Cruising through the streets of SoCal with Victor proved to be like being in a parade. Men, women, children, and small woodland animals stopped and stared at the black powdercoated Oasis wheels as we rolled through town. The ride was quite comfortable on the highway, and driving over some rough road didn't seem to effect the ride anymore than if we were on stock wheels. I asked Victor the ultimate question: "Hey, dude, can I drive your truck?" Without batting an eye, Victor pulled over and handed me the keys. My chance to be a big baller! I was nervous because I thought, What if I cut the corner too close and hit the curb? What if I'm too busy waving at the crowds of adoring baller fans and I run a stoplight?
"Stop fantasizing and drive!" cried Victor.
Driving this wild ride was awesome. As we pulled out of the parking lot, I immediately noticed it wasn't much different in steering than a new stock SUV. Granted, you can feel the heaviness of the wheel and tire combo, but other than that, it was smooth. We proceeded through downtown with stop-and-go traffic, and acceleration was a little slow but seemed to respond as I pushed the pedal. Braking was smooth and came to a stop with regular pressure on the pedal. So, out to the freeway we went. California freeways are known for their wear and tear on a vehicle and the big-baller Escalade took it on. It tracked well, but at times, it seemed to follow the grooves in the road. Overall, it took minimal effort to keep it on the straight and narrow. At 70 mph, the big baller was ready for an exit off the freeway and back home. Changing lanes and braking to exit the freeway was normal, but we noticed that the sometimes-typical nosedive of hard braking was absent, which is most likely due to the lowered and wider stance of the drop kit and wheels-not to mention my excellent driving skills!
We asked Victor a few questions about life on 24s and here's what he said.
ST: How did 24s change your life?
Victor: We get a lot of attention from everyone. We can be in the barrio or Palm Springs, and we get positive response. When my wife drives it, she gets questions like "How do they drive? Who makes them and how much do they cost?"
ST: How have they affected your driving habits?
Victor: You have to be more careful. You can't drive over potholes and small junk on the freeway that you normally might drive over in stock tires. My driving style is fast but cautious, and I avoid sharp turns to reduce the wear and tear on the tires.
ST: Insurance, did it increase your monthly rate?
Victor: Yes, it did. We first had to provide a receipt to show proof of purchase and overall cost of the wheels and tires that we wanted covered. It was an increase of about $30 per month. Depending on your driving record, this amount could vary.
ST: How hard is it to maintain a set of 24s, and how much time is devoted to maintenance?
Victor: Since the time we started running 20-inch wheels up to the 24s, we have developed a daily routine of checking the air pressure visually and with a tire gauge. Also, a critical inspection of the wheel studs. Factory studs seem not to be as strong and need checking once a month. We have actually broken some studs on more than one wheel on the way home from a show.
ST: Wheel care, how do you keep these behemoths clean?
Victor: We personally like to use Meguiar's products. We handwash the wheels and tires with Meguiar's Gold Wash to clean the brake dust and other debris that might accumulate on the tires. We then use chrome polish to give it the show shine, and carefully sponge on some tire dressing. Everyone has their own personal favorite brand. This is a weekly ritual and even more so when we go to a show.
With the seat laid back, baller-style, and Coolio's "Fantastic Voyage" on the bass-boomin' sound system, I was definitely a player. The experience was great and we had no problems, except Victor repeatedly telling me, "You can stop now." Life on 24s was sweet.
So, if you have the funds or a home equity loan, you can be a big baller and live life on 24s, too. Watcha!