Behind the Scenes

December 19, 2008

When seeing the latest project vehicle (the DREAM POLICE Avalanche) for the first time, many fans ask… “How long did it take the team to complete the project?” This is always a difficult question to answer, as months go into the planning, sponsorship negotiations, rough sketches, etc. And… that’s before we ever touch an actual vehicle. Most people are blown-away to learn that our team purchased the 2008 Chevy Avalanche during the first week of September, and the vehicle was finished and ready for photos the week of October 20th. Amazing!!! It takes an unbelievable amount of organization, planning, and teamwork to accomplish these projects on time. Our valued sponsors are a big part of getting it done. Just one example of the teamwork effort with our sponsors is our friends at HAMER Guitars. Jol Dantzig and the gang could have easily told us, that there just wasn’t time to complete a custom guitar for the vehicle, but they didn’t. They combined the talents and enthusiasm of their professional staff, and attacked the project. The result? An awesome addition to the CHEAP TRICK Dream Police Tactical vehicle. Please take time to check-out HAMER’s “Behind the Scenes” story of how the guitar was completed in time, and ready for SEMA. CLICK HERE

Friday’s Concert

December 15, 2008

We were contacted by our friends at CHEAP TRICK last week to see if there was any possibility to bring the Dream Police vehicle to their concert (Friday night the 12th) at the Hemmen’s Cultural Center in Elgin, IL. Of course we were thrilled with the invite, and Project Team member, Ron Tushner and I loaded the vehicle into our trailer, and made our way to Elgin… about 45 minutes away. With temperatures dipping into the single digits, I was a little concerned that nobody would have any interest in hanging around outside the front doors of the Center, just to see a cool custom rig. I WAS WRONG!!! It was amazing how many people gathered around the vehicle, and actually asked to play some ROCKBAND 2. I tried to play the drum part with a few fans, and could barely hold the frozen sticks. Fans took photos, asked questions, and we even got a couple offers to purchase the truck.
Earlier in the evening, before fans started arriving, Rick Nielsen and Robin Zander spent some time hanging out with us, and the vehicle. it was Robin’s first opportunity to see the vehicle in person, and he loved it! Once the concert started, Ron & I quickly loaded the truck back into the trailer, and headed backstage to enjoy the show. It was Very cool that Rick took time to introduced the crowd to RealWheels Corporation, and that the response to the Dream Police Tactical Vehicle initiated such an enthusiastic roar from the audience!

Join us on Decmber 23rd

December 4, 2008

Unfortunately, many of the big events that our project vehicles attend are outside of our area, and usually outside of the state. So, we’ll be opening our doors on December 23rd (10:00am-6:00pm) to our friends, family, vendors, customers, and car & music enthusiasts. This will be an opportunity for our local friends and fans to see the Dream Police vehicle up close, before it heads to Vegas for the CES show. We’ll have it displayed inside our facility with all of the lights, lasers, fog machine and music blasting!! If you’re in the area, stop by and challenge our project team to a quick session on the ROCKBAND 2 video game. Additional details available in a few days. Call (847) 662-7722 for more info.

Next Stop – CES in Las Vegas

December 4, 2008

We’ve been pleased, and very grateful for the enthusiastic response to our Dream Police vehicle project that was created with legendary rockers, CHEAP TRICK. It already has captured its first magazine cover! A big thanks to Dave and the crew at TRUCKING TIMES magazine for featuring the vehicle on the cover , and as a feature article. Nice Work!!!
The next big show for the “DREAM POLICE Tactical Vehicle” will be the huge International Consumer Electronics SHow in Vegas, January 8-11. Our audio system Sponsor “Maxxsonics Corp.” will display the vehicle in their exhibit (#1809), where they will unveil close to 75 new products. I will attend the show for the first couple of days, and answer vehicle questions from the media, and show attendees. It should be a great show!
If you plan to attend the show, let me know, and I’ll see you there! jdolphin@realwheels.com
Take Care…
Jhan

SEMA 2008

November 10, 2008

WOW… Another SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show behind us! Time to get back to the office and follow-up with the hundreds of people that stopped by to see us, our new products, and the the awesome selection of project vehicles that we brought along. As anticipated, the Cheap Trick “Dream Police” vehicle stole the show. Just a quick GOOGLE search brings up dozens of sites that have published information. Until SEMA, we hadn’t had the vehicle in a large crowd, but quickly experienced the power of combining a cool rock-music theme and a legendary band, with the HOT new Rockband 2 video game. Early the first day, we cranked-up the entertainment area of the vehicle, and it continued to ROCK for the remainder of the four-day show. The laser-lights, strobes, fog machine, and sound system continued to entice people to take a turn playing Rockband, and checking out the impressive details built in to the vehicle project.
A big “Thanks” to all of our friends in the media who stopped by to interview us, and shoot additional film and photos. We plan to have the vehicle at many events during the next 12-18 months, and look forward to sharing it with the many fans of Cheap Trick, Rockband 2, and RealWheels Corp.

Criss Angel’s “BELIEVE” World Premier

November 10, 2008

Project Mananger Cory Polka and I were invited to attend the “Believe” World Premier event and VIP Party on Halloween. The decision to attend wasn’t difficult to make, so we headed to Vegas a day earlier than required for the big SEMA show. It’s always interesting to be in Vegas for Halloween, but this night topped them all! Criss has joined forces with world renowned Cirque Du Soleil to create the most unusual magic act in Vegas, and he has succeeded. Many of Criss’s hard-core fans may be disappointed that it is completely differernt from his MINDFREAK TV series on A&E, but I found it fasinating. It is definitely performance art with some crazy illusions thrown in. The costumes were unbelievable in true “CIRQUE” style, and the show included a good mix of drama, comedy and even some frightening images that make this show definitely NOT for children. After the show, we joined Criss and his guests for the VIP party that was held throughout the huge LUXOR resort pool area. Hundreds of gormet food and drink stations surrounded the area, and Cirque performers roamed the grounds, keeping the unusual theme and Halloween combination alive until past 4:00 am. It was great to visit with many of the friends that we’ve met during the past few years of working with Criss and the Mindfreak Hummer project. Along with his friends, family,and celebrity guests, we had a great time, and appreciate being incuded!
Continued success to Criss and his entire team!!!

Las Vegas Preparations

October 23, 2008

With the HUGE SEMA show less than two weeks away, our entire staff is busy getting things together. We have four vehicles heading to Vegas this year!
The “CHEAP TRICK” Dream Police Tactical Vehicle – We developed the idea of a music-themed project vehicle way back in January, and months of preparation were involved just to get the right product sponsors involved. We didn’t even buy this new 2008 Avalanche until the beginning of September, but it has turned out simply “AWESOME”! As I write this update the project team is putting the finishing touches on the vehicle, and we can’t wait for the band members to see it. Our friends at HAMER Guitars have just completed a special one-of-a-kind guitar especially for the project, and it should arrive tomorrow. We’ll make sure to have photos on our web site at the same time the vehicle arrives in Las Vegas, so all of you that can’r make the show can see the final result.
The Weekender Jeep Wrangler – We’re also taking my white 4-door wrangler. If you want a fun vehicle, this is it! We’ve added some performance modifications, leather interior, a great sound system, and of course a ton of RealWheels BLACK, POWDER-COATED ACCESSORIES.
The “Purple Haze” SMART CAR – Yes…. We’re also taking the Smart car. But…. It’s gone through a little transformation. A new body-kit was installed from S-MANN in the Netherlands, we lowered the suspension, and then covered the whole thing in an awesome looking metalic purple paint. We are finishing a sound system upgrade, and it will be ready to go!
The “Black Widow” Mustang – You might not know this, but here at RWC, we manufacture a billet aluminum upgrade kit for this special Mustang package that is sold at select Ford Dealers. The vehicle has various enhancement upgrades that are completed at the Southern Comfort Conversions facility in Birmingham, AL. A big thanks to the guys at Southern Comfort for bringing a Black Widow to SEMA.

So… This is a big week here at RWC. Make sure to visit our web site next week to see the photos!
Later… Jhan

Cheap Trick “Rock-themed” vehicle project

September 24, 2008

As Cheap Trick closes in on the final days of their summer TOUR with mega groups Journey & Heart, we are deep into our 2008-09 project vehicle. Some interesting memorabilia from the band’s history has begun arriving, and our team is developing ways of incorporating the items into the build. Suspension, exhaust, interior lighting, modified body panels, custom leather interior, emergency light bar, and the custom grille have all been completed. Today, we are preparing the many shapes and forms necessary for Maxxsonics to complete the various fiberglass parts of the audio system. Ron & Cory, of our project team, tested the vehicle’s on-board fog-machine this afternoon, and completely filled the shop with thick fog. Some of our staff thought the building was on fire!
A big THANKS to local radio personality, Steve Salzman from the area’s 95 WIIL-ROCK, for stopping by to meet with our team and discuss the band’s successful history and a few very cool ideas to consider for the project. The “SALZ” is a walking music encyclopedia, and has known, and followed Cheap Trick since the early days. Appreciated, friend!
Back to work… More coming soon.
Jhan

Entourage on HBO

September 9, 2008

Hey there… Any of you big “Entourage” fans are planning to visit the Los Angeles or New York City areas in the next few weeks? Our amazing, gifted, ethusiastic (and a little wierd) project team was enlisted by a special effects company to create the ultimate “BLING” wheel cover for the sightseeing, double-decker tour buses that cruise the cities. The buses were wrapped with a huge image of the show’s cast and logo. Each wheel cover was laser-cut from mirror-finish stainless steel, and then over 200 crystals were added by hand here at the RWC facility. WOW! If you get to see these things in person, you won’t believe it! Nice work guys!

Rock Concert

August 20, 2008

A couple weeks ago we were in the Tampa area, filming another segment for SPEED Channel’s TRUCK U television series. A huge thanks to Co-Hosts Matt & Bruno for thier amazing attention to detail. Our Jeep Wrangler JK accessories will be featured on an upcoming episode of TRUCK U. We’ll keep you posted as to air-dates & times.
While in Tampa, I was able to go back stage at the Ford Amphitheatre and meet our new project vehicle partners. CHEAP TRICK…. Yes, we’ve teamed-up with one of America’s legendary rock groups to create the coolest music-themed project vehicle ever. It was great to see the energy level and enthusiasm that these guys have on stage after all those years! The Chevy Avalanche will be our palette for creativity this year. Right now, aftermarket gear is arriving daily from some of the best names in the business, and our team has dreamed up a list of amazing features to build into the vehicle. We’ll keep you posted.

Mindfreak in Tampa

August 20, 2008

A big thanks to the entire Criss Angel MINDFREAK crew for inviting me to attend the “Building Implosion” stunt in Clearwater Beach, Florida. (Thanks for the DUST!!!) Wow… I’ve never been that close to a building that is being blown-up! Criss you are one CRAZY dude!

ROCK ON in 2008

July 23, 2008

Yes, the rumors are true! We have finalized plans to create the ultimate ROCK Music-Themed promotional vehicle. We have teamed-up with one of America’s legendary rock bands for the project, and our team is now shifting into high gear to get the project moving. Only 2 1/2 months before we get ready for the big SEMA show in Vegas. Any guess about which band we are working with???? This is going to be sooo cool!

Mindfreak Season 4 – TONIGHT ON A&E

July 23, 2008

Our friend, Criss Angel is about to begin another season of his award-winning series on A&E. Project Mgr, Cory & I had a chance to be part of filming for a couple episode that were taped earlier in the year. We had a great time with Criss and his entire production crew. Many of you have called and emailed me about seeing the mindfreak Hummer that is currently on display at the Luxor Resort/Casino in Las Vegas. It will definitely be part of season 4. Tune in each Wednesday night to A&E at 9:00pm CST. Criss has some crazy stuff planned for it!

Later…
Jhan

Summer’s Here!

June 30, 2008

WOW… Hard to believe that tomorrow is July 1st already! In between the big midwest thunder storms and flooding, the RWC team has been traveling all over the region. A big thanks to all of our friends and clients in the Luxury Motor Coach community. We have enjoyed two big events involving these RV owners and builders in the last couple weeks, in Charlotte, MI and DuQuoin, IL. What a great group of people! We personally visited every coach that had our RealWheels accessories, and thoroughly enjoyed meeting the vehicle owners, and spending time with our valuable customers.

Our project “Weekender” Jeep is finally completed, and we have begun attending Jeep club events, and dealer grand openings. We definitely need to make a trip to the Badlands off-road facility in Indiana. Anyone like to join us? If so, contact me ASAP. We are looking at the schedule for late July or early August.

If you know of any other shows or events that would be perfect for one of our project vehicles to attend, please don’t hesitate to call.
More updates soon…
Jhan

GET SMART…

May 7, 2008

Like poking a stick into an ant hill, the little SMART Cars have begun emerging from various dealerships across the country, and are now being seen on the streets of major metropolitan areas. Whatever features they lack from being small, they get back from being FUN! These things are COOL!, And… the more we work with them, and drive them, the more appreciation our team has for the “Smart for Two”. Project Manager, Cory Polka and I first saw these sporty cars during a business trip to Germany in 2004. We knew that they would eventual make their way to the USA, and become one of those vehicles, that “You just gotta customize!” So… We’re ready! Our design team recently completed a whole accessory trim kit, that can be mixed and matched in order to create the look and personality you desire for your new Smart. Check it out, at: http://www.realwheelstrim.com/

SPEED Channel – This weekend!

April 30, 2008

Tune in this weekend to SPEED channel’s “TRUCK U” television series, as our friends Matt Steele and Bruno Massell show viewers the benefits, good looks, and easy installation of our REAL-Step. The REAL-Step has been one of our most popular products, and we are very excited at this opportunity to give it some national television exposure. TRUCK U airs this weekend (Sun. May3rd at 8:30am EST & Mon. May 5th at 3:30pm EST)

JEEP project UPDATE: The Off-Road Jeep Wrangler project is just about completed, and photos are scheduled for this weekend. We are very happy with the results, and look forward to sharing it with you. Watch for photos on our site NEXT WEEK!

Show Update

April 11, 2008

The MID-AMERICA TRUCK SHOW turned out to be one of the best ever for RealWheels! We’ve done that show for over twenty years, but NEVER like this! Our project team went above & beyond to create an awesome wheel display, showing our various styles of hub covers and other wheels accessories. They even enlisted the help of our friends at StreetGlow to light the exhibit up with hundreds of LED lights. We had products displayed all over the show, so we needed a real show of force from our staff. Bjorn, Cory, Drew, Greg, Nate and myself all worked the show, and Mr. & Mrs. Polka joined us to help out on the last day. A big thanks to all of our friends at the Chrome Shop Mafia for their genuine excitment about our line, and continued support. They continued to draw big crowds, and build their brand. It was great to finally meet the new Trick My Truck team… Outkast Kustoms. The CMT television’s lead man, Kelvin Locklear is just as cool and entertaining as you would imagine, and it was great to spend time with him and his wife April. Watch for our own Greg Polka to make an appearance on one of the upcoming episodes! We look forward to working with Kelvin and the gang in the coming months. The REAL-MAG hub covers were a huge hit at the show, and could be found on dozens of the show trucks on display. The retro look of the MAGS with their classic american muscle-car styling, is really gaining popularity! Today Bjorn and Greg are taking charge of our FDIC (Fire Departments Instructional Conference) exhibit in Indianapolis. Looks like another busy show! More updates to come!

New Jeep Project

March 19, 2008

Phase 2 of our Jeep Wrangler JK accessory line has now officially rolled-out. This phase includes all of the BLACk Powder-coated products. The parts look awesome! In conjunction with this launch, we have just taken delivery of a new 2008 white Jeep JK 4-door. Various sponsors are joining us to create an incredible example of an OFF-ROAD READY Jeep. We’ve added information on this project to the various Jeep forums, asking other Jeepers to offer suggestions, and be part of the project build. If there is anything specific that you would like to see on our new Jeep, please let us know. I’ll be sharing some of the input here on the BLOG, and will keep you updated on the progress.

Next Up…. Mid America!

March 19, 2008

Hi, Next week we head to Louisville, KY for the huge Mid America Truck Show. A large portion of our staff will attend the show, just to handle the large crowds that visit our display. This year’s event is especially important for us, as many new products will be displayed, and be promoted on vehicles all over the show. If you get a chance to attend the show, make sure to check out our new wheels accessory display. Our design team really didi a tremendous job, and even added some color changing LED lights to the display from Street Glow. We’ll also be spending time with our friends from Outcast Kustoms for their “Trick My Truck” television series on CMT. They’ll be using the new REAL-MAG hub covers on the project truck creation that they’re building right at the show.
NEW GUY… A big WELCOME to Andrew Wood! Andrew joined the team at RealWheels this week, and we’re thrilled to have him on board. He is a die-hard truck & car enthusiast, and can be reached here in our office at extension #112.

February was a BLURR!

February 28, 2008

On top of the record snowfall that we are getting this winter, the pace here at RWC just hasn’t slowed down. Early this month our “Yacht Club” Chevy Silverado 3500HD project vehicle was at the huge Chicago International Auto Show for the entire 11 day automotive event. General Motors Corporation asked that it attend as an example of what is possible in custom features and aftermarket modifications for this awesome pick-up. Thanks to all that checked it out!
Our custom Jeep Wrangler project was scheduled to attend SEMA’s Spring Expo in Indianapolis, but another midwest snow storm cancelled that opportunity. The Jeep was to be displayed in the “Light Truck & SUV” magazine exhibit. Sorry Guys…. We’ll make it up to ya!
One of our Representatives, Bjorn Cannon, has spent more time on airplanes lately, than here in the office. The Midwest Truck Show, National Work Truck Show, and various Dealer events have been keeping him on the road, and taking care of some of our best clients. Colleen Collins and I just returned from the Keystone Big Show in NJ, where we were very pleased with the response to our new products, and the results from the event. Nice show guys!!! Next week I head back to my previous home… Orange County, California, for the Off-Road Impact show. (After this long Chicago winter, I’m not sure I’m coming back!) There is a great amount of demand for our new Jeep accessories, and the people attending this show KNOW JEEPS!
Nate, Greg, Bjorn, Cory, and I will all be traveling to the Mid-America Truck Show next month in Louisville. It is the largest event of its kind in the U.S. and is a big event for us every year. This year, we have a few surprises that will make it our best Mid-America show ever! Stay tuned!

JEEEEPers

January 9, 2008

Happy New Year!
Thank to all the Jeep owners that have contacted us about our new Jeep Wrangler accessories. The response has been fantastic, and production is in full swing on the various parts. Remember… These items are available in either a black or a bright finish, so you can get the look you want. In the next few weeks we will begin to post photos of our Jeep customer’s vehicles with their new accessories on our Jeep page. Keep those photos coming!

Have you seen our RealMAGS? Less than a year ago, we launched an exciting new product in to the commercial truck side of our business. They are just plain COOL! These simple hub covers easily mount into the center of any 22.5″ or 24.5″ truck wheel, creating the look of a classic American MAG wheel. It instantly transforms the look of the vehicle. If you haven’t seen them yet, check them out our home page. www.realwheels.com
If you know anyone with a motorcoach, tow rig, commercial truck, or any vehicle using this size of wheel you’ve got to let know.