HUBCAP IDENTIFICATION SYSTEMS

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.]

 

LISTS OF HUBCAP NUMBERS

We do have lists of hubcap numbers ….   for  BUICK, CADILLAC, CHEVROLET, CHRYSLER (Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth) COMPANY,  FORD (Ford, Mercury, Lincoln) COMPANY, OLDSMOBILE, and PONTIAC so far.  These lists DO ALLOW an alternative way to find the hubcaps that we have for sale at Hubcap Hilton.

NORMAL SHOPPING METHOD

Typically, one would use the “SHOP” page and its instructions to find a desired hubcap. This shop page shopping is handy if one does not know the Hollander Number, and simply seeks to find applicable variation of hubcaps for a specific size, manufacturer; and time frame of several years. The typical shopping search results in several images of potential hubcaps meeting your criteria.  And hopefully one of these images meets your desire and you can review its product page easily.

ALTERNATIVE SHOPPING BY USING LISTS

First, this alternative shopping method has the drawback of likely showing you only one hubcap design at a time at the end of your search.  If you know the Hollander Number and only desire that specific hubcap, this alternative shopping method may be great for you.  If you know the specific Hubcap Hilton number, this is also potentially a great way to shop.

EXPLANATION OF LISTS AVAILABLE.

Two lists exist for each manufacturer.  Each list correlates the manufacture’s Hollander Number to the Hubcap Hilton Number. One list sorts by Hollander Number, and hence is handy if you know the Hollander Number of the hubcap you desire .  The other list sorts by Hubcap Hilton Number, and hence handy if you understand how the Hubcap Hilton Number is configured [like an index].  The lists are as follows.  The lists only include those Hollander Numbers for which we have [or had] inventory for sale.  The Hilton Hubcap Numbers include some numbers where a Hollander Number does not exist [because Hollander Numbers start covering cars about 1965].  Once on a list, you can click on any Hubcap Hilton Number to get to that product page.  So first the desired manufacturer below  Good luck shopping.

Buick Hubcaps    contains two lists sorted as noted below

    ID NUMBER   BUIC      SORTED BY HOLLANDER NUMBER

    ID NUMBER   BUIC      SORTED BY HUBCAP HILTON NUMBER (SKU NUMBER)

Cadillac Hubcaps   contains two lists sorted as noted below

    ID NUMBER   CADY      SORTED BY HOLLANDER NUMBER

    ID NUMBER   CADY      SORTED BY HUBCAP HILTON NUMBER (SKU NUMBER)

Chevrolet Hubcaps       contains two lists, sorted as noted below

     ID NUMBER   CHEV      SORTED BY HOLLANDER NUMBER

     ID NUMBER   CHEV      SORTED BY HUBCAP HILTON NUMBER [SKU NUMBER]

Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge 

     ID NUMBER   CHRY, PLYM, DODG      SORTED BY HOLLANDER NUMBER

     ID NUMBER   CHRY, PLYM, DODG      SORTED BY HUBCAP HILTON NUMBER [SKU #]

Ford, Mercury, Lincoln          [THE FORD COMPANY]

      ID NUMBER   FORD, MERC, LINC      SORTED BY HOLLANDER NUMBER

      ID NUMBER   FORD, MERC, LINC      SORTED BY HUBCAP HILTON NUMBER [SKU #]

Oldsmobile

     ID NUMBER   OLDS      SORTED BY HOLLANDER NUMBER

     ID NUMBER   OLDS      SORTED BY HUBCAP HILTON [SKU NUMBER]

Pontiac

     ID NUMBER   PONT      SORTED BY HOLLANDER NUMBER

     ID NUMBER   PONT      SORTED BY HUBCAP HILTON [SKU NUMBER]

CONCLUSION

So, as an example, consider a wire wheel hubcap such as Hollander Interchange reference number 779, which is Hubcap Hilton Hubcap # w14ford1980_3.

The Hollander number is very simple and easy to use in communications.

What many like about the Hubcap Hilton Number is that it has some meaning.  At Hubcap Hilton we use this Hubcap number as our product SKU number.  Customers can make some sense out of the HH number w14ford1980_3 as being a wire wheel type hubcap, (because of the w).  It is a 14” hubcap for a 14” wheel, (because of the 14).  The manufacturer is Ford [which in our case may include Mercury and Lincoln], (because of the ford).  The year of 1980 gives one a time frame of manufacture (because of the 1980).  The _3 arbitrary number does not help much in visualization, but is simply a number to uniquely refine the exact hubcap identification.  So, the Hubcap Hilton number has a lot of information in its structure.  You can use this structure to shop in an alternative way, as discussed just above within the “LIST” discussion.

One can learn more about the hubcap on your car by going to either the Hollander manual. Or, alternatively, by going to the product page on this website.

In the Hollander manual, in the front, is a 30-odd page index.  You look up the Hollander number for your car in this index.  You will need to look up the manufacturer and model, year of manufacture, and the tire size to find the Hollander Number.  Then, under that Hollander number in the main manual [some 400 pages], you will find one front image of the hubcap.   And you will also find data like all the years of manufacture and all the models it was used on.

To get to the Hubcap Hilton product page for your car’s hubcap, the easiest way is to try the shop page and follow the instructions.  You will have to list your tire size first, then the manufacturer, and then a time frame that applies.  Then you get a view [front images] of the several potential designs that fall in that criteria.  Click on any product, that interests you, to get to that product page.  On that product page are several images [front and back at various angles].  The page also provides a write up on the design including when the hubcap was in use.  Typically similar designs also exist, so you get appropriate links to those product pages.  And, of course, inventory and price are on the page.   All at https://buyusedhubcaps.com .