The most common and usually the first enthusiast mod is a drop and a set of aftermarket wheels. Perhaps no other touch reflects the owner’s style more than the wheels they choose. Whether you’re minimizing unsprung mass with monoblocks that maximize the handling of your sports car, spending big bucks on your baller 3 piece wheels or pushing the limits of stance on your JDM…the wheels tell your story.
Unfortunately, most of us have felt that pain like no other when we curb or bend one of our beloved wheels. We have also spent countless moments looking at our cars thinking about how much better they would look with a new finish, a more aggressive fitment or even a new set of wheels altogether. If you are going to live by the wheel, then you better have a guy. In the Chicago area that guy is Serge.
Sergey’s House of Wheels takes care of all the wheel enthusiasts’ needs; repair, re-finish, fitment spec, fender rolling…they do it all.
Mid-America Cartell: Sergey Serge, how long have you been working on wheels? How did opening your own shop come about?
Serge: Well ever since I had owned cars I would work on my own wheels. As far as professionally it’s been 3 years total, 2 years full time with my shop. My good friend Leo who has a body shop, painted a few sets of wheels for me about 5 years ago. I kept taking more wheels to him to get done since I was a pretty big “wheel whore.” After a while he kept getting busier and busier with his own work and had less time to do wheels for me. That’s when I started to do some of the prep work. After doing a few sets of prep work we decided I might as well try to refinish them myself using his equipment. So I did just that. Did a set and it came out pretty good. Before long people were asking me to do refinishes for them etc. So I would pay Leo some money to use his shop and equipment and handle refinishes out of that shop on the side. After about a year of doing it part time while I had a full time job I decided to open up my shop a few doors down as business was picking up.
Mid-America CarTell: About how many wheels come through your shop in a month and what is the most common service you perform?
Serge: I would say it varies, there are busy times like end of winter and spring where the shop is literally flooded with wheels. On average though its maybe 20-25 sets per month. The most common service is a straight refinish. Someone will get curb rash and want their wheel fixed and refinished.
Mid-America CarTell: Putting you on the spot, what are your 5 favorite wheels you’ve worked on?
Serge: My favorite wheels that I have worked on would be (in no specific order): Work Meisters in woodgrain finish, Chameleon Work rezax build, SSR agle strusse in custom step LIp-anodized red finish, SSR formula mesh into 3pc And most recently the Chameleon work Meisters.
Mid-America CarTell: Ok, how about three wheels you would love to get your hands on?
Serge: I don’t have many wheels I want to get my hands on. I have owned way too many and probably have owned every wheel I have ever wanted. My all-time favorites that I have owned are Volk Se37k, SSR formula mesh and Step lip work equips.
Sergey’s House of Wheels has a lot of builds to be proud of
Serge: I have done work on lots of people’s show cars/race cars. It’s hard for me to pick out certain ones over others as they are all unique in some way. Every customer I deal with has a story and has something cool about their car. Sometimes with me refinishing their wheels or flaring the fenders or whatever it may be, I don’t get to see the end result as it’s not a one step process. Also there are a couple of projects cars that I have done work for that should be pretty neat once compleated but are still in the stages of getting built.
Serge flared the body on Danny Brostein’s always transforming VIP Mazda RX-8 and provided him multiple wheel set ups.
Serge was responsible for fender work and wheels on this 300zx “I love how clean and simple this car is yet amazing at the same time.” – Serge
Serge even has his girlfriend’s s2000 stanced out.
If you follow JDM culture in the Midwest then surely you have drooled over this 280z. Of course the owner came to Serge when it was time to spec wheels.
Mid-America CarTell: Tell us about the insane Rocket Bunny 240sx?
Serge: The rocket bunny car is actually a car my buddy Richard built. It was his crazy vision with that car. He did a pretty nice job on it, that car is a ton of fun to drive and gets attention like no other. I simply acquired it as a part of a package deal we had made.
Mid-America CarTell: Any big builds in the works we should look out for?
Serge: The big things to look out for I would say would be a lot of my customers have some intense builds going on right now. Lots of my work is on there already and the cars are just waiting to get finished with things like engine builds etc. As far as builds coming from me, keep your eyes peeled for a fully custom set of wheels that I will soon be rolling on. Also, I have an intense Lexus LS400 build going on right now. I am hoping to finish it by the end of the summer but it’s hard to find time to work on my own cars sometimes.