Proud to Be Loud
In Los Angeles, dubs—20-inch decorative chrome rims for tires—are a very big deal. Myles and Cynthia Kovacs, who put out Dub magazine, run a car-customizing business, and make rims that cost up to $150,000 a set. So it should come as no surprise that they have nine cars parked in their driveway, each shinier than the next. The family’s newest, and current favorite, is their 2007 Cadillac Escalade EXT, painted baby blue and souped-up to the tune of $60,000 with rims, a grille, and a matching suede-and-leather interior. Even the truck bed, which houses a Suzuki Hayabusa, the world’s fastest motorcycle, is covered in baby-blue suede ("to keep the bike warm") and boasts an eardrum-splitting sound system for parking-lot parties. And just so none of the family—they have two kids, Andy, 9, and Michaela, 8 12;gets bored, they’ve included an Alpine DVD/LCD in-dash unit, seat-back TV’s, PlayStation, DirectTV, WiFi and XM Radio. "This is not a necessity car!" Myles laughs.
In a Word, Why? "Our Escalade is like a concept car for us. We take it to car shows all over the world. But it’s also functional: It’s what we drive every day right now. It’s our command center—we have everything at our fingertips."
Road Tripping "We go to San Diego for the day to see SeaWorld or the zoo. We’ve done trips to Laguna, where we stay at the Ritz-Carlton and hit the beach. We just rented a cabin in Big Bear for four days and went fishing. We didn’t catch anything. I guess that’s why they call it fishing, not catching."
Backseat Button Mashers "The kids’ favorite movie is Tokyo Drift, and Andy loves to play basketball and Midnight Club 3 on the PlayStation. With all those video games, they’ll probably be much better drivers than we are!"
Order in the Car! "’No eating, No drinking’ are the rules we try to enforce, but it’s really hard to get people to respect that. Drinks are the worst, because they spill. It’s almost like trying to keep the floors in your house clean."
Dreaming of a Geo Metro "There are actually a lot of downsides to a car like this. Just finding a parking place where you’re not going to get your doors dinged is hard. It draws a lot of attention, and someone might try to steal it: the grille alone is worth $6,000. We admit, it’s over the top!"