Below is a brief discussion and illustration of several common hubcap features.  The images, under each hubcap feature discussion, will help expand the meaning of several common hubcap phrases.  One of those illustrated interesting phrases, further into this article, is “wire wheels”.

But, first, let’s discuss full size stainless steel type hubcaps.

[ And you can click on any hubcap number to see its full product page.  Images do get displayed larger on the product pages.  However, when you click from this product page the breadcrumbs may not get you back to this article.  To get back to this article it is best to use your “back one page” arrow.  Should you wish to shop for hubcaps try either the shop page. ]


The first full size stainless steel hubcaps were truly solid.

back and front view of hubcap # c14ford1975_6
back and front view of hubcap # c14chry1975_7

Some had decorative notches and holes.


back and front view of hubcap # c14chev1979_3
profile view of hubcap # c15chev1977_1





And some of these stainless steel designs have various symbol imprints into the metal surface.   And then, some centers have plastic center inserts.

front view of hubcap # c14dodg1972_6
profile view of hubcap # c15ford1965_3







An option worth mentioning is a trim ring.   Which is a hubcap rim, that can make a 15” hubcap fit a 16” wheel.   This trim rim is shown in images below.

front view of hubcap # r16ford1972_9
c15ford1972_4 and r16ford1972_9
profile view of hubcap # r16ford1972_9








There are some designs where the design was both stainless with some major plastic parts, such as below.


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


          c14chry1988_6    metal and plastic, back and front.



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


c13chev1985_4   front and back view





There are some plastic designs with very creative and attractive contours .

back and front view of hubcap @ c13ford19992_5
all plastic c13ford1992_5
front view of hubcap # c14ford1986_6
c14ford1986_6 plastic with metal trim







profile view of hubcap # c15pont1992_2
plastic c15pont1992_2








The initial wire wheel hubcaps had wires that ran radially as shown.  [Note that one design is 14″ and other is 15″ wire wheel]    And then, designs used an attractive crossing wires as illustrated below.

back and front of wire wheel hubcap
group view of wire wheel hubcaps







wire wheel hubcap w14pont1979_3
wire wheel hubcap # w14chev1981_3
w14chev1981_3 with removable ctr. insert







Because wire wheel hubcaps are relatively more expensive, some locking designs became quite common.  This locking is done by making the center piece removable for the installing of a locking bolt design difficult to remove.   Most owners found the locks very troublesome because changing a flat tire became more labor intensive and, also requiring specialty tools.  [ Hubcap Hilton has very low inventory of locking hardware for wire wheel type hubcaps. ]

 top view of wire wheel lock
bottom view of wire wheel hubcap # l14chev1981_6
Lock L14chev1981_6 fits hubcap w14chev1981_3







wire wheel lock view
Optional locking hardware, shown attached and loose.

L14chev1981_6    {locking hardware}    for use on wire wheel hubcap w14chev1981_3


Rims were common with use of small diameter caps.  These are hard to identify; and the market is small, so the discussion will be very limited.  Hubcap Hilton does not sell rims and small caps yet because we have not inventoried / identified our rims yet.

piles of unidentified rims
piles of small unidentified small diameter caps



Hubcaps are attached to the steel wheel by either wedging [pushing] or bolting.  Wedging is the most common and the designs are quite varied.  The attachment design is on the back of the hubcap.

One of the nicest wedging attachment designs is an integral stainless multi-clip design.  Amazing that stainless steel could be formed in this manner.  Many like this design because no carbon steel exists in the backside design and hence no rusting occurs with time [which destroys many “antique” hubcaps].

front and back view of wire wheel hubcap # w14ford1981_4
note, on back view of w14ford1981_4, the multi-clip points on perimeter



w14ford1981_4  front & back in a profile view





back view showing clips around perimeter of c13chry1981_5
note many clips on back perimeter of c13dodge1984_1







Another common and very functional attachment design has a carbon steel ring with several flexible clips riveted to the ring.   The design results in several groups of 4 metal points that project out radial and flex when the hubcap wedges onto the wheel.  The images below illustrate this design.

back clip view of wire wheel hubcap
perimeter of carbon steel ring with flexible points shown on w14pont1979_3
back clip ring on wire wheel hubcap
view of carbon steel outer ring with flex clip group on w14chev1980_8








Another attachment design uses a wire ring design and provides several clip points for attachment.  Many plastic designs commonly had plastic arms and hence several clip attachment points.  Below are a few images illustrating these designs.

note wire ring attaching to about 6 clip points for c14ford1994_2
back and front view of hubcap # c14ford1992_7
This wire ring attaches to many clips on the back of c14ford1992_7








wire wheel clip design view
This back has only a few large bent metal clips around the perimeter of w14buic1990_2
another clip design variation, on c14pont1987_4








There are a few hubcaps where the front does not change, but the clip design is varied for some (unknown) reason.   Below is an example.

Note that c14chev1990_1 has two potential clip designs on back side.
Shows profile of two clip designs used in this design.








And there are a few designs where the hubcap attaches via nuts screwing onto the wheel studs.  One design illustration below uses plastic lug-nuts within the hubcap and another illustration shows a design where the car lug-nuts are for attachment.

This hubcap supply includes plastic lug-nuts for attachment design
showing back and front of c16chev2000_1








Again, plastic lug-nuts with hubcap for c15pont1994_1
close up view of back of c15pont1994_1







The back view shows the area of lug nut attachment and a perimeter guidance system c15pont1992_2
front view of hubcap # c15pont1992_2
The car wheel lug nuts are  for attachment of c15pont1992_2









Because of the large hubcap variation, one common question is whether a different hubcap will fit properly on a different wheel?  Our advice, to increase proper fit, is to stick with a design in roughly the same time frame [plus or minus 7 years] as the original hubcap.  And, upgrading to a wire wheel hubcap, is a pretty desirable move if the attachment design is fully functional.  When trying such an adventure, buy from a supplier that will accept returns for any reason  [such as shop at HUBCAP HILTON].