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Technical Homemade Cadillac wheelcovers on Vintique rims

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by TonyVan, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. TonyVan
    Joined: Oct 15, 2008
    Posts: 120

    from Vancouver

    OK, so I never really liked the generic repro full-moon flippers on my '41, and started looking for some more interesting caps. First problem - it runs Vintique Gennie wheels, and the availability of caps to fit is slim. And from research, the chances of a cap actually fitting seems fairly slim too.
    So I've looked at everything. Caddy sombreros, '52 Buick, '53 Stude, '50 L:incoln, '50 Olds, etc etc. All look good, but not readily available for trial fitting, and I didn't want to make a series of expensive mistakes. Also, I wanted 2-piece covers, but not the cap/ring look that leaves an expanse of wheel between the cap and the ring...
    I did find a set of '52 Buick full covers, bought them, and - boom. Way too deep-dished. Fail. Yet more wall art.
    I didn't want to go the same route with expensive sombreros, so I kept looking. And in the's what I found and what I did.
    First, in a local old-parts store, I found some dog-dish Caddy caps. I think they're '40? They're simple, and have a brass emblem. I also found a pair of full-width beauty rings. I have no idea what they're from, but I want to say '48 Chrysler. Anyway, the tangs on the rings looked like they'd grip to the Gennie rim, and the center hole was almost the same size as the inner fitting ring on the cap. I took the plunge.
    In the pic below, I'd already cleaned them up a bit.
    caps and rings.jpg

    From the backside, you should be able to see the cap's 'fitting ring'. Of course, it didn't fit inside the Gennie mount. I didn't think it would. cap ring back.jpg

    So, to make the cap fit, it'd have to be mounted to the beauty ring. But the hole in the beauty ring is too small. So...
    let's center the cap, fix it in place (duck tape worked) and mark the ring (all on the backside of course).

    Now let's cut. I marked up a pair of snips with a sharpie for reference, and went round the whole ring, snipping away to make a bunch of small tabs - each about 3/8" wide. snip.jpg
    10 minutes later...

    Next thing was to bend them inwards (towards the back side of the rim) to create a 'bowl' for the hubcap to sit inside... In the picture below, you can see that I've not only bent them in, I've also started fixing them to the cap. This is a simple process - drill a hole in the tab, follow it in to the cap, and insert a sheetmetal screw. screwed.jpg
    Put as many screws in as you like. I ended up with 8 or 10. I didn't count. It's important here to make sure that nothing moves when you add the first few screws, because you need the cap centered on the ring. The next thing to do is test-fit on the rim. And the next thing to do is find out that the Gennie wheel is very shallow indeed, and the fitting ring on the cap fouls the mounting ring on the wheel. So, out with the grinder, and trim about 3/4" off the cap ring (below)

    Then fit them again. And ta-da!! homemade '40s Caddy caps that fit a modern Gennie wheel, and for less than $60 the pair.
    I know I've got to:
    Get my bias ply tires, Paint the rim, and detail and polish the caps, but that's a big headache off the list.
    drdave, The G00SE, hacknwhack and 2 others like this.
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,832


    That came out very nice. Nice tech story on doing it too.
  3. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,640


    Well done! They look terrific.

  4. Nice, and if it sits right you just need two! ;)
  5. looks cool and different
  6. Royalshifter
    Joined: May 29, 2005
    Posts: 15,517

    from California

    Very classy looking...nice job.
  7. retromotors
    Joined: Dec 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,045


    Great work .... my compliments!
  8. Torchie
    Joined: Apr 17, 2011
    Posts: 1,084


  9. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,472

    from Berry, AL

    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 66


    Very nice. Like the look.
  11. Sweet & Low
    Joined: Feb 13, 2014
    Posts: 297

    Sweet & Low

    Wow, that came out great, thanks for sharing your info!!!
  12. kennyg1931
    Joined: Sep 14, 2009
    Posts: 58


    Nice : I like your 41 looks like a nice ride !
  13. Model T1
    Joined: May 11, 2012
    Posts: 3,309

    Model T1

    Thanks. Looks nice.
  14. Finnrodder
    Joined: Oct 18, 2009
    Posts: 2,965

    from Finland

  15. 51 Leadsled
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 954

    51 Leadsled
    from NC

    Very cool, nice work, I can imagine getting the centered was time consuming! They ereally look great!
  16. northjersey_pinstriping
    Joined: Apr 14, 2014
    Posts: 27

    from New Jersey

    great work. this just goes to show that there are so still so many simple modifications that you can do that really seem to have a high dollar look on a low dollar budget and its different and custom is good this is definitely no cookie cutter bolt on. love it
  17. TonyVan
    Joined: Oct 15, 2008
    Posts: 120

    from Vancouver

    Thanks for all the positives...I wanted something that looks properly vintage, but which fits with those Gennie wheels - and I know that can be problematic!
    If it ever stops raining here, I'll roll it out into the open and get a better pic.
  18. Very nice looking!! Excellent solution to the problem as well. Great job!
  19. millersgarage
    Joined: Jun 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,139


    Cool. I like tricked out wheel covers.
  20. TonyVan
    Joined: Oct 15, 2008
    Posts: 120

    from Vancouver

    ouside.jpg And a full-length pic - no rain today...
  21. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,665


    purdy and different, looks great!
  22. Babar40
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 314

    from Florida

    Good looking and they've got your name on them! Nice......

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