Chevy Hubcap Restoration

1948_chevrolet-with-hubcap2

Q.

I recently acquired a ’48 Chevy Fleetmaster Sport Sedan 48-1019 in original condition and in need of restoration. It will not remain ‘original’ due to upgrades and modifications. My question is, one original hubcap came with the car as well as one spare wheel with tire. I am hoping to restore the wheel, hubcap and tire to original to carry in the trunk. The hubcap is the question. It has the original (patina) I think and wondering the best way to ‘clean’ it for display. Thanks for reading my long post.

A.

During 1948, Chevrolet offered a couple of different style wheel covers. The most common (1941-48) was the small half moon with the Chevrolet word across the middle and the stylized emblem above and below the word. They also offered a full wheel cover for the 1947-48 models.

I’ll focus my reply on the most common style used. The hubcap itself is a stainless steel covering over a steel core. Often the stainless cover becomes scratched and dented, and it is nearly impossible to straighten the stainless without removing it from the steel core. That is where things get tough for most enthusiasts. The flange that holds the stainless cover on must be relieved from the core and pulled free, once the cover is straight and polished it must be reattached to the core. Unless you’ve done it before, I would suggest trying it on a wheel cover you don’t care about first, as it’s not easy to achieve good results.

Many top chrome shops will do this as a service although, be aware it will be expensive to have done.

If it’s a straight polished wheel cover you’re looking for, you’re lucky enough to have a popular car and reproduction wheel covers are readily available for about $40.

Wrench Safe,
Mark

Discussion
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3 Responses to “Chevy Hubcap Restoration”
  1. Russ Ruck

    Just a point of interest, my Dad had the same car, grey on grey, spotlights, etc. New in 1948 @ $1806. Enjoy your project, I may want to buy it upon completion.

    Reply
  2. Bill Seckman

    I recently acquired a 1935 chevy standard and would like to know if there is after market hubcaps available.

    Reply
  3. Jim Rostron

    Hubcaps.com used to restore them. I paid $100.00 each and was happy to do so. They only sell used caps now. I’m looking for someone that will restore my 62 Tempest caps now. It’s not an easy process. Look into restoring stainless trim, it’s basically the same thing. I did my trim on my 58 Stude President and it was very hard. Start off sanding with a heavy grit depending on the damage and very slowly graduate to 2500 grit. Then polish. It ain’t easy!

    Reply