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Calnevar Chromesides Hubcaps




Aftermarket company Calnevar produced a smooth concave shaped White Wall replacement beauty ring. They named a chrome plated version Chromesides.

During World War II there was a restriction on rubber, which was all needed for military use. The tire production for civilian cars almost came to a halt and the production on the very popular white wall insert tires stopped completely. White Wall tires were impossible to get for a number of years around the end and shortly after WWII. Several aftermarket companies came up with a solution for this. A smooth somewhat concave shaped all metal beauty ring painted white that would fit the wheel around the hubcap. The effect was nice, although not quite the same as a real white wall which would be several inches outside of the cars wheels, while the new accessory item was wheel size 15 or 16 inches.

For a number of years these alternative white walls were used on quite a few cars, as well as Custom Cars. At one point around 1946, as far as I have been able to find out, these metal rings were also offered with chrome plating. One of the aftermarket companies that produced these items was Calnevar from Los Angeles California. They advertised their version of this alternative white wall option as the Calnevar Whitesides, and the chrome plated version was named Calnevar Chromesides. Both were offered in the Calnevar Dress-Up / Doll-Up wheel covers line of products.

Full page Calnever magazine ad from around 1947. The Doll-Ups Chrome and Whitesides are shown separate, as well as combined with several of their hubcap offerings.

The Doll-Ups Chrome and Whitesides were offered in 15 and 16 inch and came with backsides to fit different brand wheels.

So far I have only been able to find any documentation on these chrome plated sings from the Calnevar company in one of their late 1940’s magazine ads. But several other other companies who also produced the white wall version, created a chrome plated option as well. well known aftermarket hubcap company Lyon named their chrome plated version the De Luxe Steel model. A similar product was also offered by National and Paul Perfect Fit.

There are quite a few 1940’s photos of cars using the white painted version of these beauty rings, but the chrome plated versions is rarely seen. In fact so far I have only found two photos of the same Custom Car that uses a set of these Chromesides beauty rings mounted. The car was restyled by the Barris shop around late 1947, and two photos of the car appeared in two of the Barris books. On this really great looking ’40 Mercury convertible with chopped padded top and ’48 Cadillac grille these Chromesides were combined with a set of ripple disk single bar flipper hubcaps creating a totally unique look. Almost like a mix between a Cadillac Sombrero and the single bar flipper caps. Ever since I have noticed this combination on this car I have wondered why this was not used more often, back then, and even today.

The only car I have been able to find using the Calnevar Chromesides was this Barris Customs restyled 1940 Mercury convertible with padded top and ’48 Cadillac Grille.

The car was restyled really bautiful with all smooth and molded body work including smoothed running boards. The smooth Chromesides trim ring works beautiful with the Ripple Disc, Single Bar Flipper Hubcaps.

Close up of the Chromesides combined with the Ripple Disc, Single Bar Flipper hubcaps, what a beautiful set up.

The white version of these dress-up parts are rather common, and offered for sale at swap-meets and internet auctions quite frequently. The Chrome plated versions are also still around, most of the time brand new in the box never being used. But they are a bit harder to find that the white painted versions. Christer Ehrling from Sweden send me a photo of a set he bought several years ago on eBay. He mentioned they were created from a little thinner metal than regular hubcaps, but once mounted they look very good and should work really well combined with a selection of hubcaps for an unique Custom look. Hopefully we will see some of these on some 1940’s styled Custom Cars in the future. Something a bit different than the regular ribbed beauty ring and flipper hubcap… Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the ’40 Mercury restyled by Barris shows how great the Chromesides can look.

Johnny F Cliche shared some photos of a set of Chromesides he had in his collection. This particular version was made to fit the 1948 Chevrolet’s.

Instructions on how to use the Calnevar Company (Calco) Chromesides.

Low angle photo of the Calnevar Whitesides gives us a good look at the shape of these rings.

Close up of the chrome plated trim ring, this is the Paul Perfect Fit produced item.

I also came across a set of chrome plated rings offered by Paul Perfect Fit.

Backside of the Paul Perfect Fit trim-rings.

Details of the Paul Perfect Fit trim-ring box.

The Paul Perfect Fit product was created by the Paul Machine Tool & Die works in Chicago, Illinois.

Magazine ad for the Lyon “whitewalls. The white version sold for $6.95 for four, and the De Luxe Steel version for $9.95 for four around 1947.

The Lyon version of the chrome plated trim ring has 8 small square slots on the inside of the ring that will be covered by the actual hub cap.

Christer Ehrling send me this photo of a set he is going to use on his car. The one on the left is the Lyon version of the chrome plated ring. The one on the right is the same ring mounted on the wheel with a Stock Ford hubcap added. A ripple disk flipper hubcap is larger and will overlap more of the inside ring.

If you know of any other 40’s built Custom Cars that used the Chromesides trim rings, or if you plan on using them on your own Custom Car, please let us know. This is an unique restyling feature that I think would look really amazing, and since it has been seen very rarely it will set your ’40’s style Custom really apart.


(This article is made possible by)


Rik Hoving

Rik is the CCC editor in chief. As a custom car historian he is researching custom car history for many years. In 2004 he started the Custom Car Photo Archive that has become a place of joy for many custom car enthousiasts. Here at CCC Rik will bring you inspiring articles on the history of custom cars and builders. Like a true photo detective he will show us what's going on in all those amazing photos. He will write stories about everything you want to know in the realm of customizing. In daily life Rik is a Graphic Designer. He is married to the CCC webmaster and the father of a 10 year old son (they are both very happy with his excellent cooking skills)

6 thoughts on “Calnevar Chromesides Hubcaps

    • The hubcaps on Ed Jacques Ford most likely were created by Calnevar or perhaps Lyons, but those are full aftermarket hubcaps, and that design was, as far as I know, not available yet in late 1947 when the photos of the ’40 Merc were taken.

      • Ah – thanks for the info, appreciated. I have a set of the Calnevar Whitesides, although they have similar mounting slots as the Lyons shown above – my intention is to get them chromed and use them.

  • Another article masterpiece explaining the “Snapon metal whitewall” / chrome filler piece / “beauty ring” between tire and hubcap from the fourties . Intricate custom info , Thanks Rik !

  • love ur articles rik stuff like this is awesome we can see what was kool to buy for our cars back then an the prices those items sold for back then,

  • John workman

    Stopped at a Roadside junk shop and found 2 new sets of chrome sides still in original box appears to have never been mounted. Box’s pretty rough as you can imagine but paper sheets between each ring. Believe one set 14 other 15 in will sell

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