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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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