HUBCAP DEFINITION

THIS ARTICLE PROVIDES A “HUBCAP DEFINITION”, AS WELL AS A BIT OF HUBCAP HISTORY THAT IMPACTS HUBCAP DESIGN DETAILS.

The terms “hubcap” and “wheel cover” have meanings that vary significantly depending on both the industry and the time frame under discussion.  What is a good hubcap definition ?  Well, for this article / website, we are aiming at the OEM automotive industry from about 1950 to 2000.  And, over this time frame, “hubcaps” were originally made by auto manufacturers as all stainless steel decorative disks to cover the ugly outer carbon steel wheel area.  So, a hubcap is a wheel cover.  And, a wheel cover is also a hubcap.

Hence a hubcap definition is “a disc attached to an automobile wheel for decorative purposes”.

We will first look at the all stainless steel hubcaps, developed in the 1950’s.  Then, we will discuss the changes in hubcap design over their dominance for about 50 more years.

You can click on any of the hubcap numbers under the following images below to get to that hubcap’s full product page.  However to return, the bread crumbs may be useless.  So use of your “go back one page” button may be needed, to return to this article.

hubcap definition view of hubcap # c15chev1956_1
c15chev1956_1
profile view of hubcap # c13chev1980_1
c13chev1980_1

hubcap definition view of hubcap # c14ford1969_2
c14ford1969_2
back and front view of hubcap # c14chry1975_7
c14chry1975_7

As time progressed from the 1950’s thru the 1980’s, the hubcap material started to change from stainless steel to a combination of stainless steel and plastic materials.

hubcap definition view of hubcap # c13chev1985_4
plastic backside
front view hubcap # c13chev1985_4
metal front c13chev1985_4

 

   c13chev1985_4 with stainless steel front & plastic back

 

back & front view of hubcap # c14chry1988_6
back and front
hubcap definition view of hubcap # c14chry1988_6
back view c14chry1988_6
front view of hubcap # c14chry1988_6
plastic and metal front

 

 c14chry1988_6  with stainless steel & plastic front and back

 

 

 

And then, during the later part of this time frame, all plastic hubcaps were more common than stainless steel.

hubcap definition view of hubcap # c16chev2000_1
all plastic c16chev2000_1

profile view of hubcap # c15pont1992_2
plastic c15pont1992_2

back and front view of hubcap @ c13ford19992_5
an all plastic c13ford1992_5

front profile view of hubcap # c14chev1986_8
all plastic c14chev1986_8

A cream of the crop type hubcap was the wire wheel hubcap because of its great appearance.

 

profile view of hubcap # w14pont1979_3
w14pont1979_3

 

profile view of hubcap # w14chev1981_3
w14chev1981_3

group view of hubcap # w14chry1971_6
w14chry1971_6

At the end of this time frame, say after 1990, hubcaps are are becoming out of favor by the increased use of alloy wheels.  Such alloy wheels are a very decorative, one piece, design.  Hence, the above “original hubcaps” are really now an antique for many people today.  Indeed, the key customer for Hubcap Hilton is someone restoring an antique automobile.   We seek buyers who need hubcaps to make their restoration look nice.