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Chasander

cast aluminum wheel covers

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Like any other parts for our cars, condition dictates the price.  I am not sure what the going prices are these days as it has been some time since I have seen a set for sale.  They are easy to maintain compared to the wire wheel covers of the same era.  I had them on my 64 that I owned for 24 years and they looked classy on the car.  The 63 and 64 were the same casting but the 64's were painted black between the vanes.  It is not difficult to add or delete the black depending on which year you need.  When I bought my car, the aluminum had oxidized a bit and I had them bead blasted and re-painted the black areas.  They came out great.  The spinners are the same for both years but of course the logo in the center is different between the two years.  The Buick tri-shield for 63 and the "R" logo for the 64.  I would guess that you would have to pay at least $50.00 a piece for presentable examples, quite possibly more depending on condition.  A number of these were damaged over the years by unsuspecting people who tried to pry them off not realizing that the spinner pops off to access the lug nuts.  Curb rash took its toll as well. 

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I have the aluminum wheel covers on mine and I just refinished them this winter as they were oxidized and very dull.  

 

Keep in mind that the total cost of going with the aluminum wheel covers (which are awesome, btw) is not just the cover.  It is the covers + spinners + the logo inserts.  

 

The logo inserts are not reproduced, so you may have to pay a fair amount of money for good ones in the after market.  

The spinners are chrome and over time the chrome will fail.  So, again, you may have to pay a hefty sum for good spinners in the after market.  You can purchase pitted ones and have them re-chromed, but it leads to the same end (i.e. a hefty sum).  

The chrome wheel covers can be cleaned, buffed, polished and painted as Pat said.  I did the work myself and, although I didn't keep track of it, I'm comfortable estimating 15 to 20 hours of work in each wheel cover.  

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I know that I've mentioned this previously but it never hurts to repeat for the sake of those who didn't make note of it originally.  The centers for the spinners on the knock offs for the cast aluminum covers are the same centers that are in the base wheel cover for each year, 63 and 64, respectively.  You can find a set of base covers, remove the centers, and swap them into your knock offs.  The ones one the base covers aren't subject to the abuse that the knock off centers are and can be found in pretty good shape.

 

If it's just scratches on the center caps, they can be worked out.

 

Ed

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You're right Ed.  I once saw a 1964 Wildcat and the owner had put the cast wheelcovers on his car.  He swapped out the emblem and put the Wildcat emblem in from the standard wheel cover.  It looked great.  BTW, I know you and I have questioned this before but is the spinner on the 65 GS wheel cover the same as the cast wheelcover?  They look the same but I have never tried to swap them.  If so, it could be another source for an emblem.

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I paid 800 for a nice set, and then an additional 800 for nos spinners. Supply and demand. The problem besides the tire monkeys trying to pry them off and break the rims, is that  is that they over tighten the nuts and break the studs as well, and more particularly the bosses for the studs.  We have rewelded many of the cast aluminum bosses and then retapped for new studs.

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1 hour ago, dr914 said:

I paid 800 for a nice set, and then an additional 800 for nos spinners. Supply and demand. The problem besides the tire monkeys trying to pry them off and break the rims, is that  is that they over tighten the nuts and break the studs as well, and more particularly the bosses for the studs.  We have rewelded many of the cast aluminum bosses and then retapped for new studs.

Next time you do this, post some pictures, please.  Have you ever tried patching or welding cracks on these?  I have a large stack of these each of which needs some kind of repair.

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7 hours ago, Pat Curran said:

You're right Ed.  I once saw a 1964 Wildcat and the owner had put the cast wheelcovers on his car.  He swapped out the emblem and put the Wildcat emblem in from the standard wheel cover.  It looked great.  BTW, I know you and I have questioned this before but is the spinner on the 65 GS wheel cover the same as the cast wheelcover?  They look the same but I have never tried to swap them.  If so, it could be another source for an emblem.

Pat,

 Yes, but it would be a shame to dismantle a nice original `65 GS wheelcover for the sake of the emblem, just my opinion, but I must admit I`m biased!

  Tom

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I'd never dismantle a Gran Sport wheel cover just for the  enter cap; too many base 64 covers still around.  I wonder if there was enough interest if Mitch Romanowski would reproduce them?

 

Ed

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we have an excellent welder who can weld the cast aluminum. He has welded and ground and then sanded and polished some of these covers with nice success. There are so few left that every one of them should be kept and saved

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On 6/29/2017 at 9:20 AM, RivNut said:

I know that I've mentioned this previously but it never hurts to repeat for the sake of those who didn't make note of it originally.  The centers for the spinners on the knock offs for the cast aluminum covers are the same centers that are in the base wheel cover for each year, 63 and 64, respectively.  You can find a set of base covers, remove the centers, and swap them into your knock offs.  The ones one the base covers aren't subject to the abuse that the knock off centers are and can be found in pretty good shape.

 

If it's just scratches on the center caps, they can be worked out.

 

Ed

Hi Ed.  

 

I want to understand all of the options available to me regarding the aluminum wheel covers.  I'm not sure which piece you're referring to when you write "the knock offs for the cast aluminum covers".  What are the 'knock offs' and who sells them?  I'd like to have a look.  

 

Thanks in advance.  

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3 hours ago, Eric's.64.Superwildcat said:

Hi Ed.  

 

I want to understand all of the options available to me regarding the aluminum wheel covers.  I'm not sure which piece you're referring to when you write "the knock offs for the cast aluminum covers".  What are the 'knock offs' and who sells them?  I'd like to have a look.  

 

Thanks in advance.  

Any for sale would be some original equipment items that come from previous owners or cars being parted out.  The cast aluminum wheel cover is a two piece unit.  The cast aluminum part bolts to the stock 15" steel wheel with four studs that go through four small holes in the wheel and nuts on the back.  The wheel is mounted with the cast part on the wheel. The cast part has a large hole in the center through which the lug bolts can be accessed.  Once the wheel is bolted to the brake drums, a stainless knock off is mounted to the cast cover.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow.

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12 hours ago, Eric's.64.Superwildcat said:

Hi Ed.  

 

I want to understand all of the options available to me regarding the aluminum wheel covers.  I'm not sure which piece you're referring to when you write "the knock offs for the cast aluminum covers".  What are the 'knock offs' and who sells them?  I'd like to have a look.  

 

Thanks in advance.  

Hi Eric,

  In this context the term "knock-off" refers to the two blade spinner as it relates to actual racing type "knock off wheels" where the wheel is removed by knocking off the spinner with a leather hammer. It does not refer to knock off as a repro.

  Tom

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Here's a link to an eBay sale.  4 covers, 4 spinners, with tires (which the seller says do not need to be part of the package.  3 63 spinners, 1 64 spinner.  The center caps look scratched/cracked, the spinners appear to have some pitting, and at least one of the covers has a chunk broken out if it.  $1,299.00  

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1963-1964-Buick-Riviera-set-cast-aluminum-2-bar-spinner-wheel-covers-steel-tires-/332248926870?hash=item4d5b944a96:g:714AAOSww5hZMaWR&vxp=mtr

 

Gives you a good idea as to what you can get for your dollar.

 

Ed

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On 6/29/2017 at 12:52 PM, RivNut said:

Next time you do this, post some pictures, please.  Have you ever tried patching or welding cracks on these?  I have a large stack of these each of which needs some kind of repair.

 

On 7/4/2017 at 1:03 PM, RivNut said:

Here's a link to an eBay sale.  4 covers, 4 spinners, with tires (which the seller says do not need to be part of the package.  3 63 spinners, 1 64 spinner.  The center caps look scratched/cracked, the spinners appear to have some pitting, and at least one of the covers has a chunk broken out if it.  $1,299.00  

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1963-1964-Buick-Riviera-set-cast-aluminum-2-bar-spinner-wheel-covers-steel-tires-/332248926870?hash=item4d5b944a96:g:714AAOSww5hZMaWR&vxp=mtr

 

Gives you a good idea as to what you can get for your dollar.

 

Ed

Ed, I had a crack in one of the cat aluminum covers I just purchased. The welding/fabricator shop I use noticed the crack in one of the covers. They broke the cracked piece and welded the cracked piece on the wheel. I can send a pic of the cracked welded work if you are interested. If you are interested in having the shop here in Maryland I can inquire. If the shop owner is interested I'll pass on the contact info. Well, second thoughts the shop is Decker Fabricating and Welding Cockeysville Md. Jeff Decker is owner and contact. Just tell him Bob Burnopp ( big guy that brings in Gravely parts work for Chuckie ) referred you.

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On 6/29/2017 at 12:52 PM, RivNut said:

Next time you do this, post some pictures, please.  Have you ever tried patching or welding cracks on these?  I have a large stack of these each of which needs some kind of repair.

Ed, Jeff Decker's number is 410=771-1003

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On 6/29/2017 at 6:05 PM, 1965rivgs said:

Pat,

 Yes, but it would be a shame to dismantle a nice original `65 GS wheelcover for the sake of the emblem, just my opinion, but I must admit I`m biased!

  Tom

Pay, I bought a set of cast aluminium wheel covers. The covers are in good shape, but they need TLC and a lot elbow grease to  bring back the shine. When they are finished being wet sanded and bugged out I’ll send you a pic. Thank you for the heads up on the cast aluminium covers dos not know they existed. Steelman chimed I’m with a beautiful pic of his cast aluminum wheel covers.

Ted Riviera Bob

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On 6/27/2017 at 7:24 AM, Chasander said:

What's the going price for a "nice" set of cast aluminum wheel covers.

Also are they a pain in the butt to take care of?

Chas Andre, my experience in bringing my set to the level I want has cost $1100.00 that includes,  initial cost of the complete set, materials, new orbital sander, welding fix, repaint, and dip with clear coat. My time is not counted in the real costs. Now, in a perfect world if you can find a complete set in outstanding shape jump at $1500. The only way you can realistically get them lower is if they are sold as a "sacrifice" or they are less grade than outstanding. That is my 2 cents worth.

RedRiviera Bob

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9 hours ago, Red Riviera Bob said:

Chas Andre, my experience in bringing my set to the level I want has cost $1100.00 that includes,  initial cost of the complete set, materials, new orbital sander, welding fix, repaint, and dip with clear coat. My time is not counted in the real costs. Now, in a perfect world if you can find a complete set in outstanding shape jump at $1500. The only way you can realistically get them lower is if they are sold as a "sacrifice" or they are less grade than outstanding. That is my 2 cents worth.

RedRiviera Bob

I felt that pain. I spent over $1200. for my NOS set. Still in boxes.

The jump cost from "driver" to "Mint" goes exponentially.

Yet nothing like the satisfaction of resurrecting an original, huh?

Good stuff

  • Thanks 1

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On 10/16/2017 at 4:57 PM, dr914 said:

At one time, Gene Guarnere had several sets of new old stock

I bought my complete set from Gene and I completely satisfied with what I paid for goods received. Gene said That zi had some work in front of me to get those in good shape. I’m no judge of mint or excellent #1 show car level grade would be. I know what curb rash I sanded out and it was tedious. I’ll be satisfied with the final product. I have one more rim to do.

Red Riviera Bob

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