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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chrome Reverse Dish rims.

I saw a 1970 Impala the other day with CRDs, no caps - just the small 'dust cap' on the front, and no cap on the rears (to show off the moser M)

I know how they're made and several old timers here (who have sadly left the party too soon) Said these rims were a royal ****** because they would wear out rear axle bearings sooner than later (Im assuming that reversing the center throws the whole thing out of balance more than the bubble balancers of the day could account for?)

My grandad was the head welder for Carrier for almost 40yrs right after WW2; and he used to do a lot of this stuff out of his barn/ fab shop. Widen rims, fix blocks and heads, split manifolds etc. He's gone now and too many questions I never thought to ask

Now I know things vary by region and that 'reliving history through pictures' can be dangerous, because people can find a picture of almost anything and insist that was 'traditional'.

So; when were these the most popular, what were the problems and what are some things you see today in regards to this that just weren't done and aren't 'period correct'.
I woulda asked on the HAMB, but their collective viewpoint seems a little skewed at times. Too many guys my age who read Ol Skool Rods, cuff their jeans and have 3 grand in tattoos and pompadours who 'know'
 

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Growing up in SoCal in the 50's and 60's as I remember Chrome Reversed Rims mostly on the rear only of the more performance type cars. The more custom type vehicales ran both front and rear. That's not to say it couldn't be the other way around. but a go-fast car might have CRR on the rear , Anson's or Baby Moon's on the front. More towards late 50'-60's than early 50's. Might be wrong about dates as I was riding my Hawthorne (Monkee-Wards) bicycle in the early 50's.:cool:
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Realistically I don't believe there were ANY chrome wheels prior to about 1958 and very few on "normal" custom cars or hot rods until after 60. I could be wrong I remember studying this once years ago that is what I remember.

Brian
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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We get into a big gray area on "popularity", depends on where too, what part of the country. I have to say "barrel" chrome rims 10 inch wide were still pretty popular around here up into the seventies. My sister had a brand new 73ish Cheyenne with them on all four corners for a while then changed to Ansen slots. (never really liked those)

But my brother ran the chromeies up into the mid seventies and it was a pretty cool car. My truck had them put on around 72 by the previous owner and stayed their until 79 or so when I had it.

But without a doubt late 60's they were seriously getting replaced with "Mags" on cars where the guy had a few more bucks.

Brian
 

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Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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If you are after a "period" car and want it correct there is no better way than picking up a bunch of car mags of the era and studying them. Go to ebay and you will find piles of HotRod and other mags that you can get for only a few bucks each and have a ball looking at them learning what was the norm in that particular year. No need to trust some old farts memories.

"I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now". :D

Brian
 

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I grew up in Lynwood, Cal. in the 50's...60's, in this little town we had George Barris, Bill Hines, Eddie Martinez and I think it was Cerney's paint shop. I remember riding my bike down the alley behind Barris's shop on Atlantic ave. and seeing my first REAL full on custom cars being built with chrome wheels. I just couldn't believe that someone would actually chrome the entire wheel!

Anyway, in '64 I had chrome reverse wheels on my '56 Bel Aire 2d hardtop, they weren't super deep but they were reversed. I bought them from "Dave's Home of Chrome" in Compton, going in there was like a kid in a candy store. I forgot what they cost but I know I was working at a rental yard after school, making $1.05 an hour....gas was $.27 a gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Part of the reason why I asked you guys; is I like the anecdotes that always seem to come up.

So there was a basic timeline, it would be:
wires
steel wheel (with or without caps) and apparently all red according to OSR pictures
Chrome Rev
'Mags'
Billet

The 70 chevelle looked well done; it just looked unique I guess; since mot have cragars, stockers (steelies and piepans or Rallyes) or torqthrusts here. My old man is one of the few with original 5 slots (ansens); the repop ones have a really shallow dish and look downright weird to me on the back of a car, like mounting a front wheel on the back.

Theres a 64 Nova here with glas front fenders, flat hood, glas bumpers; rev dish on the back and 5 slots on the front. It looks mean as hell and has a punched out 327 with something like a 270 Magnum cam in it and 2 4bbls. We did the M20 for the guy; so I got to talking to him, it has 14" rims, not 15s on it. The thing flat out rips and the guy who owns it is in his late 70s and isnt afraid to pin the tach. LOL I love it
 

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Chrome revered wheels were very popular in the 60's; all of the 60's. My first car, a 1957 Chev, got chrome reverse as soon as I bought it. Chrome or any other material used on wheels, and the reverse, was not what made them hard on bearings. Initially the wheels were very hard to get in anything wider than 7", and even reversed they had about 3" backspacing, so 4" out. That didn't cause any bearing issues at all. It was when makers of steel and mag wheels began to gradually make wider wheels, and wider tires that the bearings became an issue. That was late 60's and 70's that the 10" and even 12" wheels blasted onto the car scene and people wanted as little backspacing as possible to maximize the effect.
The wider wheels and extreme offset, compounded by the older cars of pre '64 with their ball type bearings created a lot of bearing failures. Around '64 all the makers began to change from ball to roller bearings, which helped. Still those extreme offsets and wide wheels can create the same ill effect on roller bearings, even today. It had little to do with the old narrow reversed wheels of the late 50's and early 60's.
 

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Gone sailing
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Chrome revered wheels were very popular in the 60's; all of the 60's. My first car, a 1957 Chev, got chrome reverse as soon as I bought it. Chrome or any other material used on wheels, and the reverse, was not what made them hard on bearings. Initially the wheels were very hard to get in anything wider than 7", and even reversed they had about 3" backspacing, so 4" out. That didn't cause any bearing issues at all. It was when makers of steel and mag wheels began to gradually make wider wheels, and wider tires that the bearings became an issue. That was late 60's and 70's that the 10" and even 12" wheels blasted onto the car scene and people wanted as little backspacing as possible to maximize the effect.
The wider wheels and extreme offset, compounded by the older cars of pre '64 with their ball type bearings created a lot of bearing failures. Around '64 all the makers began to change from ball to roller bearings, which helped. Still those extreme offsets and wide wheels can create the same ill effect on roller bearings, even today. It had little to do with the old narrow reversed wheels of the late 50's and early 60's.
[Yup. what he said]

My high school days were 66-68 and at that time Craigers and the gray center Americans were "in". the chrome (reverse or not) was considered a low budget alternative. my 55 2dr post had craigers on the front and 9" chrome on the rear (you know… the really wide ones ;) )

Russ
 

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I grew up in an area with snow and I had a '69 Torino Cobra that had too much power for winter driving with stock tires. I used Cragar mags with my summer-time tires, and I put chrome reverse wheels and dished hub caps on when I switched to winter studded tires. I remember buying the hub caps from JC Whitney, but I don't know where I got the wheels.

The most popular tires were Goodyear Polyglas bias ply tires. I used either 6" or 7" wide wheels and 70 series tires, so it never caused any problem with bearings. Mustang also offered 60 series tires starting in about '69, but they were sized so that they fit very well in the wheel wells.

Bruce
 

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I think one of the contributing factors as to why CRW's were popular was the comparative cost to the buyer. CRW's were cheap and Americans, Cragers, Ansons weren't.
 

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Some guys just like the look of chrome wheels so I still see them on some of the older cars..One of the things about steering design is that it is desirable to have the center of the tire as close as possible to the centerline of the kingpin or ball joints as possible..when we reverse the wheel it moves the center of the tire out away from the steering axis and makes the steering a bit harder..you really find out about this on a car with manual steering..

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good points by all; and I appreciate the information.
Its kind of foreign for me to hear 'cragar' and 'expensive'. In my generation, that was the cost effective wheel. That or repurposed stock rims, like IROC rims on S-10 pickups. Now a set of 4 rims can go for 4grand or more.
 

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I think one of the contributing factors as to why CRW's were popular was the comparative cost to the buyer. CRW's were cheap and Americans, Cragers, Ansons weren't.
BB is correct. I graduated HS in '63. I ran spinner hubcaps because they were affordable. Would have loved to have been able to afford chrome reversed but did not have the money. I knew there was no way I would ever be able to afford the new "mag" wheels that were coming out. All three are period correct but were usually chosen based on budget, not the cool factor.

Most of the guys today are trying to achieve the period correct look as they perceive it it be. Not as it really was. That does not bother me though. If they want to roll their jeans up, why not? If they think flat black is cool, fine. But the truth is, the only reason we ever ran primer was because paint cost money we didn't have!

One other thing to consider; What was "in" where I grew up in Louisville, Ky. may have been completely different in Detroit or L.A. I saw styles change very quickly. For example, suspensions went from lowered in the rear to lowered on all 4 corners to "California rakes" within a period of about 3 years.

John L
 

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"Chrome Reverse and Baby Moons" were pretty popular in Southern Saskatchewan (where I grew up) In the early-to-mid 70's, and were in many of the speed shop flyers.

I think they were pretty popular because (as someone else said) they were an inexpesive alternative to Mags, like the Cragar SS's and the Keystone Klassic spokes (loved the look of those)


But yes ... I recall seeing lots of cars, like the GTX and Sport Fury's wearing Chrome reverse. I think they looked best on the bigger cars ... not so much on the "pony" cars.
 

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The hot set-up was reversed Buick rims on Ford centers if you ran a 5.5 BC.

We had guys running chrome wheels back in the 50's/early 60's in Milwaukee. There was a shop called Murray Metal Plating where plenty of high school kids worked to make some $$ and they were allowed to chrome anything they wanted after hours...FREE!

Can you imagine a 15 year old working in a plating shop today? My God what a stink THAT would make!
 
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