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Hubcap Spinner Progresses to Anything He Could Lift

Fifteen-year-old David Klemczak set a Guinness World Record by twirling a hubcap on one finger for 22 hours in the KOBI television studios in Medford, Ore., on Nov. 2, 1980.

When he wasn’t spinning hubcaps from his collection, the Butte Falls youth would spin anything he could lift: books, suitcases, chainsaws, even a kitchen sink! With his index finger he would find the center of gravity of an object and move his finger away from and toward the center, causing it to spin.

Klemczak had been picking up hubcaps along roadsides around Butte Falls for a couple of years and already had a collection of more than 600. He studied and photographed them, calling himself a “hubcapologist.” According to his research, more Fords lost hubcaps than any other vehicles.

His record-setting achievement led to appearances on “Real Kids,” “Good Morning America” and “The Jay Leno Show.” Klemczak loved the limelight and was determined to continue in show business with his spinning.

Should that not work out, he figured he could always count on his hubcapology. Sure enough, by 1999 Klemczak was running a hubcap store in Salt Lake City, Utah, between performance engagements as “Chadd Lowe, spinner extraordinaire.”

Sources: Stanley, Denise. "Hubcap Harvest." Mail Tribune 12 Oct. 1980 [Medford, Oregon] , lifestyles ed.: 1. Print.  "Youth Sets Hubcap Twirling Recond." Mail Tribune 3 Nov. 1980 [Medford, Oregon] . Print. "Spin City." People. People Magazine, 13 Sept. 1999. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. .

Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.