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Features Hot Rods with Bare Painted Steel Wheels Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Robert J. Palmer, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,036

    from Michigan

    Only thing I guess I like better.
    Chrome steelies.

  2. Help me out here, there’s a painted steel wheel in the photo, right?

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    hotrodjack33 likes this.
  3. low down A
    Joined: Feb 6, 2009
    Posts: 337

    low down A

    those hub cap's look pretty small to me
  4. I don't truly hate hubcaps I am just not a fan and would never run them on anything I own. I do however strongly dislike full wheel covers, but they are a big part of custom car history.
    That why I have always been in the hot rod camp and not the custom camp.

    I would never say a hot rod with full wheel covers was wrong just because I didn't like it or because I never saw one that way in an old magazine.

    Think about how many hundreds maybe thousands of hot rods were built, and how few made it into magazines. So lots of regional trends never were covered.

    A great example, in the early sixties my father's family moved for upstate to Long Island when my grandfather got a teaching job there.

    My dad was about 12 or so he talks about seeing custom cars there for the first time, but they were not what he or most people would think of because of what the magazine of the time were showing.

    He says they looked like regular customs of the day, but the noses were way up in the air almost Gasser style, he had never seen that before or since, or heard anyone outside of Long Island who knows of these style cars.

    Now there are people who would claim that a car built like this today was wrong because they never saw one like that!
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
  5. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,036

    from Michigan

    Variety is the spice of life...
    and hot rods and customs.
    Plain steel wheels, chrome steelies, hubcaps, sombreros, spinners...
    All good.
    Maybe change it up sometimes.
    "Got a date. Wash the hot rod and pop my spinners on."
    " Paradise Road."
    Wheel covers off.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
    ct1932ford likes this.
  6. VA HAMB
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,371


    If you pay attention you'll notice that most, not all....but most of the vintage photos of bare wheels are on a race cars. Only the modern photos show hot rods with bare wheels. I can remember my dad saying that back in the day you didn't ever go out without your caps on. He would laugh and say " it's illegal to go around with your nuts showing!" I guess it was a fashion thing. Guys just didn't want the bare wheels on their cars unless they were racing. (which was a rule) I wouldn't know I wasn't there... Just what he would say.
  7. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 815



    Did somebody say "bear painted wheel" ?
    atomickustom likes this.
  8. Norris McCarty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 326

    Norris McCarty

    Typically black bear
  9. As I said earlier his thread in I have talked to several old hot rodders and bare wheels were popular in certain areas of the country.

    There were a couple reasons for this. The first was people were looking to emulate the drag race look on their cars.

    The second reason was guys stopped taking the hub caps off every weekend at the drag strip and putting them back on during the week, and just left them off.
    olscrounger, jnaki and AHotRod like this.
  10. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,025


    They look better with fenders..
  11. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,819


    I agree with your dad.
    Stogy likes this.
  12. '39 in progress.

    20200607_081233 (1).jpg
  13. Almostdone
    Joined: Dec 19, 2019
    Posts: 495


    Room for one more?

  14. 61SuperMonza
    Joined: Nov 16, 2020
    Posts: 489


  15. I like bare steel wheels for sure- been collecting them since I was a kid. The ones painted half white and half black, I think the first time I saw them was at the hell drivers at the county fair- they made quite an impression- serve a purpose on demolition derby cars too. Hope I get to use some of my collection.
  16. hot-rod roadster
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,024

    hot-rod roadster
    from Omaha Ne.

    64 wagon...wheels and paint by Jeff Meyers

    Attached Files:

    Jim Bouchard, Elcohaulic and AHotRod like this.
  17. garage2small
    Joined: Aug 16, 2015
    Posts: 488


    I normally run dog dishes, but here is a naked view. 20210305_103848.jpg
  18. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 7,036

    from Michigan

  19. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 616


    Movin' the coupe down to the shop... the tractor has it's nuts showin' too! IMG_9314.JPG
    Jim Bouchard, simplestone and AHotRod like this.
  20. Jacksmith
    Joined: Sep 24, 2009
    Posts: 616


    winduptoy likes this.
  21. Elcohaulic
    Joined: Dec 27, 2017
    Posts: 2,025


    I haven't seen wheels like these since the mid sixties car shows at the Hunt Armory in Pittsburgh.. This is pre Civic Arena Pittsburghers...


    hunt 2.jpg hunt 17.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  22. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,779



    We all had our daily drivers with painted wheels. Most of us could not afford chrome reversed wheels or when available, mag wheels. Paint, specifically black, was the color paint of choice. Pop those hubcaps off and it was instant drag racing look and no longer an ordinary daily driver. It was fortunate that the colorful giant paint store was nearby and that the spray cans full of different colors were inexpensive and plentiful.

    So, experiments were on most old hot rods. Standard Brands Paint store was painted a bright yellow, so it stood out for miles in any direction. It was an art store plus commercial brands of paints. from pinstriping brushes to house paint to multiple spray cans of different colors and even automotive paint.
    Over the years of racing from late 1957 to early 1960, the wheels were painted various colors. Then several years later when the drag racing days were over, a set of Buick Skylark Wire Wheels was modified to fit and was a popular look for a while. The eventually, the Impala was later sold with black Buick steel wheels to match the Buick bolt pattern for the new owner, in 1964.

    upload_2021-3-24_4-25-45.png black on black on black…
    The typical street hot rod from the 58-60 time period in So Cal was the one we saw at Lion’s Dragstrip pits. If it wanted to race, it would have been placed in the Altered Coupe Class due to the cycle fenders and half cut rear fenders with no running boards. That was considered a modified coupe and placed in the altered class instead of a street legal Gas Coupe and Sedan Class. But it was a different version of a street driven coupe for the area and times.
    upload_2021-3-24_4-26-33.png Ford Coupe at the Lions Dragstrip pits 1958, either black or car color under the full size hubcaps.
    1958-59… My friend’s black 5 window Ford coupe running in A/Gas class with the big Oldsmobile motor, but still, a daily driver to high school and an after school job. (1ST Photo a copy from the web) The closest thing to my friend’s 5 window Ford coupe was sitting just a few spaces away in the pit area.

    It was a short fendered coupe with motorcycle front fenders instead of the full flowing fenders of a 33-34 coupe. But, this time, the look satisfied my curiosity for a local So Cal hot rod coupe. Obviously, it was a street legal coupe or daily driver. But, for the rest of the day, we did not see it racing for better times and speeds or in any kind of eliminations.

    Despite being a stock body with street legal fenders, it would not qualify for the Gas Coupe and Sedan Classes. The alteration of the stock fenders to the smaller motorcycle fenders would render it an Altered Coupe and placed in that class against full 25% set back, all out racers.

    One of my earliest films was taken in 1958-59. We had gone to our neighborhood Lions Dragstrip with our family friend who drove his 1934 5 window coupe. Once we got our pit area settled and knew when the time runs were allowed for our class, I was able to wander around taking movies of hot rods and drag racing vehicles.
    Gas Coupe and Sedan Class rules
    upload_2021-3-24_4-29-36.png So, this orange street legal hot rod would not be classified into the gas coupe and sedan class, despite having been driven daily. It would be in the Altered Coupe class. Painted rims or not...YRMV

    i.rant likes this.
  23. v8flat44
    Joined: Nov 13, 2017
    Posts: 746


    My 1st car, a 50 Ford got the flat black so common in 1960. Painted the wheels gold. A guy asked why gold...i said "cause my mom gave me the paint"...he says, "pretty cool man"....make it your own.....
    put your signature on it....
  24. So, not a pinstripe in sight. Is that because it was a throw back to coach built cars of the thirties, and not considered down and dirty on a hot rod, or was it more prevalent on customs. Myself I like a tasteful pinstripe, I also like the thin plain or ribbed stainless trim ring, I saw a few of those.
    i.rant and olscrounger like this.
  25. gas pumper
    Joined: Aug 13, 2007
    Posts: 2,956

    gas pumper

  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,779



    We did do a couple of pinstripes in a circular design around the popped up area near the lug nuts. We clamped a pinstripe brush onto a vise and set the vise on the ground next to the jacked up tire/rim. Then we spun the tire in an even, but slow turn. There was just enough paint on the brush to do a small circle around the rim of the lugnuts and the place where the small hubcaps would be attached.

    It was a time consuming ordeal and patience was the key. Sometimes, a complete wipe of the whole pinstriping had to be done to get the final circle in place, correctly.
    At the time, not many wanted this pinstriping on the rims. I had them on a black rim, but finally covered the whole thing with a small 1959 Chevy Impala hubcap, then later added beauty rings to finish the look.

    daylatedollarshort likes this.

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