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Customs Old-timey moon wheel covers (NOT Moon discs)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 50Fraud, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    When I first started reading car magazines -- Hop Up, 1951 -- a large percentage of customs wore wheel covers/hubcaps that were smooth and free of ornament. They were described as "moons" or sometimes "full moons", but they predated the spun aluminum Moon (note capitalization) wheel discs by several years. I'm not sure who made them; maybe Eastern Auto, who sold a lot of aftermarket accessories and advertised in HRM and Hop Up. I'm not actually sure whether they were stainless or chrome-plated steel.

    Valley Custom, in particular, must have bought these things by the carload, because most of their cars had them. Barris, Ayala, and Cerny used a lot of Cadillac Sombreros -- and occasionally Olds or Chevy wheel covers, but Valley seems to have preferred these moons over everything else:

    Ralph Jilek
    [​IMG]

    Ron Dunn
    [​IMG]

    Glenn Hooker
    [​IMG]

    Ray Vega
    [​IMG]

    Ollie Seeley
    [​IMG]

    Joe Brenner
    [​IMG]

    Dick Colarossi
    [​IMG]

    Wayne Rogers
    [​IMG]

    All of the foregoing Valley Custom cars had magazine features; thanks to Rik Hoving for archiving all these photos that I've appropriated. Here's one more car that has appeared on the internet without attribution, but I'll bet that it was also a Valley creation:
    [​IMG]

    Now, you may be saying, So What??? Full Moon hubcaps are still available from bunches of internet peddlers. Ah, well, not quite. If you examine the preceding photographs, you'll see that every one of those caps has a raised bead or welt about an inch or so in from the edge. The currently available sort have no such detail and are completely smooth from edge to edge.

    I recently decided to try a change of socks on my shoebox, and I bought a set of the current variety of full moons. It now looks like this:
    [​IMG]

    Some of you will say (HAVE said, in fact), "I liked it better with the Roadmaster spinners".
    Fine, I think I do too, but the car has looked exactly the same for most of the period since 1997. I just wanted to change socks for a while.

    The point is, I like the raised detail on the original type, and I'm trying to find an NOS set of them to run on the Ford. I've listed my search on the HAMB classifieds and on eBay, but have had zero response. SURELY, some of them are out there somewhere. Has anybody who knows what I'm talking about seen any of the originals in the recent past??

    Of course this request belongs in the classifieds, and it is there too, but I'm presenting this partly as a historical review to justify its presence here on the main board. Help?!?!
     
  2. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    young'n'poor
    Member
    from Anoka. MN

    I certainly see the difference between the old and current style of those caps. I can't help you locate them but I'm curious why they aren't being repopped.


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  3. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    Didn't LYONS make covers like that without the Lyons emblem???
     
  4. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,408

    atomickustom
    Member

    You gotta just start hunting eBay like crazy. I've never tried to find those particular caps, but I've found plenty of other wheel covers on eBay by searching every day using several different search terms. You'll be amazed what pops up, and most of the time the seller doesn't know what they are so sometimes a real bargain falls in your lap.

    For those I'd try terms like "195* hub cap" (and a bunch of variations) and maybe things like "smooth hubcap" "smooth wheel cover" etc. You get the idea. The trick is to figure out any possible terms that a potential seller might use to describe them.

    The odds of finding a matching set of 4 in good condition are near zero, but patience will eventually get you there.

    I pulled the smooth "full moon" covers off of my Chevy a year or two ago for the same reason, but I switched to early 1950s Chrysler Imperial caps. Change is good.
     

  5. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    This is a good idea. I just tried a half-dozen different descriptions, but didn't hit anything. I'll keep trying; thanks for the suggestion!
     
  6. thommoina33
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,051

    thommoina33
    Alliance Member
    from australia
    Staff Member

    I can attest to searching egay, picked up 6 Packard wire wheel covers for $170 clams, they were listed as gaskets.these are the covers from the 30's and sell for around a grand for a set of 4


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  7. I like that 'Box with just about any cap.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  8. NashRodMan
    Joined: Jul 8, 2004
    Posts: 1,698

    NashRodMan
    Member

    What he said!! ^^^^^^^ awesome car!! Love it with those caps too.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  9. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    There were two-piece caps available back then. A small "baby moon" and an outer ring.
    They look a lot like the pics.
     
  10. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,351

    revkev6
    Member
    from ma


    looking at the pictures again, I think you may be on to something... a couple of them do look like they may be baby moons with a wide trim ring that fits tight against it....
     
  11. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    I remember the two-piece arrangement, but the ones I'm looking for are typical one-piece wheel covers with springy barbs all the way around that grip the inner surface of the rims.

    Thanks, all.
     
  12. Dagenham Dave
    Joined: Feb 6, 2013
    Posts: 174

    Dagenham Dave
    Member

    Are these more like it?

    http://hotrodhubcaps.com/pro724989.html
     
  13. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    Sorry, no. Those are the completely smooth ones like the caps that I have on the car now.

    I'm having a nagging suspicion that the covers with the raised bead may all have been 16". It's certainly possible that all the cars I pictured above still had 16" wheels, although I wouldn't have thought so.

    Thanks again for trying.
     
  14. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,355

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, 50Fraud;

    Sure looks like the Valley Custom covers are 2-piece, as mentioned by RPope. To me, the outer trim ring looks a whole lot like the '46-'48 Chrysler Windsor trim ring. Don't know what the small moon cap would be from, unless aftermarket. Maybe a zillion choices there...

    Marcus...
     
  15. DD COOPMAN
    Joined: Jul 25, 2009
    Posts: 1,121

    DD COOPMAN
    Member

  16. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48
    Member

    These 1954 Buick caps are similar.. Maybe someone with some talent(not I) could pound the BUICK smooth...
     

    Attached Files:

  17. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    Nope. What appears to be a joint between two pieces is the raised rib I've been looking for. I actually bought a set of these circa 1953, but they were 16".

    I'm not sufficiently passionate about this detail to go to that much effort. There are a variety of early '50s DeSoto that look exactly right, but as with your Buicks there is an embossed logo in the middle.

    MORE thanks for trying.
     
  18. Dagenham Dave
    Joined: Feb 6, 2013
    Posts: 174

    Dagenham Dave
    Member

    These are really nice. I like them...
     
  19. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    ^ Thanks, but not my thing.
     
  20. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,583

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Does anyone remember flipper disc moons? Same thing but with a bar across the middle. They seemed to be more common and were available for years after the plain moons disappeared.
     
  21. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    Sure! Flipper moons are still available, but are also on the smooth, no-rib moon background.

    Just to tantalize me, a buddy has one rusty example of a flipper moon in 15" which DOES have the rib I've been looking for.

    Actually I think my next move will be to put my Buick spinners back on the shoebox, so the hunt for the elusive moons will go on the very back burner.
     
  22. these ?...the Uncle and his freinds were running these around 1955....this is a later pic of his roadster...





    Uncles roadster.jpg
     
  23. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    ^ Hard to be sure, but they look like the real deal!
     
  24. Dagenham Dave
    Joined: Feb 6, 2013
    Posts: 174

    Dagenham Dave
    Member

    The fourth car from the front seems to be running them:
     

    Attached Files:

  25. Rockerhead
    Joined: Nov 16, 2006
    Posts: 321

    Rockerhead
    Member Emeritus

    In the 1940s the most popular custom/hot rod aftermarket hubcaps were the "flipper" hubcaps and the smooth version (no flipper). The first versions covered the center of the wheel but not the rim. They snapped into the stock wheel retainer clips. Various hubcap part numbers were made to fit different manufacturers wheels. Most guys added the standard Ford, or other, beauty ring on the wheel rim. A later version, still about late 1940s, was a little larger with prongs to snap into the wheel rim. No beauty ring was used with these hubcaps.

    Cars with skirts usually ran the rear caps without flippers (to clear the skirt).

    The flipper cap was very popular, perhaps because the flipper caught the eye as the wheel rotated.They were all aftermarket items. The idea was not new because Cadillac had produced a similar design around 1935 for their top of the line cars.

    The picture of the 1940 Ford attached has the early style flipper hubcaps with added beauty rings.

    Don
     
  26. Rockerhead
    Joined: Nov 16, 2006
    Posts: 321

    Rockerhead
    Member Emeritus

    The picture is here.
     

    Attached Files:

  27. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,880

    50Fraud
    Member

    No. I'm not sure what the caps on the Merc are, but they are definitely more convoluted than either the early or the current version of full moons.
     
  28. sasquatch12
    Joined: Nov 6, 2013
    Posts: 38

    sasquatch12
    Member

    Rusty, yeah i remember those flipper bars, then there was the bolt on three blade spinners also around that time.
     
  29. SimonSez
    Joined: Jul 1, 2001
    Posts: 1,632

    SimonSez
    Member

    These ones are close, but not sure if they are exactly what you want.

    [​IMG]

    They are after-market one piece stainless and were available from JC Whitney back in 2005 when I bought a set but I can't see them on their current web site.
     
  30. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,401

    296ardun
    Member

    Always something new to be learned from Don Montgomery, didn't know that Cadillac made flippers in the 30s...and yes, I'm old enough to remember flippers in the late '40s, you couldn't miss them when the car was moving...
     

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