Automobiles and vans constructed earlier than about 1935 got here on wire spoke wheels with small steel caps put in to seal the wheel hub on the axle. These early “HUBcaps” had been smaller than three” in diameter, product of heavy gauge plated metal hammered onto the hub of the wheel. Their important perform was to maintain filth out of the spindle nut and wheel bearings.
Within the mid ’30s, hubcaps turned extra ornamental than useful. The ‘canine dish’ fashion was born, chrome hemispheres 9 inches in diameter, protecting the lug nuts and the middle of the wheel. About the identical time, wheel know-how superior and spoke wheels had been changed by wheels shaped from stamped metal.
Within the ’40s, Cadillac lead the pack in including glowing chrome by the acre: bumpers, grills, trim strains, window borders, hood ornaments, hood vents, headlights, operating boards, and many others. Rising the scale of the chrome hubcaps added reflective floor.
By the ’50s, hubcap diameters elevated to the purpose they lined all the metal wheel. Lots of this era had been flat chrome rounds wanting like Frisbees, with little differentiation. Throughout this time the time period ‘wheel cowl’ got here into use.
During the last 50 years, the phrases ‘hubcaps’ and ‘wheel covers’ have turn into synonymous because the light-weight, full-diameter ornamental coverings of normal metal wheels.
One of many hallmarks of contemporary hubcaps is their interchangeability. Practically any hubcap of the proper measurement will match any commonplace metal wheel that can take a hubcap. Which means altering types may be very straightforward. We’re not restricted to these types designed by our explicit auto producer.