If you’re an auto enthusiast then there’s a pretty good chance you love your vehicle. Whether you want to keep a new vehicle in top shape or you want to restore an older model, you always need to sweat the small things. The reward comes in the restoration and maintenance of the fine details because it’s the fine details that people appreciate – right down to the wheel covers on a car.
One of the areas that tend to challenge someone restoring a vehicle is in the wheel covers because of the difference in how wheels are designs along with sizes and the various makes and models market wide. Even vintage cars used some kind of wheel covers once automakers switched away from wooden wheels. Despite the production of Alloy wheels in the late 60’s, wheel covers are still utilized because of the common use of simple steel wheels for mass production.
Here are some of the most common challenges with finding the right wheel covers or hub caps during restoration and maintenance of older vehicles:
Locating the Right Hubcaps
This is the most basic challenge for a vehicle owner. When you want to restore a car to its original luster you tend to want to find the original hubcaps or wheel covers that the vehicle was sporting when it came rolling off the line. While some will take to sorting through acres of junk yards, you can also get reproduction models that are brand new to match virtually any make and model – even if you’re looking for the hubcaps on a Shelby GT 500.
Finding the Style that Fits
Most hubcaps tend to be made of polished stainless though some are straight steel and plated in chrome. These quality hubcaps tend to be stamped into the appropriate shape to fit the specific style of vehicle. When they’re custom made to a certain automaker, the crest or logo is screwed or riveted or somehow fastened into the center. For some car enthusiasts, getting the perfect hubcap with the right logo is the biggest challenge in restoring a car.
Getting Past the Struggle
If you’re looking for quality hubcaps for a car, whether it’s a restore or a current make, always check with dealers and hubcap or wheel cover distributors. They may not carry the exact model you’re looking for but they tend to stay connected in the vehicle circuits – and many are car enthusiasts in their own right. At the very least they may have contacts to connect you with the right person to find the wheel covers you’re looking for.
Online sources are another great place to look. While most dealers, whether retail or online, can help you find what you’re looking for you can sometimes turn to auction sites or other places to find the really old antique wheel covers to fit your vehicle. Many of the parts that used to change hands in closed car circuits – like an underground market for car nerds – are now openly traded online and it’s easier than ever to find the wheel covers you need.