INTRODUCTION – ORIGINAL HUBCAPS
Before we discuss the two hubcap identification systems, that define a hubcap number, let’s talk about just “hubcaps”. The product under discussion is full size OEM wheel covers (or hubcaps) supplied by manufacturers on American automobiles. Perhaps “original hubcaps” or “original wheel covers” are easier terms to understand. Other side products, not covered well by Hubcap Hilton, are center caps, partial covers, trim rings, and locking hardware. See our discussion on “Hubcap Features” that gets into the meaning of all these terms. Or our article “Hubcap Definition” for our definition of hubcap and wheel cover with a brief history from 1950 to 2000.
SUMMARY OF THIS ARTICLE – IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS FOR ORIGINAL HUBCAPS
Because there are thousands of different original hubcap designs, one needs a system of unique identification (ID). This article covers the two such ID systems and thirdly covers several LISTS collating the numbers of the two systems.
The common ID system is discussed first. It is the Hollander Hubcap Number system.
The second ID system discussed below is a new ID system developed by Hubcap Hilton. The Hubcap Hilton Number has a custom-made ID system that yields a meaningful identification number, that is also used as the product SKU number. By “meaningful number” we mean a number that yields data on the hubcap itself. Data of importance includes the type of hubcap, the size of the hubcap, the OEM of the hubcap, and also the time frame on use of the hubcap.
And, lastly, is a discussion on LISTS that correlate the two number systems. These LISTS actually provide one a second way to find A PRODUCT PAGE (vs just following the instructions under the SHOP page) for a hubcap of interest and for sale by Hubcap Hilton.
THE COMMON IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM — THE HOLLANDER HUBCAP NUMBER
Presently there is one hubcap identification system in use, commonly called the Hollander Interchange Number … or, because Hollander identifies many car parts, the system is better called Hollander Hubcap Number .
The Hollander system basically uses a unique 3 to 5 digit number assigned to each unique original hubcap made for specific vehicles. However, the challenge with this unique Hollander Number is that it is a somewhat arbitrary number. This number yields no clue about the hubcap design.
To obtain the Hollander Number, you basically first go to an index of American (and Canadian) manufacturers [in the Hollander Manual]. And, you logically search the index for the specific automobile and the specific year of manufacture, where you will find one to several Hollander numbers for the applicable original hubcap designs used. You can then go to that Hollander Number [typical 3 to 5 digits, plus an added potential letter] in the manual (about 400 pages) to see a front view image of the hubcap. And with each Hollander Number, next to that picture, are notes on the wheel size and manufacturer detail(s) and year(s) applicable. Often, such an original hubcap is used on one model for one year. Sometimes, however, an original hubcap is used on many models and/or several years. That type of data is next to each picture, and very useful.
This Hollander manual is used by junk yard dealers and auto suppliers very effectively to identify specific original hubcaps. And by adding that Hollander Number to the hardware, it can be inventoried and stored in some fashion.
Hollander has many useful catalogs on cars … visit them at https://hollanderinterchange.net/catalog/ .
THE NEW IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM – THE HUBCAP HILTON NUMBER
Basically, many suppliers of hubcaps found it hard to sort and store and find original hubcaps by a Hollander Hubcap Number because the number is a somewhat arbitrary number. Hence the Hubcap Hilton Number identification number system was created. At Hubcap Hilton we also use this number as our SKU product number. In this new system the HUBCAP # itself is like an index. Consider the following three examples, used for further explanation purposes:
Hubcap # c15plym1975_1, and hubcap # w14chry1971_6, and, hubcap # c13chev1980_1.
first Hubcap # c 15 plym 1975 _1
second Hubcap # w 14 chry 1963 _1
third Hubcap # c 13 chev 1980 _1
Item a b c d e
Item a Item a is one letter. Presently the choices are only as follows.
1) Small letter c — which stands for full size solid wheel cover type hubcap.
2) Small letter w — which stands for full size wire wheel type hubcap.
3) Small letter r – which stands for rim type hubcap.
4) Large letter L – which stands for “Locking hardware” type hubcap product.
Item b Item b is two numbers. These represent the hubcap size in inches. The present choices are 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. Hubcap size equals tire size.
Item c Item c is four letters. These four letters are an abbreviation of the car manufacturer. This gets a bit tricky because of the close ties of some companies such as Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury where some hubcaps were used by all three companies; and other hubcaps only by one specific company. The key aspect is to give a hubcap only one identification number. Also, presently, Hubcap Hilton has no listing of foreign suppliers. The present choices are as follows.
“buic” stands for Buick
“chev” stands for Chevrolet
“chry” stands for Chrysler, Plymouth, and/or Dodge
“cady” stands for Cadillac
“dodg” stands for Dodge [also see Chry]
“ford” stands for Ford, Mercury, and/or Lincoln [The Ford Company]
“linc” stands for Lincoln [also see Ford}
“merc” stands for Mercury [also see Ford]
“olds” stands for Oldsmobile
“plym” stands for Plymouth
“pont” stands for Pontiac.
Item d Item d is four numbers. These four numbers are the approximate year of first manufacture. For original hubcaps only used for one year, this year becomes a pretty accurate research tool. But for hubcaps made over many years, this year just gets one within a basic time period. Again, the key rule is that any one design gets one unique identification number.
Item e Item e is a unique identifier consisting of a single sequential digit. This arbitrary identifier is added because, a company like Ford, or Chevrolet had created many different unique car models in some specific years, each with a potential new original hubcap. So, this identifier just allows many unique hubcap numbers, when a manufacturer made many different hubcaps in one year. [Where appropriate, we typical precede this single digit with an “underscore symbol” to help distinguish from the item d the year of use. We also often prefer to make sure all the letters used in the number are small case with no spaces and hence web friendly.]