in the world, but until Slab car culture hits popular culture outside of the Houston area, frankly you’ll get some weird stares. But, if you really don’t care about what other people think, by all means, order up a set of Texan Wire Wheels as they ship to all 50 states.

Speaking of, there is only one company that has the claim to fame for being the sole provider of a set of authentic Swangas and that’s Texan Wire Wheels which originally started out in Houston but has their manufacturing base in Beverly Hills, California.

Prices for new Swangas start at around $6,000 for a full set and can go as high as $16,000 before tires and additional accessories. Ya, these Texan Wire Wheels are a lot more expensive than those most expensive JDM wheels I know.

Why I think this is a legitimate car trend.

When other people see Slab culture, like me, a Californian, they might be quick to write off this car culture as nothing more than a fad, and a silly one at that.

That’s where you’re wrong.

First, there’s some real deal history behind Slab cars, although a bit underworldy as it may be, some of the best car cultures come from taking a part of something outside of the law.

Consider this new Kanjo style of modified Hondas, born from Japanese Honda Civic owners who specifically run a particular loop of highway in Japan in direct violation of any and all road laws with their high-speeds.

Or, more in line with how Slab culture was born, VIP car culture was a direct result of the Japanese Yakuza (mafia) modifying their big, body Japanese and German sedans to look more befitting to their particular line of business.

Then there’s the most important part of being a legitimate car culture in my book, the execution. A slab car is a total package of a premium paint job, authentic Texan Wire Wheels, only the best and loudest audio, and an as equally clean interior. Altogether, as a package, a Slab car almost approaches the level of art seen in a lowrider build, although it may seem that comparing the two car cultures might be offensive.

Take the two, some real deal history and the right execution, and you have a car trend that I can get behind, something that’ll be around for as long as the Big 3 sell cars.

What do you think about Slab Car culture? Let me know in the comments below.


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