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Tuning: Joining the Dub Club
Dub Magazine’s car show is a good place to start. So is twenty inches.
by TCC Team (2004-10-04)

by Conor Twomey

I know it sounds crazy, but there is something you should know about this car show: It actually has very little to do with cars. [/size]

The "Dub Magazine Superseries Celebrity Car Show and Concert" is a showcase for some of the finest "pimped out" vehicles on the planet, including a host of celebrity cars as well as custom vehicles from the companies that transform ordinary cars into one-of-a-kind rides. For those of you unfamiliar with Dub Magazine, it started out less than two years ago as a publication comprised of interviews with celebrities who want to generate a little publicity by showing off their blingmobiles. Since then it has rapidly evolved into the cornerstone of this whole new genre of car customization, to the point where Dub now even has its own line of accessories, sound systems, model vehicles and, of course, car shows and concerts

Unlike the majority of tuner cars, the modifications made to the vehicles in Dub Magazine are generally not performance related. Usually the original car is a top-of-the-line model with a V-8 or V-12 engine and is therefore not really in need of more propulsive power.

Keepin" it wheel

Naturally, everyone on the Dub scene is trying to outdo each other, so wheels are getting bigger and more outlandish. It's now reached the point where someone has managed to cram 20" rims under a MINI, 24" wheels underneath an S-Class and monstrous 28" alloys into the wheel-wells of a HUMMER H2. Combined with super-slim tires, achieving such an extreme look can get very expensive. The wheels and tyres alone can cost as much as $20,000, before you even consider the work that has to be done to make them fit.

Fortunately for the pungently wealthy owners of most of these vehicles, "twenty Gs" is pocket change so you'll often find a unique hydraulic suspension installed to make their ride driveable. Not that most of these cars get driven much. Terry Holly, proud owner of a magnificently finished pearlescent white Chevy Avalanche, rarely takes is truck out onto the highway. Instead, his vehicle (and the equally eye-popping Chevy Silverado and Ford Sport Trac of his two brothers Ricky and Desmond) sit in a garage under a cover between shows. This might seem like a frightful waste of $50,000, especially when you consider the bothers aren't a wealthy rap trio. But to Terry, who's actually an accountant, it's money well spent. When I tell him he must look like a gangster driving around in it - a comment meant that literally and not entirely approvingly - he's pretty pleased. "I really appreciate that, man," he says, grinning. Apparently, that's what Dubbing is all about.

[size=+0]When you drive a Dubbed vehicle, you're telling the world that you enjoy the finer things in life - at least this is what the ladies at the show that I spoke to told me. A man driving such a machine has usually got a few bucks to spare, as well as an appreciation for the finer things in life. He enjoys the attention and respect of his peers and fellow motorists and he likes to look good. Mind you, many of these girls were every bit as, er, high-maintenance as the cars they're drawn to, so at least they won't look out of place in the passenger seat.

As I wander around the hall, the thump of Twista performing live in the background, I suddenly notice that most of the cars here are American-made machines. The trucks are obvious - no European or Japanese carmaker (with the exception of Porsche) builds an SUV that dares to compete with the wild ostentation of the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, or HUMMER H2. But why is the Chrysler 300 so popular? Why so many Dodge Magnums? Could it be that only an American car can look right Dubbed out? Did the 300's designer, Ralph Gilles, deliberately target the hip-hop generation? (It's surely no coincidence his own 300C rides on body-coloured Dubs.) Whatever the reason, fashionable celebrities have taken the handsome 300 to their bosoms, with P. Diddy, Shaquille O'Neal, Loon and Snoop Dogg amongst the list of proud owners. All the advertising in the world can't buy that kind of street cred.

Once Nina Sky have finished their gyrating set and the parade of giggling cellulite known as the "Bikini Jam" is over, the crowd begins to dissipate and head home. They've been entertained, they've had a glimpse of the "playa" lifestyle and they've taken away ideas to adapt for their own rides. The Dub Celebrity Car Show and Concert is not just a car show, it's also a fascinating insight into the lavish world of hip-hop, basketball and celebrity into the lavish world of hip-hop, basketball and celebrity America . The vehicles here are custom-made bling with wheels, meant to convey a message rather than passengers. :thumbsup:

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