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Posts Tagged ‘hub cap’

1957-1960 Hubcaps

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

During the early years of GM truck production, many examples exist which relate to their vehicles being designed more for work. Changing a trim part for appearance reasons was usually secondary if it resulted in unnecessary expense. Often parts were used that had already been on GM automobiles. This eliminated expensive new tooling costs and kept GM truck prices in line with the competition.

An excellent example of this type thinking is shown with the 1957-1960 hubcaps. Even though the 1960 pickup was a totally redesigned vehicle, GM carried their older hub cap on this new pickup. The reasoning goes back to keeping truck prices low. The 1960 1/2 ton wheel was to be the last carrying the inside spring clips to secure the hub caps. As truck hub caps were used several years, it was not likely a new 1960 design would be created for only one year. GM held off from using a redesigned hub cap until 1961 so that it would fit on the new non-clip wheel. To stay with tradition, this new 1/2 ton cap was then used three years.

To keep the 1960 3/4 and 1 ton hub cap appearances similar to the 1/2 ton, GM again retained the earlier style. This occurred even though the larger truck inside clip split rim wheel design was basically unchanged between 1946 and the late 1960’s.

Chevrolet and GMC each had their own different hub cab design during this time, however, they both changed styles at the same time. A full Chevrolet or GMC wheel cover was unavailable for the deluxe 1957-59 truck models. GM simply chromed their standard caps that were otherwise painted white. An optional chromed GM wheel ring could be added on the 1/2 ton series in 1957-1959 Chevrolet but not during 1960. These trim rings were stock on the 1957-1958 Cameo but dealer installed on other 1/2 tons.

In 1960, a full wheel cover was introduced on the Deluxe 1/2 Ton Package. Actually, it was from a 1956 Chevrolet Belair car and 1956 Chevrolet Cameo. Once again, GM used this stamping from five year old tooling and saved production costs.

1957 1960 hubcaps 1

1960 Wheel Covers (above)

Stainless Steel on the Deluxe 1/2 Ton Pickup. 15″ Wheels only.


1957 1960 hubcaps 2

1957-1959 Wheel Rings (above)

Chromed steel wheel rings that blend with optional chrome hub caps to give appearance of full-chrome wheels. 15″ wheels only.


1957 1960 hubcaps 3

Hub Caps-Used 15 Years

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Many of the tech articles on this web site emphasis’s the subtle ways that truck parts were made economically by GM. Truck often received Chevrolet car items that were used the year before. Sometimes even other GM brands sent their older items to be placed on assembly line trucks.

Of all the ways GM saved money on truck parts, none is more unique than the savings on 1/2 ton hub caps. Chevrolet pickups used the same baby moon style hub cap from 1940 through 1955. The skins and basis are the same. A relative inexpensive addition was simply changing the lettering or emblems on the outer brass skin. They required a change in tooling, not expensive for a company the size of the Chevrolet Motor Division. The stamping department just kept making the same base and skins. The skin surface stamping changed as was required by the design department each year.

Check the following pictures. The base hub caps are all the same. Some of the car hub caps are the same as the trucks. Even GMC trucks decided to use these caps between 1947-55. After all, just placing the three GMC letters on the skin added much savings to the company’s bottom line.

hub caps 1

1940 Chevrolet 1/2, 3/4 ton and car (above)

hub cap 2

1941-1946 1/2 ton, 1941- 1945 3/4 ton, and 1942 -1948 car (above)

hub cap 3

1947-1951 GMC, Chrome (above)

hub cap 4

1947-1951 Chevrolet, Chrome (above)

hub cap 5

1954-1955 1st Chevrolet (above)

hub cap 6

1952-1953 Chevrolet Painted (above)

Counterfeit Hub Caps

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Companies outside the Chevrolet Motor Division have always produced replacement parts for the aftermarket industry. Manufacturers begin reproducing non-original parts very soon after a new vehicle is introduced.

A problem occurs on decorative trim such as hub caps. Here, Chevrolet (and other manufacturers), display their logo to attract positive attention. To reproduce a Chevrolet hub cap, non-GM companies have at times altered the bow tie logo. In this way, they have avoided legal action by GM and market a hub cap that was close to the original. Their hope is that most people would not notice the small changes. These caps were usually produced in the 1930’s ‘ 40’s and marketed through auto parts stores or by mail order.

In today’s world, these caps have become very rare as few collectors use them on their vehicles. GM has now given approval for reproducing these obsolete correct logo caps and most collectors want the real thing. The few remaining ‘counterfeit’ caps have a place on your garage wall with their unique history.

counterfeit hub caps 1

counterfeit hub caps 2

counterfeit hub caps 3