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Old 01-12-2013, 03:43 AM   #1
50Fraud
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Default Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

My HAMB friend, Phartman, asked if I would discuss full wheel covers -- the factory “hubcaps” that were commonly used on early customs. I rarely have requests from the audience, so I couldn’t resist the call.

In my 2011 thread about steel wheels (http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...d.php?t=629421), I did mention the general categories of factory, aftermarket, and spinner types that were popular in the ‘50s, but without details or pictures.

In the 70+ years that these have been used, there have probably been thousands of designs -- waaaay too many to discuss more than a few of them. I’ll just write about those that were popular on customs during the ‘50s, with my usual large dose of personal opinion thrown in. I’ll first cover 15” caps prior to the era of “spinners”.

Certainly the King of Hubcaps were the Cadillac “sombreros” used from 1947 to 1953. The Barris brothers probably cleaned out the Cadillac warehouse, using these on a huge number of their Kustoms in the day. They are, still, one of the simplest and most elegant caps ever designed, even though mounting them on most stock wheels requires some fussy adaptation:



These were followed in ’53 by a one-year design, possibly based on the ’52 Buick tooling, again a clean and handsome cover that was widely used on customs. Sorry about these small images; they are borrowed from the website Hubcaps.com, and seem to resist enlargement:



Several other makes of cars used good looking wheel covers, and many of these showed up on mild customs through the ‘50s. The caps shown below are '49 Lincoln, '53 Studebaker, '54 Olds, '55 Buick, and '57 Cad. Here's where the opinion shows up; I'm mostly showing designs that I like:



And I could hardly overlook one of my favorites, '57 Lincoln Cosmopolitan:



There were a handful of wheel covers in this period that, although nice looking, were rarely seen on cars other than the ones that they came with. Maybe, because these were low-priced car models, their hubcaps were thought to be too modest or cheap to be used on a custom. I've shown '53 Chev, '54 Chev, '54 Merc & '56 Ford:



In 1953, the limited production Olds Fiesta had hubcaps with ears added to simulate knockoff hubs, and to add a little sparkle when they turned. These were a game changer; Olds used a simplified version as an optional cap through ’55, and zillions of them were stolen to sharpen up mild customs of the day:



While the Fiestas were clearly the pioneer among spinner hub caps, others became very popular with car guys as well, particularly the ’55 Dodge Lancers and the ’56 Olds Starfires. The others shown here (195? Corvette, '55 Buick, '56 Merc) were not as widely used, but all had their fans:











One oddity is the ’56 Chrysler spinner. Kind of a cross between a Lancer and a Fiesta, I think they are great looking, but I have NEVER seen a set on anything other than the Chrysler that they came with:



(To be continued momentarily -- I've reached the limit on images in one post.)

Last edited by 50Fraud; 01-12-2013 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Thank you very much for so far, can't wait till ya load up some more
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Old 01-12-2013, 03:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Up to this point, I've only dealt with 15" wheel covers.

In 1957, the game changed again with the introduction of 14” wheels on most popular makes. Of the solid (non-spinner) caps made in 14”, it seems that only Plymouth caps were widely used on other makes, although there were some other caps that were pretty nice from various MoPar divisions. These are Plymouth, Imperial, and DeSoto; all 1957:



With the advent of the 14” wheel, the selection of spinner hubcaps fell off – or at least, the number that were popular with mild customizers was very limited. ‘57 Dodge Lancers, with bars much longer than any real knockoff ever had, were the only 14” spinner cap that really caught on.



A few more were made by Chevrolet, Olds, Buick, and a handful of others, but they were rarely used on customs. 1959 Dodge Lancers were used on a few, but (spoiler alert -- opinion follows) they’re a lot fussier looking than the earlier styles of Lancers:



One novel cap was this one from Edsel; novel because the spinner was mounted at its ends rather than at the center, and it stood away from the wheel cover itself. These did show up on a few customs:



In the ‘60s, a large number of spinner hubcaps were made by Ford, Pontiac, even Rambler (examples shown below). Perhaps because of the arrival of the 5-spoke alloy wheels in the same time frame, the popularity of the spinner hubcaps fell off sharply, and I don’t recall seeing any of these used on cars other than their original applications.



Okay, I’ve covered most of the factory-made wheel covers that were used on customs (and occasionally rods) in the ‘50s, and many of these are still popular on traditional cars today. Of course there have been many guys who used uncommon Pontiac, or Buick, or other makes of caps, and there’s certainly no shame in that. There are many decent looking wheel covers that were used on more recent cars, up to the ‘70s and beyond, that could look great on a custom today. The caps below are from later models of Cadillac, Lincoln, and Chrysler:


Last edited by 50Fraud; 01-12-2013 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Several other thoughts came to mind while I was writing the stuff above, but I couldn't find appropriate places to stick them in. What follows are a bunch of random observations and opinions about wheel covers.

- A few of the popular factory wheel covers were copied by aftermarket manufacturers, often with some identifiable differences. In most cases, the copies were made in multiple diameters -- 14" and 15" -- even though the originals were only one size.

The '56 Olds Starfire and '57 Dodge Lancer were copied by several parties, many of whom added checkerboard or other texture in the area behind the spinner. This was not an improvement on the originals.

The 14" '57 Plymouth cap was copied in a simplified form: same cross section, but no windows around the outside edge, and the whole cap was shiny rather than brushed finish.

- Although the original Fiestas and the spinners that followed in the '50s were intended to suggest knockoff hubs, most of them were pretty abstract and didn't look very much like real knockoffs. The '56 and later Corvette caps did look a lot like the real thing, and many of the spinner-type caps produced in the '60s (shown above) also had more realistic looking knockoffs, but these seem to have been rarely used on customs.

- The early spinner-type caps typically had a circular detail in the wheel cover that was the same diameter as the tips of the spinner, suggesting the path of the spinner as it turned. Some had circumferential lines, or stripes, or brushed texture inside the circle and behind the spinner, again implying motion. Lancers and other MoPar spinners were an exception, using a polished background rather than any textural detail.

- In the '50s, while full wheel covers became popular on late model customs, they were rarely used on hot rods or pre-1941 customs. This is a controversial subject with some guys, and there are some (mostly East coast?) who think that they look great on early cars, but I am not one of them. Personal taste, of course.

No doubt other thoughts will occur to me about all of this, but I'm gonna go to bed now. Please feel welcome to pile on with your own opinions, pictures, whatever. G'night.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Nice....and nostalgic...thread...thank you

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Old 01-12-2013, 07:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I have a set of Old's Starfires I managed to find in 1978. Have had them on a couple cars that I thought they looked right on and "no" I wouldn't sell them. I can remember in the late 50's and early 60's guys who would actually take them off the car before they went into a movie or went to sleep so they wouldn't get stolen !
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Thank's for the pic's and info !!!! This is my kind of thread.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eppster View Post
I can remember in the late 50's and early 60's guys who would actually take them off the car before they went into a movie or went to sleep so they wouldn't get stolen !
Remember the hub cap locks that screwed onto your valve stem? Leaving your car out at night without those locks, if you had Fiestas, was like running with scissors.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:18 PM   #9
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Default

Thanks for the great post! You only really mentioned these in the context of customs but many of the caps you mentioned look great on a mid to late fifties hot rod also. Someday I'd like to build a closed cab A pickup with cycle fenders, full caps, and use 1953 olds wheelcovers. Painted a light purple color, with a olds or cad engine.


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Old 01-12-2013, 03:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Tony, many thanks for starting this thread. My '61 is now sporting a set of 14" '59 Plymouth Fury wheel covers, which are very close in design to the '57s you mentioned. They also bear some resemblance to the '60 Fords. With the medium white walls, it transformed the car. Now looks like a full scale rendition of an AMT model kit!

I'll post up pics later this weekend.

Again, thank you for this excellent thread.

Wheelcovers and hubcaps are cool....
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Here is the '59 Fury wheelcover...

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

what about these? i have alway like the early Pontiac's & Olds
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Tony, a wheel cover that is obvious in that nobody has mentioned it. Surprising, given the popularity of it.

History of the Moon disc? Both the full and the Baby Moon?

What is the story there? How early? Been around for a long time, but when did it first show up, and how has its popularity ebbed and flowed???
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:14 PM   #14
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by damagedduck View Post
what about these? i have alway like the early Pontiac's & Olds
Hahaha! Those are precisely two of the styles I had in mind when I wrote this in my second post of this thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 50Fraud View Post
Of course there have been many guys who used uncommon Pontiac, or Buick, or other makes of caps, and there’s certainly no shame in that.
I was thinking of these '52 Buicks, too, which might have shared tooling for the basic saucer with the '53 Cad:



I don't have any real knowledge of why sombreros were the hot ticket with Barris and his contemporaries in the early '50s, when Buick, Olds, and Pontiac all had rather similar and nice-looking caps at the same time.

Possible explanations could be:
- The Cadillac covers have a little more depth from their innermost point to their outiest.
- Cadillac was the most expensive car, and therefore had the most prestige.
- The Cadillac crest was the most elaborately decorated, with three colors of paint on a separate gold part.

But, who knows? Or cares? I've seen the ones you showed on some very nice cars, and I'm sure they'll be used again.

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Old 01-12-2013, 09:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by phartman View Post
Tony, a wheel cover that is obvious in that nobody has mentioned it. Surprising, given the popularity of it.

History of the Moon disc? Both the full and the Baby Moon?

What is the story there? How early? Been around for a long time, but when did it first show up, and how has its popularity ebbed and flowed???
Pete, I mentioned them briefly in the original steelies thread. I believe that there has also been a separate HAMB thread on their history; you might try a search. Moon started producing them in the early '50s -- I don't know the exact year. At first they were used primarily on Bonneville, lakes, and drag cars, but they became fashionable on street-driven hot rods in the mid-'50s. Their popularity on the street was augmented with the introduction of the snap-on version (which are still made), but I think some guys view those as poser parts.

Edit: when I wrote that, I was assuming that you were referring to the Moon spun aluminum wheel discs. When I re-read what you wrote and noticed your reference to "baby moons", I'm not so sure; maybe you were re referring to the shiny chrome variety???

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Old 01-13-2013, 07:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Tony, I was thinking of the spun aluminum, but it surprises me how often the other chrome, smaller "baby" Moons come up in conversation. Were they also a product of the Mooneyes company? Or did people just assume they came from the same company because of their somewhat similar appearance? Dunno.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:35 AM   #17
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I am interested in 16" hubcaps. Now that might take a little more research.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I know I am asking for trouble but here goes. My 47 Plymouth has 17 inch steels because the front discs are to big for anything smaller I would like to fit full wheel covers any idears that dont involve putting smaller discs on please
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Old 01-13-2013, 05:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Even today,I still like 1953 Studebaker the best,and if a close freind had not given me his slot mags,I'd still be running them.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Cool thread ......just picked up these, had never seen them before... 1954 Chrysler Windsor Saratoga .....Photobucket
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:37 PM   #21
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by phartman View Post
...it surprises me how often the other chrome, smaller "baby" Moons come up in conversation. Were they also a product of the Mooneyes company? Or did people just assume they came from the same company because of their somewhat similar appearance?
When I was a teenager, these were called "moons". Not moon hubcaps or (capitalized) Moons, just moons. This had nothing to do with the Moon Equipment Company (predecessor to Mooneyes); I think they were called moons just because they were round and shiny. Purists may debate whether these caps had one or more raised beads out near the edge, or none; I don't know the difference:



Backing up in time a bit, these earlier caps covered most of the wheel center, and when used with beauty rings, looked very similar to the moons above. I never knew what they were called by the earlier guys, and I don't know how they are mounted to the wheel:



Back now to the '50s, the style of cap below was used on the majority of the hot rods I saw. At the time they weren't called baby moons where I lived, they were "buttons" or "baldies", and I always assumed that they were just an aftermarket copy of a '40 Ford DeLuxe hubcap with the stamped graphics left off.



Similar caps to those have been produced for many years since to fit a variety of wheel centers, and they are all apparently referred to as "baby moons".

Again, I don't think any of the caps above were produced by, or had anything to do with, the Moon Equipment Company. It's coincidental that Moon started producing spun aluminum discs in the same general time frame (early '50s), and the fact that the various chrome caps are called by a similar name to the spun discs is cause for confusion.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #22
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by curbspeed View Post
I am interested in 16" hubcaps. Now that might take a little more research.
I don't think that there are a great many more varieties of 16" caps than the ones mentioned so far. Sombreros and moons (and the smaller ones mentioned above) were available in 16". There were variants on the early moons (both the full covers and slightly smaller center caps) with the single flipper bar across them, of course. I know that you're using Kevin Lee's spun discs together with '30s Ford center caps -- a combination that I love, by the way. I'm sure that there were other full wheel covers for 16s, but I can't think of any; please jump in if you know of others that I'm missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 47 PLY View Post
My 47 Plymouth has 17 inch steels because the front discs are to big for anything smaller I would like to fit full wheel covers any idears that dont involve putting smaller discs on please
I'm reeeally out of my depth here; I'm not aware of any 17" full wheel covers, and if they exist, I imagine that they're pretty rare. I know that guys have sometimes used beauty rings as adapters to mount 15" caps on 16" wheels, and have welded or screwed the caps to the rings for added security. I'm also aware that 17" beauty rings are available, but they're very expensive -- like $90 each. I imagine that would work, but wouldn't be cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrd32 View Post
...just picked up these, had never seen them before... 1954 Chrysler Windsor Saratoga .....Photobucket
I remember seeing very similar caps on early Chryslers when they were current, but the ones I've seen have serrations in the ring that's outward from the center dome. I think they're cool looking too, and although I haven't seen them used on customs before, I can't think of any reason not to.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

These are the ones I was thinking of, which are apparently from '51-52 Saratogas. The serrations are barely visible at this size:

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Old 01-13-2013, 07:02 PM   #24
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

16" there are the Lyon caps, both there designs and Cadi rip offs. There is also another full 16" wheel cover of which I have 2, dont know who made them, they are simple and very cool. Then there are the 16" wire full cap, Lyon, Stewart Warner and Hudson name brands.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:05 PM   #25
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Oh, yeah, I forgot about the Lyons, thanks!

I'm not sure what you mean by "wire full cap". Fake wire wheels mounted on steelies, or something else?
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:06 PM   #26
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Cool read Tony! I've got a decent collection of caps and would like to add a few.
Of course Hollywood flippers are a bit earlier and best on 16" wheels, they are tough to beat on an early custom.


I also love the aftermarket caps like Lyons and Cal-nevar.

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Old 01-13-2013, 07:11 PM   #27
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Funny, I was just looking at that picture of Emory's Dodge while hunting for examples.

Thanks for the additions!
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:24 PM   #28
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I was just throwing the 16"variable into the mix to see what some of you fella's had out there. I know they are hard to come by and it's nice to have some reference when hitting the swaps.
Neat idea for a thread. Thanks. Any updates on that neat custom you are building with Don?
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:44 PM   #29
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Here's my 58 with caps you never see used, 61 Buick.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:02 PM   #30
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I love your threads, I'm always learning something I didn't know I should know. I'm running 1954 Chrysler New Yorker 15" caps. I can't say I've ever seen anyone run them before. I think they are pretty good looking, they also don't have any emblems on them so they would look good on any car. Anyway, I hope this fits into this thread...

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Old 01-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50Fraud View Post
Oh, yeah, I forgot about the Lyons, thanks!

I'm not sure what you mean by "wire full cap". Fake wire wheels mounted on steelies, or something else?
A cap that goes over the wires to make them look like a solid, but till retain the small inner cap.
Something about keeping the snow out of the wires.......
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:57 PM   #32
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

You mentioned the 1957 Dodge Lancer hupcap, but the '58 unit was the same except for the black painted portion in the center instead of silver.

Great idea for a thread Tony!

1957


1958
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:11 PM   #33
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

One thing I just dont understand. When I look through old Hot Rods and the little pages starting in the mid fifties, right on through the takeover of the "mag" wheel starting around '63ish, I see TONS of full wheelcovers on hot rods, but whenever anyone talks about full wheelcovers on the HAMB, it seems to be in relation to customs only. I guess I find this a little puzzling, you know, seeing as we are supposed to be the "keepers of the flame" so to speak...

PS: Those lincolns are one of my personal favorites, and running a strong second on the list of full wheelcovers I am seeking for my T.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #34
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I wasn't.....lol
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:17 PM   #35
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

16" Lyons on my Victoria....matter of fact am looking for another set of Lyon 16's if some are available?
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:22 PM   #36
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

You make a good point falcongeorge. The examples you show are the proof, wide whites and full wheel covers were "in" with the rodders as well as the custom crowd. I think the progression went from this look, to chrome reverse wheels, then came the "mags" (at least in my neck o' the woods)
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #37
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

What the hey, lets see some more...
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:28 PM   #38
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by waldo53 View Post
You make a good point falcongeorge. The examples you show are the proof, wide whites and full wheel covers were "in" with the rodders as well as the custom crowd. I think the progression went from this look, to chrome reverse wheels, then came the "mags" (at least in my neck o' the woods)
Yup. Besides they look great!
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:28 PM   #39
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mac View Post
Here's my 58 with caps you never see used, 61 Buick.


Oh, I wouldn't say 'never'.........
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:04 PM   #40
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Default

Thanks very well written and fun to read, I enjoyed your perspective.


Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:02 AM   #41
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by curbspeed View Post
Any updates on that neat custom you are building with Don?
I think that the last thing Don did was to finesse the fit of the Stude taillights to the '40 fenders, but I didn't think that was enough to post about. He may have new developments recently; I'll ask.

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Originally Posted by Human Fly View Post
A cap that goes over the wires to make them look like a solid, but till retain the small inner cap.
Ah, yes. Like Kevin Lee makes. I didn't recognize Lyon, Kelsey, & Hudson as manufacturers of those.

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Originally Posted by Gotgas View Post
You mentioned the 1957 Dodge Lancer hupcap, but the '58 unit was the same except for the black painted portion in the center instead of silver.
I never knew that. I think I like the black centers just a little better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by falcongeorge View Post
One thing I just dont understand. When I look through old Hot Rods and the little pages starting in the mid fifties, right on through the takeover of the "mag" wheel starting around '63ish, I see TONS of full wheelcovers on hot rods, but whenever anyone talks about full wheelcovers on the HAMB, it seems to be in relation to customs only...
I did allude to the use of full wheel covers on hot rods in post #4, but I said they weren't often used that way. That was certainly true where I grew up in West LA, and I still find the combination a little disturbing. There were indeed a lot of magazine featured rods with big hubcaps; I don't think I'm out of line in saying that a large percentage of them were East or Midwest cars.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:17 PM   #42
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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I did allude to the use of full wheel covers on hot rods in post #4, but I said they weren't often used that way. That was certainly true where I grew up in West LA, and I still find the combination a little disturbing. There were indeed a lot of magazine featured rods with big hubcaps; I don't think I'm out of line in saying that a large percentage of them were East or Midwest cars.
Bear with me here, charging my camera battery...
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:37 PM   #43
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Here are those "fake" wires that screwed onto your stock wheelcover

Photobucket
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:41 PM   #44
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

And aftermarket Cadillac sombrero's that fit just like regular caps on a 15" wheel

Photobucket
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:42 PM   #45
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Somehow, I sense that this debate is not yet over. At the risk of whipping a dead horse, George, let's review the 13 cars you displayed in your two pictorial posts. I can see California plates on #'s 4 and 13, and IMO 12 is probably a CA car. 1 and 5 clearly show non-CA plates, and I would readily bet beer money that the remainder are Eastern or Midwest cars.

All the usual disclaimers apply: everyone is entitled to his opinion, people should build what they like, it's a free country, there's no shame in living East of San Bernardino. I did say, way back in the first post, that I would include a large dose of personal opinion.

My OPINION is that hot rods wearing steelies look more "right" with little hub caps than big ones, and my OPINION is that history is on my side.

The two '32s with Lancers do look pretty good that way, but don't tell 'em I said so.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:49 PM   #46
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Great thread.

I'm shopping for 15" caps to put on my truck when I get it back on the road and this has me searching for some new options.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:04 PM   #47
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

If you look at the "Little" books of the mid to late fifties and early sixties you will see a ton of Hot Rods with full caps....the Channeled Hot Rods thread is full of them....different aesthetics make for a lot of cool rides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 50Fraud View Post
Somehow, I sense that this debate is not yet over. At the risk of whipping a dead horse, George, let's review the 13 cars you displayed in your two pictorial posts. I can see California plates on #'s 4 and 13, and IMO 12 is probably a CA car. 1 and 5 clearly show non-CA plates, and I would readily bet beer money that the remainder are Eastern or Midwest cars.

All the usual disclaimers apply: everyone is entitled to his opinion, people should build what they like, it's a free country, there's no shame in living East of San Bernardino. I did say, way back in the first post, that I would include a large dose of personal opinion.

My OPINION is that hot rods wearing steelies look more "right" with little hub caps than big ones, and my OPINION is that history is on my side.

The two '32s with Lancers do look pretty good that way, but don't tell 'em I said so.
Brian Bass just popped 'em on his '29.....

Photobucket
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:17 PM   #48
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

50Fraud do you know if anyone is repopping the centre caps for the 57 Lincoln hubcaps? I have a set of 57 lincolns, but the centre caps need replacing
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:55 PM   #49
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by hotrd32 View Post
If you look at the "Little" books of the mid to late fifties and early sixties you will see a ton of Hot Rods with full caps....the Channeled Hot Rods thread is full of them....
As I said, mostly East Coast... :-)

For some reason, channeled cars that are down at the back, with whitewalls and full wheel covers, just scream East Coast. Just not my thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrd32 View Post
Brian Bass just popped 'em on his '29.....
I have no explanation for this. I love Brian's work, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ynottayblock View Post
50Fraud do you know if anyone is repopping the centre caps for the 57 Lincoln hubcaps?
Sorry, I don't. I know a guy who said that he had a whole stash of OEM centers, but he hasn't been able to locate them and fears that they were thrown out. I may have heard of somebody repopping them, but I don't remember any specifics.

I was extremely fortunate in buying a set on eBay that had decent centers as I received them. I tried swapping a better center into my worst one, and discovered that the tabs that retain them are very fragile and don't like to be un-bent without breaking.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:18 PM   #50
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I figured that was the case, I figured you would know out of anyone if they had been reproduced or not. All of my centres are too far gone...might have to cast some custom ones. Thanks for answering my question.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:24 PM   #51
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

If anyone is looking for Hot Rods with Hubcaps check out his thread.......

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...s+with+hubcaps
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:25 PM   #52
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Another aspect of the wheelcover 'craze' is the modified units that were being run in the mid-late '50s on hot rods and customs alike. Adding bullets, spinners, plexiglass, candy paint, and pretty much anything else was fair game.

Barris had several how-tos on building these.

Chili Catallos' Little Deuce Coupe (not sure if Alexander Bros or Barris made these caps)


Larry Watson's Grapevine


Barris' The Grecian
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:36 PM   #53
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Cool thread ......just picked up these, had never seen them before... 1954 Chrysler Windsor Saratoga .....Photobucket
I believe those are actually no-name "replacement" caps intended to look like '51-53 Oldsmobile. They are identical except the lack of the Olds emblem in the center. (And, ironically, better looking and more custom because of it!)

J.C. Whitney and others used to sell dozens of "nearly identical" replacement wheel covers.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #54
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

When I Goggled 1954 Chrysler Windsor I found at least two examples of the car with these hubcaps....

Photobucket
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #55
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 50Fraud View Post
Somehow, I sense that this debate is not yet over. At the risk of whipping a dead horse, George, let's review the 13 cars you displayed in your two pictorial posts. I can see California plates on #'s 4 and 13, and IMO 12 is probably a CA car. 1 and 5 clearly show non-CA plates, and I would readily bet beer money that the remainder are Eastern or Midwest cars.

All the usual disclaimers apply: everyone is entitled to his opinion, people should build what they like, it's a free country, there's no shame in living East of San Bernardino. I did say, way back in the first post, that I would include a large dose of personal opinion.

My OPINION is that hot rods wearing steelies look more "right" with little hub caps than big ones, and my OPINION is that history is on my side.

The two '32s with Lancers do look pretty good that way, but don't tell 'em I said so.
Opinions are cool, no problem, in the interest of historical accuracy, and the HAMB's position as (deserved or not) the oracle of what was done back in the day, I am taking issue with the statement about full wheel covers being a primarily midwest/east coast phenomenon. When I read that, I grabbed a random stack of half a dozen late fifties/early sixties hot rods as well as Andy Southards book, and in a matter of minutes, found more than a dozen California based cars with full wheel covers. And thats hardly what I would call an exhaustive search. So that statement doesnt stand up to scrutiny. Your opinion is a whole nother matter. That I acknowledge and respect, even if I dont necessarily agree.

One thing I DID find interesting, at the same time, I was also making mental note of the cars with beanie caps, and I did note something interesting. All the cars I saw with beanies came from 1 of 3 places. The LA basin, San Francisco, and believe it or not, Portland Oregon. Now, like I said, this is far from being a comprehensive search, and I'm sure there must be the occasional car with beanies on it from elsewhere, but the trend was pretty striking for such a brief search. Another thing I noticed, while there were cars with beanies prior to this, they seem to REALLY get "hot" on cars in those areas around '60'-62. I would say that rather than full hubcaps being a mid-west/east coast phenomenon, that you grew up in one of only three areas where the beanies were really "hot".
Just thought it was interesting.
Another note on the beanies, at some point, there was some discussion about someone on here wanting to re-pop the real pointy, period-correct beanies. Is anything happening with that? The modern ones dont look right at all.

I'll still post the photos I found of the cali cars with full hupcaps, 1) for the sake of maintaining a historical balance,2) because they are pertinant to the thread, and 3) because lots of them are cool as hell.

The heavily raked 3 window with the lancers is IMO, one of the flat-out COOLEST hot rods I've ever seen posted on here. By the way, the #1 slot on the list of hubcaps I am looking for for my T is a set of short-bar lancers. But the lincoln caps are right in the hunt.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #56
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by hotrd32 View Post
If you look at the "Little" books of the mid to late fifties and early sixties you will see a ton of Hot Rods with full caps....the Channeled Hot Rods thread is full of them....different aesthetics make for a lot of cool rides.



Brian Bass just popped 'em on his '29.....

Oh BABY!!
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:00 PM   #57
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Thanks 50 Fraud, Ive got 17 ribbed beauty rings and spider caps at the moment (see avatar) so I will look at attaching a 15 or 16 cap to the beauty rings or the rims as you suggested.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:06 PM   #58
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Talking specifically about the popular '57 Cadillac hubcap... Seems to me they became popular on customs sometime in the 1980's. In all the pics of "historic" customs from BITD I can only think of one or two that run '57 Cad caps.

Anyone care to comment on that? Am I wrong?
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:09 PM   #59
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

While my camera is charging, here are two very high-profile California cars I already have on my hd, both of which had full wheelcovers. Griepmsas and the Monte Trone car. Hmm, both channeled too, how about that... I'll review my HD, and see what else I can find in the way of CA cars.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:13 PM   #60
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrd32 View Post
If anyone is looking for Hot Rods with Hubcaps check out his thread.......

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...s+with+hubcaps
Oops -- once again, I run afoul of Ryan's taste in wheels. Quoting Ryan from the Part 1 thread on steelies:

"I'm the anti-Tony when it comes to wheels... Or maybe he's the anti-Ryan."

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Another aspect of the wheelcover 'craze' is the modified units that were being run in the mid-late '50s on hot rods and customs alike. Adding bullets, spinners, plexiglass, candy paint, and pretty much anything else was fair game.
I must bite my tongue when responding to this one. Let's see... I think that adding additional parts to spinner hub caps may be a little over the top. How's that for a PC response?
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:21 PM   #61
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

^^^^ lol!
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:29 PM   #62
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I must bite my tongue when responding to this one. Let's see... I think that adding additional parts to spinner hub caps may be a little over the top. How's that for a PC response?
I'm not saying they are great. But your thread is about traditional full wheel covers, and I think they they should at least be mentioned in the discussion.

Does anyone have more information about the cast wheelcovers that appeared on The Grecian, El Capitola, and X-Sonic at various times? I believe these were commissioned by Barris for use on customer cars but I am not sure of that.

Tony, I know you consider these ugly, but this thread is going to be pretty stale if all we talk about is Caddy Sombreros!

X-Sonic


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Old 01-14-2013, 03:47 PM   #63
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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All the cars I saw with beanies came from 1 of 3 places. The LA basin, San Francisco, and believe it or not, Portland Oregon... I would say that rather than full hubcaps being a mid-west/east coast phenomenon, that you grew up in one of only three areas where the beanies were really "hot".
Maybe I should grab onto this as a life preserver, as my boat appears to be filling with water. It IS an interesting observation, about where the little hubcaps were hottest, and I certainly agree that my perceptions were formed in SoCal and by reading the magazines. Of course, that WAS where the coolest cars were (oops, do I hear another shitstorm rising?).

On a related topic, I spent 13 years in Minnesota in the '80s, and reconnected with hot rods and customs after having been away for a number of years. Traditional hot rods were back with a roar, and I was surprised to notice that an extremely popular fashion was to run steelies with beauty rings and STOCK FORD hubcaps 1940-48. I had seen very little of this on the West Coast -- the use of stock caps rather than beanies/buttons/baby moons -- but I thought it was a good look too.

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Originally Posted by falcongeorge View Post
The heavily raked 3 window with the lancers is IMO, one of the flat-out COOLEST hot rods I've ever seen posted on here.
Agreed, that's a very good looking car. The profile picture just before it is identified as Russell Aves' car, which was one of the very best cars in my immediate area, and I wouldn't be surprised if the one with the Lancers is also Russell's car at a different point in time.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:35 PM   #64
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by Mr. Mac View Post
Here's my 58 with caps you never see used, 61 Buick.
Sweet 58.....beautifully done. And those caps look great on there.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:54 PM   #65
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Here is C9's full post on caps and wheelcovers. Dang I miss that guy. RIP.

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/s...bloodyknuckles
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:22 PM   #66
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Adding candy paint and a chrome bullet center to spinners was something that I, and many others did (in California) to be a little more distinctive. The bullets were available at places like Western Auto (as was the paint). Here's a picture of my car (I guess it's neither a rod or a custom, just the typical boulevard cruiser) taken in 1959 in Roseville CA, the gold paint in the center sorta matched the gold Bel Air highlights - I thought it looked pretty cool.

Just a footnote - the Spartan trailer in the background that has the '59 Pontiac parked in front - a cute girl lived there that I started dating. Next month we celebrate our 53rd anniversary.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:00 PM   #67
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by 50Fraud View Post
Maybe I should grab onto this as a life preserver, as my boat appears to be filling with water. It IS an interesting observation, about where the little hubcaps were hottest, and I certainly agree that my perceptions were formed in SoCal and by reading the magazines. Of course, that WAS where the coolest cars were (oops, do I hear another shitstorm rising?).

On a related topic, I spent 13 years in Minnesota in the '80s, and reconnected with hot rods and customs after having been away for a number of years. Traditional hot rods were back with a roar, and I was surprised to notice that an extremely popular fashion was to run steelies with beauty rings and STOCK FORD hubcaps 1940-48. I had seen very little of this on the West Coast -- the use of stock caps rather than beanies/buttons/baby moons -- but I thought it was a good look too.



Agreed, that's a very good looking car. The profile picture just before it is identified as Russell Aves' car, which was one of the very best cars in my immediate area, and I wouldn't be surprised if the one with the Lancers is also Russell's car at a different point in time.
Too funny! While I was looking through those same seven old magazines,I spotted the SAME thing on a really nice, Seattle based, full fendered deuce roadster, and thought to myself "man thats unusual for a late fifties car"!
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:15 PM   #68
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Ok, sorry it took me a while to get back here, I am home with the flu, and I fell asleep on the couch all day.
The first group will be five California cars I found by looking through 7 random back issues of Hot Rod. These werent pre-selected, they were just a random stack of old mags that happened to be laying on the coffee table, and 4 out of the seven had a cal. based car with full wheelcovers. Whats also notable about these random pics is just how often the aftermarket copies of the Plymouth cones appear. Those things were EVERYWHERE in the late fifties!
1)San Francisco, May '62, aftermarket cones
2)Fresno, Oct. '59, '56 Ford
3)Eureka, Oct. '60, aftermarket cones. I like this little coupe, really tidy little car, nailhead power
4)Los Angeles, Oct. 60, moon discs
5)Alhambra, June '60, aftermarket cones
The October '60 issue actually had ANOTHER California car with full hub-caps, a '39 Pontiac Sedan with aftermarket cones from Azusa, but I felt that was kind of pushing the boundaries, so to be fair I didnt post it. Maybe I will put it up later, its kind of a cool car, and pretty unusual for the time.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:34 PM   #69
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Ok, the following grouping is from Andy Southards FANTASTIC book, Hot Rods of The Fifties, all are California based, I will follow the same pattern, city, year, hubcap.
1)Redding, 1960, aftermarket cones. Love this car,cycle fenders, with bobbed stockers on the back, a tri-power 265, and DIG the gold T&R!
2)San Diego on a used car lot, 1958, more of those cones
3)Long Beach, 1958, short bar lancers, and another real stunner, imo. I have always had a fetish for cross-bar duece grill shell inserts.
4)San Marino, 1958, Corvette
5) Saratoga, 1956, Lancers again
6)Car show in Monteray, 1956, Olds Fiestas
7) Salinas drags, 1955, Lyons?? Dont think I need to id this car...
8)Maywood, 1955, '54?? Olds
9)San Jose, 1956, Olds Fiesta
10) Richmond, 1956, '56 Ford. Someone mention taste?

At this point, I dont think anyone will disagree, in the mid/late fifties, there were a HELL of a lot of hot rods running around so-cal in the late fifties with full wheel covers. taste, well, thats a separate issue.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:40 PM   #70
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by Gotgas View Post
I'm not saying they are great. But your thread is about traditional full wheel covers, and I think they they should at least be mentioned in the discussion.
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Originally Posted by waldo53 View Post
Adding candy paint and a chrome bullet center to spinners was something that I, and many others did (in California) to be a little more distinctive. The bullets were available at places like Western Auto (as was the paint).
My gripe is not with painting and detailing Lancers, or other changes that complete a color scheme or theme. It is with those cars (like Watson! really?) that added a bunch of spinner ears to Fiestas, so they looked more like turbines than knockoffs; or spikes added to '59 Lancers and looking like a Ben-Hur chariot. Or -- gag! -- plastic fins grafted on to some standard wheelcover, for what conceivable purpose?

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Originally Posted by Gotgas View Post
Does anyone have more information about the cast wheelcovers that appeared on The Grecian, El Capitola, and X-Sonic at various times? I believe these were commissioned by Barris for use on customer cars but I am not sure of that.
I do recall seeing these in a few magazine features, and I agree that Barris was somehow responsible for them. I'm guessing here, but they look to me more like a torque converter or aircraft surplus torus of some sort than a real wheel cover. I imagine somebody found a stash of surplus mechanical parts somewhere, and dressed them up for use as wheel covers.

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Originally Posted by falcongeorge View Post
...Whats also notable about these random pics is just how often the aftermarket copies of the Plymouth cones appear. Those things were EVERYWHERE in the late fifties!
I do remember these, but I didn't realize that they were super popular. In my defense, I went away to college in the fall of '57, and wasn't paying a lot of attention to hot rods by that time.

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Originally Posted by falcongeorge View Post
3)Eureka, Oct. '60, aftermarket cones. I like this little coupe, really tidy little car, nailhead power
That IS a neat looking car. I think it's a Chevy; I don't think I've ever seen a Chev sport coupe hot rod before.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:46 PM   #71
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by falcongeorge View Post
Ok, the following grouping is from Andy Southards FANTASTIC book, Hot Rods of The Fifties, all are California based, I will follow the same pattern...
George, you've made your point. I stand corrected from my position that full wheel covers were not commonly used on West Coast hot rods, as you've demonstrated otherwise.

I will continue to assert that they were not popularly used in the LA area, specifically, in the period prior to 1958.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:59 PM   #72
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by 50Fraud View Post
My gripe is not with painting and detailing Lancers, or other changes that complete a color scheme or theme. It is with those cars (like Watson! really?) that added a bunch of spinner ears to Fiestas, so they looked more like turbines than knockoffs; or spikes added to '59 Lancers and looking like a Ben-Hur chariot. Or -- gag! -- plastic fins grafted on to some standard wheelcover, for what conceivable purpose?


I do remember these, but I didn't realize that they were super popular. In my defense, I went away to college in the fall of '57, and wasn't paying a lot of attention to hot rods by that time.

That IS a neat looking car. I think it's a Chevy; I don't think I've ever seen a Chev sport coupe hot rod before.
Gotta agree on those Barris abortions with the plastic fins, Period correct I guess, but I ALWAYS HATED those!

Re, the cones, I have posted this pic on here before. Denver based flathead powered T roadster, they looked GREAT on this little car. Theres a guy on here that has a set on a grey '40 pick-up as well, I'd like to see the aftermarket cones re-popped. If I happen to run across a decent set, all bets are off for my T.

On the coupe, yes, chevy sport coupe. Really unusual, and really nicely executed.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:05 PM   #73
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Here's a trivia/coincidence/discovery item for the terminally afflicted hubcap junkie.

I showed this cap in an earlier post. It's a '57 DeSoto 14" wheel cover.



The coincidence shows up in that I ran these caps on my '57 Olds briefly when both cars and caps were new...



...and I discovered that 22 of them were for sale on eBay last night!

I also showed this cap, a '56 Chrysler spinner, and said that they were exceptionally rare. I have only seen one set, on a '56 Chrysler, and they very seldom turn up elsewhere.



I also discovered this cap in Hubcaps.com. It is said to be a '58 DeSoto spinner, which would be 14" again:



I have NEVER seen this cap before last night, and I think it's neat looking; it appears that it might be the same DeSoto cap I showed at the top, with the '56 Chrysler spinner, a different plastic insert, and a painting operation added. Who knew?
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:19 PM   #74
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I think I am probably going to be home from work tomorrow as well, I will dig up a few more pics of hot rods with full wheelcovers, as well as a couple standouts I ran across with beanies, and post them. Think I will add a couple pics of that Pontiac as well, its actually pretty cool.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:21 PM   #75
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by 50Fraud View Post
George, you've made your point. I stand corrected from my position that full wheel covers were not commonly used on West Coast hot rods, as you've demonstrated otherwise.

I will continue to assert that they were not popularly used in the LA area, specifically, in the period prior to 1958.
You rock. And I will concede your point re: the LA area, the beanies were REALLY popular there from what I can see. The Portland thing really surprised me, in my relatively brief search this morning, I found features on four cars from Portland, 3 of the 4 had beanies! never woulda guesssed that. San Fran seems to have had a mix of both.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:40 PM   #76
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I think one reason the full wheel covers were so popular at first may have been due to
the fact that pretty much all 30s and 40s cars, and many into the early 50s had
the small center caps, some with trim rings. (Full covers were available in early 50s, but may have
been in the minority when economical minded buyers purchased their new car)

I'd say they thought the full covers were much fancier and niftier and dressed up their cars better.

(I once took a 1957 Ford full wheel cover,
painted the white area with lettering gold, and mounted on them the
accessory 3 bar flipper unit you could buy at your local Western Auto
Store for a few bucks.)

Then, in later years, other type wheels came along and became
popular. Just my observations. Good thread.

(I also think 1960 Buick covers are cool.}

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Old 01-16-2013, 11:19 AM   #77
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Great Thread! We are always looking for pictures of how guys were running their cars in the past and this is great!

Just an FYI...Cones are back! We just got our first shipment in today, and they really look great! Should be just the ticket for Traditional Rods and Kustoms. Night Prolwlers Kustom Car Parts - 855-776-9537 for info.


Quote:
Originally Posted by falcongeorge View Post
Ok, the following grouping is from Andy Southards FANTASTIC book, Hot Rods of The Fifties, all are California based, I will follow the same pattern, city, year, hubcap.
1)Redding, 1960, aftermarket cones. Love this car,cycle fenders, with bobbed stockers on the back, a tri-power 265, and DIG the gold T&R!
2)San Diego on a used car lot, 1958, more of those cones
3)Long Beach, 1958, short bar lancers, and another real stunner, imo. I have always had a fetish for cross-bar duece grill shell inserts.
4)San Marino, 1958, Corvette
5) Saratoga, 1956, Lancers again
6)Car show in Monteray, 1956, Olds Fiestas
7) Salinas drags, 1955, Lyons?? Dont think I need to id this car...
8)Maywood, 1955, '54?? Olds
9)San Jose, 1956, Olds Fiesta
10) Richmond, 1956, '56 Ford. Someone mention taste?

At this point, I dont think anyone will disagree, in the mid/late fifties, there were a HELL of a lot of hot rods running around so-cal in the late fifties with full wheel covers. taste, well, thats a separate issue.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:35 PM   #78
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

If you buy a handful of those little rod and custom type magazines
from the 50s and 60s, you'll see what was in vogue then.

Usually some for sale on ePay......maybe some in the for sale
section here.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:03 PM   #79
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by 47Plym View Post
If you buy a handful of those little rod and custom type magazines
from the 50s and 60s, you'll see what was in vogue then.

Usually some for sale on ePay......maybe some in the for sale
section here.
I dont have to. I just walk into the "reading room" open a filing cabinet, and pull out a handful. Life is good...
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:31 PM   #80
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by waldo53 View Post
Adding candy paint and a chrome bullet center to spinners was something that I, and many others did (in California) to be a little more distinctive. The bullets were available at places like Western Auto (as was the paint). Here's a picture of my car (I guess it's neither a rod or a custom, just the typical boulevard cruiser) taken in 1959 in Roseville CA, the gold paint in the center sorta matched the gold Bel Air highlights - I thought it looked pretty cool.

Just a footnote - the Spartan trailer in the background that has the '59 Pontiac parked in front - a cute girl lived there that I started dating. Next month we celebrate our 53rd anniversary.
Cool pic and cooler story!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:32 PM   #81
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Cool thread ......just picked up these, had never seen them before... 1954 Chrysler Windsor Saratoga .....
I used the Chrysler caps on my 51 Vicky...loved 'em.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:36 PM   #82
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

........and the Lincoln caps work great on shubox fords too
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:03 PM   #83
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by falcongeorge View Post
I dont have to. I just walk into the "reading room" open a filing cabinet, and pull out a handful. Life is good...
Me too. I believe I have every issue of Hop Up, R&C, Honk, and Car Craft (little pages) that were ever printed.

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........and the Lincoln caps work great on shubox fords too
Of course I agree, but the shoebox on the right is wearing Chrysler caps.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:17 PM   #84
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Lotsa historical reference in here - thanks guys!

A couple I have not seen here yet...

My Mercury runs the less commonly used '54 Caddy wheel cover with an aftermarket bullet:




My Fleetline is accessorized (not "customized") in the early '60s manner using '63 Vette covers:




Dave

p.s. Not to get anyone's goat (50Fraud) , but my brother is running '56 Ford wheel covers on his '32 y-block powered roadster.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:45 PM   #85
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by HatGuy View Post
Great Thread! We are always looking for pictures of how guys were running their cars in the past and this is great!

Just an FYI...Cones are back! We just got our first shipment in today, and they really look great! Should be just the ticket for Traditional Rods and Kustoms. Night Prolwlers Kustom Car Parts - 855-776-9537 for info.
Are you telling me the full coned hub caps that I searched for, for quite some time and finally found a full set, are now being repopped!? Well thats just bitter sweet. What are they gonna go for? Great thread BTW!
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:27 PM   #86
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by rodncustomdreams View Post
p.s. Not to get anyone's goat (50Fraud) , but my brother is running '56 Ford wheel covers on his '32 y-block powered roadster.
Yeah, well, you know those guys from Saskatoon. Buncha hooligans. :-)
Seriously, your own caps look very nice in the ways that you have "accessorized" them.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:26 PM   #87
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Are you telling me the full coned hub caps that I searched for, for quite some time and finally found a full set, are now being repopped!? Well thats just bitter sweet. What are they gonna go for? Great thread BTW!
Yes, I am cranked up to hear this too. Tried to find their new website and take a look, but it didnt work for me.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:19 PM   #88
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Me too. I believe I have every issue of Hop Up, R&C, Honk, and Car Craft (little pages) that were ever printed.


Can I come over and hang out for a couple days??
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:12 AM   #89
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Always liked the lincoln caps on this car, thought they really looked good on it. You have to kind of squint and ignore the goofy square lights on the fenders.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:12 PM   #90
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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When I Goggled 1954 Chrysler Windsor I found at least two examples of the car with these hubcaps....

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I'll be damned! Those caps appear to be identical in every way to the '51-53 Olds covers except that the Olds covers have an emblem stamped into the popup dome in the middle!

I have even see what I now believe are '54 Windsor caps sold as aftermarket Olds replacement caps. I'll have to check my 1960 JC Whitney catalog when I get home!!
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:40 PM   #91
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Can I come over and hang out for a couple days??
Sure! I have a guest room that doubles as a reading room and mildew-sniffing den.

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Always liked the lincoln caps on this car, thought they really looked good on it. You have to kind of squint and ignore the goofy square lights on the fenders.
Well, the Lincoln caps are certainly its best feature. I believe there actually is a law against putting a '32 grille on a '33-34 Ford.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:21 PM   #92
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Sure! I have a guest room that doubles as a reading room and mildew-sniffing den.



Well, the Lincoln caps are certainly its best feature. I believe there actually is a law against putting a '32 grille on a '33-34 Ford.
re: the '32 grills on model 40's. Would it too late to retract what I said about respecting your opinion? The den sounds a lot like the apartment we were living in before we bought our house...
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:26 PM   #93
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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but they look to me more like a torque converter or aircraft surplus torus of some sort than a real wheel cover. I imagine somebody found a stash of surplus mechanical parts somewhere, and dressed them up for use as wheel covers.
Tony, I remember reading about them being torque converter parts or some such when the car was built and first covered in the mags.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:11 PM   #94
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I have been looking for a set of 16" wheel covers/hubcaps for my '41 Special Deluxe with the original 16" wheels. Did Cadillac actually make a 16" version of the sombrero wheel cover or was it a 15" with a adapter? Which brings up my next question, has anybody used a 16" beauty ring as an adapter for a 15" wheel cover? I have located a set of, what the seller claims are, Cadillac wheel cover adapters. 50Fraud, or anyone else, do you have any knowledge about this? Pictures would be a plus...
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:00 AM   #95
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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I have been looking for a set of 16" wheel covers/hubcaps for my '41 Special Deluxe with the original 16" wheels. Did Cadillac actually make a 16" version of the sombrero wheel cover or was it a 15" with a adapter? Which brings up my next question, has anybody used a 16" beauty ring as an adapter for a 15" wheel cover? I have located a set of, what the seller claims are, Cadillac wheel cover adapters. 50Fraud, or anyone else, do you have any knowledge about this? Pictures would be a plus...
I have been told of 16" Sombreros, but have never actually seen them. And assuming that they exist, I don't know if they were factory caps for use on '47 Cadillacs, or aftermarket copies of the Cadillac design adapted for the larger wheel. There were aftermarket copies of 15" Sombreros for sure, and I understand that there were 16s as well.

Using beauty rings as an adapter to mount a smaller hubcap to a larger wheel was done with some frequency. It would be wise to attach them to each other by welding or screwing to insure that the hub cap doesn't slide off of the ring. I had not heard of wheel cover adapters made by (or for) Cadillac, but they certainly may exist. Sorry, I don't have any related pictures.
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:44 AM   #96
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Are you telling me the full coned hub caps that I searched for, for quite some time and finally found a full set, are now being repopped!? Well thats just bitter sweet. What are they gonna go for? Great thread BTW!

Not pimping their business,but he's posted these on F/B
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:13 AM   #97
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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I have been told of 16" Sombreros, but have never actually seen them. And assuming that they exist, I don't know if they were factory caps for use on '47 Cadillacs, or aftermarket copies of the Cadillac design adapted for the larger wheel. There were aftermarket copies of 15" Sombreros for sure, and I understand that there were 16s as well.

Using beauty rings as an adapter to mount a smaller hubcap to a larger wheel was done with some frequency. It would be wise to attach them to each other by welding or screwing to insure that the hub cap doesn't slide off of the ring. I had not heard of wheel cover adapters made by (or for) Cadillac, but they certainly may exist. Sorry, I don't have any related pictures.
Thanks for the info. I ran across these, last night, on ebay. Seller claims they were made to adapt the 15" Chevy pick up wheel cover to the 8 lug 16" wheel.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:04 PM   #98
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Wow, those look like they're pretty heavy, but certainly presentable looking. That seems encouraging.

I forgot one thing that I knew: take a look at Royalshifter's "Victoria Secret" thread. The caps that he has on his Ford are 16" Lyon Sombrero look-alikes, so they do definitely exist.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:39 PM   #99
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

My original 63 riv hubcaps. I havent seen many of these with the smaller center cone but, I do know they are the originals along with the original US Royal tire on the spare.

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Old 02-22-2013, 10:00 AM   #100
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Here my 54 ford hubcaps on my 31 roadster
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:11 AM   #101
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

On my 53 customline I put 56 buick caps...added a bullet to cover the buick script...They fit the car well and looked great

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Old 02-22-2013, 09:27 PM   #102
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Originally Posted by 1stGrumpy View Post
Thanks for the info. I ran across these, last night, on ebay. Seller claims they were made to adapt the 15" Chevy pick up wheel cover to the 8 lug 16" wheel.
In the mid 80's 3/4 ton Dodge trucks had 16" wheels with adapters so they could run 15" wheel covers. Don't know how hard it would be to find a set now though.
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Old 02-23-2013, 07:00 AM   #103
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

These are later 1960 Buick 15" but I feel they make a good custom wheel cover...
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:22 PM   #104
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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PS: Those lincolns are one of my personal favorites, and running a strong second on the list of full wheelcovers I am seeking for my T.
Hot Diggity dog! Just picked these up from my PO box and they are CHERRY. These were my #1 pick. Thansk King Karl.

Now I just need two more. Or I could get a pair of Lincoln Premier caps, and run those on the passenger side. Yea, I can see it now.
Joe car guy;" Hey Bill car guy, you seen that channeled blue T with the lancer caps yet?"
Bill car guy:" Well I saw it but they werent Lancers, they were Lincoln caps".
Joe:" beg to differ, they were lancers, Bill."
Bill: "what, you think I cant tell the difference? Lincoln!"
"Lancers!!"
"Lincoln!!!"
"LANCERS!!" Scuffle, scuffle, BIFF! BAMN! POW!
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:59 PM   #105
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Snapped a pic of these at a buddies shop. Got any clues? 56 olds with 3 extra spinners added is what he said but I can't find anything like them anywhere. Help!

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Old 03-10-2013, 07:53 PM   #106
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

^ Your buddy is half right. They're _1957_ Olds wheel covers with three extra bars added. Look at hubcaps.org and you can see what the original '57s looked like.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:38 AM   #107
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I made these from scratch

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Old 03-13-2013, 08:49 AM   #108
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Holy crap Nads, those look great, crazy good job on recreating them!
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:01 AM   #109
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Holy crap Nads, those look great, crazy good job on recreating them!
Yeah Nads, nice job...want to show us how you did it?
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:13 AM   #110
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

My friend Eric made these cones for me outta stainless.

I had the ribs laser cut out of 20 Ga stainless




They're not finished yet, a 4th ring has to be added to the back and ribs welded in the center of the blades and then I'm getting them electropolished because they're too hard to do by hand.
I welded the rings and all the pieces together, then I cut out the center of the original caps and welded them to the cap.

Then I made some centers using wreaths I found on ebay

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Old 03-13-2013, 09:26 AM   #111
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I know these aren't full wheel covers, but I've been trying to identify these caps for years. The hole in the center is where I attach a bullet to fasten them to the dust cap. The cap didn't quite fit the rims, so thats the only option I could come up with. I like these because they match the beauty rings perfectly. Any idea what these caps are from? Thanx
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:33 AM   #112
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Bass' Roadster is perfect! I really dig the 54 Chrysler covers too.

Nobody's mentioned the '52-'53 Merc covers yet. I put a set I gathered on my '49.





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Old 03-13-2013, 09:36 AM   #113
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

very nice job Nads, smart solution to the problem
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:19 AM   #114
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I removed the outer blades from my original 1960 Buick (super deluxe option) wheel covers and added them to my new crossbar hubcaps and they came out pretty good
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:58 AM   #115
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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I'm not saying they are great. But your thread is about traditional full wheel covers, and I think they they should at least be mentioned in the discussion.

Does anyone have more information about the cast wheelcovers that appeared on The Grecian, El Capitola, and X-Sonic at various times? I believe these were commissioned by Barris for use on customer cars but I am not sure of that.

Tony, I know you consider these ugly, but this thread is going to be pretty stale if all we talk about is Caddy Sombreros!

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:19 AM   #116
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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In the mid 80's 3/4 ton Dodge trucks had 16" wheels with adapters so they could run 15" wheel covers. Don't know how hard it would be to find a set now though.

I found a set of 16" adapters that are supposedly from a Cadillac, unfortunetly they won't fit my early 16" Chevy wheels.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:58 AM   #117
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I have 14" wheel covers, and I'm thinking of trying to use the beauty ring trick to adapt them for 16" wheels....will I run into valve stem issues?
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:38 AM   #118
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Cool thread, thanks 50Fraud..
Not sure anyone can offer an opinion, and hope hijack does not offend, but I'll ask anyway- Does anyone have an opinion on what it would take to get a sombrero on this wheel ? Or have a photo of the backside of a repop sombrero? A photo included here of the stock dog dish cap, which is very Sombrero- like ( Aussie Holden);


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Old 03-20-2013, 05:12 AM   #119
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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These are later 1960 Buick 15" but I feel they make a good custom wheel cover...
I like them. Gary
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:20 AM   #120
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

Just for the halibut, I decided to try some different caps on my own shoebox:



The full moons are certainly traditional on a shoebox; there were fleets of them around in the '50s. I would like to have found the earlier style with a little raised bead an inch or so in from the edge, but they seem to be extinct.

For comparison, here's how it has looked for more than 10 years:



I think the spinners are the BEST caps for this car, but a little change of clothes feels good after all this time.
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Old 03-24-2013, 06:17 AM   #121
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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Just for the halibut, I decided to try some different caps on my own shoebox:



The full moons are certainly traditional on a shoebox; there were fleets of them around in the '50s. I would like to have found the earlier style with a little raised bead an inch or so in from the edge, but they seem to be extinct.

For comparison, here's how it has looked for more than 10 years:



I think the spinners are the BEST caps for this car, but a little change of clothes feels good after all this time.
I like the smoothie caps FAR better, the seem to match the gentle curves on the body. IMHO, of course. LOVE that car. I've always wanted one. Gary
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:12 AM   #122
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

I imagine this will make a comeback, as did the steel wheels with trim rings and caps, the Cragar SS, Boyds (I try to forget the 80s).

I think the right wheel always makes the car. Use of trim items always makes a car interesting and different.

And as pointed out, build the way you want it to be.
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:21 PM   #123
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

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If you look at the "Little" books of the mid to late fifties and early sixties you will see a ton of Hot Rods with full caps....the Channeled Hot Rods thread is full of them....different aesthetics make for a lot of cool rides.



Brian Bass just popped 'em on his '29.....

My son just picked up four of these for his 54 F100, and is looking for a few more (spare tire on the truck and a spare...) Don't even know what they are, but they look right on his truck.

Anyone have a few?
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:33 PM   #124
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Default Re: Traditional Wheels, Part 4 (Full Wheel Covers)

^Lyon hubcaps
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