Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Wheels & Tires -> Wheel Cover Identification
Make sure and check out our page of all year hubcaps/wheels that were standard and optional on Imperials.
1931 - 1933
This thread took place in 2012, and was part of the Imperial Club Mailing List:
Please see pictures following the commentary......
Al, If you have a CG then the hubcaps only have the gothic "C" in the center. The 1932 and the 1933 have the Chrysler Imperial script .
What is the ID of the wheel hole for the hubcap?
Both the ones with the Gothic "C" and the ones with the script are identical in size, shape, and construction — only the center medallion is different. They are interchangeable. The hubcaps have a 7-5/8" diameter.
I believe the matter is slightly confusing. My own CG came as a basket case with one Gothic and 5 Imperial texted hubcaps, nothing apparently added since 1970. Looking through my collection of CG photos the divide on restored cars seems to be roughly 50%. Interestingly it is similarily stated by some that the 31 CG would have the intermediate gazelle up front and not the large with twirled horns as a 32 would have, but who really knows?
Narve and Al, According to my parts book copyright 1934, 1924-33 Chrysler parts the 77(W) and CG up thru serial number 7802200 used the same gothic "C" lettered hubcap. After this serial number the Imperial used the same cap as the 1932-33 Imperial and Custom Imperial. Hope this helps. I do have some Gothic "C" hubcaps for this application.
My CC Sedan is 7802231, so it should have the "later" script hubcaps.
1957 - 1959
There were three basic models at Imperial these years and each one has a different wheel cover. The base model's cover is a one piece, integrated version. The inner rings, which surround the "spinner", are painted a flat black and helps to create a dimensional effect. It also has three "wings" which are inserted around the center "spinner" to create the illusion that the spinner is functional. This cover is Chrysler reference # 1736 681.
The Crown wheel cover is a two piece cover with the outer piece being separate from the inner "spinner." On our pictorial review, a picture of this cover is in the bottom row on the left. The interesting thing about the difference between the base and Crown model covers is that, visually, they look identical. It is only after you take the cover off that you will notice the difference. Also on the pictorial review, you will see a picture taken of the rear of both the base and Crown models which shows even more detail on the differences between these two covers. This cover is Chrysler reference # 1736 675 and the dome is # 1829 631.
And finally the LeBaron covers with the anodized gold trim. This cover is Chrysler reference # 1736 680 and the dome is dome # 1829 631.
Tips on correct Imperial wheel size 1957-1966 from Chris:
Imperial used 14" wheels from 1957-1959 to help provide that longer, lower, wider profile so desired in that era. The tires on these cars were correspondingly enormous culminating in the huge 11:00 x 14 balloons offered in 1959. The ran on 14-16 lbs of pressure for that pillow soft ride.(!) But Imperial lost its handling prowess with these tires so in mid-1959 they changed to bigger 15" wheels and lower profile tires. The hubcaps for these bigger wheels are similar, but the easiest way to tell 15" ones apart is to look for the rectangular cooling slots radiating around the outer edge of the cap. These same 15" hubcaps - with different center trim appliqués - were used on 1961-63 300 Letter cars and on all C-bodied Mopars with disc brakes in 1966. Next time you see factory photos of 1959 Imperials notice that early ones have the plain caps and later photos have the caps with the cooling slots.
Note: "C" bodied Mopars continued to use 14" wheels as standard equipment as late as 1968. I always assumed they needed fat tires on small rims to compensate for the firmness of the torsion bar/leaf spring suspension. The soft tires absorbed harshness while the firm suspension provided control. The Imperial's separate frame construction filtered out harshness that early Unibodies couldn't. Or so I always assumed....
The 59 had both sizes as factory equipment. You can tell the difference at a glance as the ones equipped with 15" wheels had slots around the outer perimeter of the hubcap face . The 14"did not. In all other respects they looked alike.
The 59's switched from 14" to 15" midyear. The larger hubcaps have a ring of cooling slots around the perimeter. The smaller ones are plain.
Here is the definitive statement on my experience w/ 15" wheels on MY '59 Southampton- Yes I owned and drove this car for several years, yes it had stock 15" wheels which were interchangeable w/ Ford pick up trucks. Yes I did mount second hand Michelins on the car. One night my college roommate and I liberated a full length beveled glass mirror from a 1920's house that was being torn down on Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Yes an OKC cop saw us back out of the driveway as he was going the opposite direction down Classen and did a u-turn at the light. I floored my 59 (with radials) and took off for the nearest side street we careened back and forth and finally killed the lights and pulled into a dark driveway and lost the cop who was in a Plymouth or Dodge interceptor. I lost no hubcaps no valve stems no tie rod ends ball joints or torsion bars. The wheels never cracked warped or groaned, my roommate lost something but That is another story. Exner put 14's on the 57 to lower its profile and center of gravity. '59 saw the return of the 15" wheel for the Imperial. The radials stayed on the Imperial until it was hit by the Idiot in the '54 Ford custom who broad-sided me.
Having started all of this hullabaloo about radials on my '59 Crown, I should probably add my perceptions about, and intentions for the car. When I drove it the one time in Staunton, VA, and when the restorer drove it in Butte, MT, the one thing we both noticed was an annoying thump-thump. No, the tires were not flat!! The restorer said it was because the car sat for such long stretches at a time the bias ply tires developed flat spots that might go away with some miles on them. Indeed, after driving it for about ten miles, the noise and sensation went away or I got used to it, I don't recall. As for handling, a car of this size is not meant to be driven in the Grand Prix at Monte Carlo. She'll be piloted with the grace and decorum that befits a luxury liner. Even with the bad bias plys, I still felt she handled better than a Lincoln Mark V or '78 Eldorado that relatives have had. Talk about two cars that were all over the road WITH radials!! I intend to drive the car to local car shows in the metropolitan Washington area. She will take two extended trips this summer, to Virginia Beach and to Cape Cod. Kristen, who is considering putting radials on her '57 Crown said, "The farthest I drive is about 2 hours to shows, but I'd rather keep the car on the road for those 2 hours." Kristen - Is the handling on yours sloppy enough to make a Cape Cod jaunt an out of the question exhausting experience? As far as I know, my front end is original and has not been tampered with, and I wouldn't expect that it would have been considering the car's low mileage. I am leaning toward bias plys because they are roughly half the price and I figure that's what the car is used to. I'd prefer not to accelerate any wear on the front end by subjecting it to a less-cushy ride. On the subject of rim sizes, my sales brochure lists "14 inch, low pressure Rayon Custom Super-Cushion Tubeless Tires, 9.50x14. Safety Rim Wheels." However, the WPC News for the Chrysler Product Restorers Club, 8/98 issue, shows an identical layout to the specification page of my brochure that "15 inch..., 8.20x15...." Someone later wrote in the 10/98 issue that the 14" wheels were used through 1958, and the 15" were used in '59. Perhaps my brochure is an early publication. I'll check for others at Spring Carlisle this weekend.
Follow-up from Bob:
It wasn't only because tires were bias ply--this happened with nylon corded tires and was common when cold, not just when they sat. If they sat for any length of time, it made the situation even worse. Rayon corded tires didn't have this problem, hot or cold.
I think the crowns have three V shaped inserts around the LeBaron has 5. The word 'Imperial' around a wide chrome piece in the center.
One of my friends here in Dallas had a 1961 LeBaron with all options several years ago. It was all original and had unique wheel covers as someone else mentioned in an earlier email. These had a large ring of chrome which stood away from the center part of the hubcap about 1 or 2 inches. They were unique to just the Le Baron models that year. Someone stole one of his since the car did not have inside garage storage. It was a daily driver also. Other years of LeBaron hubcaps were different. The picture shown in the earlier email did not look like the 61's I remember seeing.
Question from Gary:
I am looking for the eagle for the center of my hubcap. Anyone have one or know where to get one and the cost?
Reply from Tony:
The NICEST source for one is from any junked 1964-66 Imperial Crown Coupe - The emblem in between the back-seat cushions is identical, and is usually in four times better-condition than one you would get from a wheel-cover (since it's protected from the elements). It lacks the little plastic "legs" of the original, but just use silicone-rubber glue to mount it, and nobody will ever know!
My wheel covers do not mount flush with the wheels. I have read that Imperials had specially designed wheel covers to aid in brake cooling. Do I have the incorrect wheels on my car, or are the wheel covers supposed to have a gap all around the edge to allow air flow?
'66 hubcaps definitely have a gap and factory photos of the '65 seem also to show a gap.
Your wheel covers most definitely should have a gap between the covers and the wheels. If you look closely, you'll see that the inside portion of the wheel cover (behind the nice shiny chrome part) has slotted openings -- these openings were intended to assist in brake cooling. Always be very careful when removing these wheel covers, because the stainless steel portion will bend easily if you pry against it. You can quite easily push the tire tool behind the stainless portion and then pry against the slotted part. You'll also likely find that these wheel covers are the easiest things to put back on that you've ever seen, which is quite amazing.
The 1966 hubcaps are unique - because of the valve stem hole placement. However, the 1967-1969 hub caps will still fit the 1966 rims. Before I got a nice set of "correct" 1966 wheel covers, I used to have two 1966 wheel covers on one side of the car, and two 67-69 covers on the other side.
Here are some facts about the 1966 wheel cover:
1. It sits "proud" of the wheel by about 1/4" due to cooling slots around the perimeter. The '67-on covers sit flush.
2. The valve stem pokes through a hole in the finned cast insert in 1966, while on the '67-on covers it pokes through a nearer in the outer edge of the cover body.
Actually, the difference in 1966 vs, 1967/8 hubcaps is that the '66 still retained the cooling slots first seen in 1961 Imperial hubcaps. These caused the hubcap to sit out from the rim almost 1/2 inch so air could flow behind the hubcaps. Combined with the slotted wheels used on the cars in this era, the overtaxed brakes were given a fighting chance to stay cool enough to bring the beasts to their next stop. Once disc brakes became standard in 1967, hubcaps could once again sit flush against the rim. Therefore, the valve stem - mounted at a 45 degree angle - emerged through the hubcap in a different location, closer to its edge.
The center emblem is the same on 66-69, the rest of the 66 is 66 only.
Alas, Chrysler, in their infinite wisdom, changed the wheels from 68 and 69 which resulted in the valve stems being in different positions. Although the 68 and 69 hubcaps look similar, the hole for the valve stem is in a different location and the caps are not interchangeable. One wonders why, if the 68 hubcaps had to be re-worked for the 69 wheels, why they didn't make more of a change.....
Same deal on the '66 and '67 hubcaps - they look the same, but have different valve stem locations. But as far as I know, they do interchange & I've got a mix on my car (possibly stretching out one or more valve stems - using multiple extensions!)
Stylistically, the 66, 67, 68 and 69 wheel covers are the same. This is very odd, since most cars got new wheel covers as part of the annual "model year identification" update, yet three completely different Imperial body styles used essentially the same wheel covers, with the few differences noted below. In 1966, the valve stems poke through between the cast-ribbed section, while they poke through the outer area on 67 through 69. In 1968, the center area you speak of was left unpainted (though I've seen some photos and actual wheel covers where the center was painted white). On all other years, I believe the center "cup" was matte black, as was the area just outside the "Imperial Imperial" ring. (I've seen some Chrysler PR photos of 69s with the unpainted cups but my guess is that those are just 68 wheel covers on an early-production or pre-production 1969 car.) On all four years, the outermost inset area and the area behind the cast-ribbed section is matte silver. By the way, you'll probably not have to use much effort to "strip" the old paint off. A simple Brillo or SOS pad usually does it (though steel wool can leave particles embedded in the stainless steel wheel cover which will oxidize). Best bet: try finding the new wool (yes, just wool, from a sheep rather than an iron mine) soap pads made by SOS. They're also great on whitewalls!
The 69 centers also were available in walnut, tan, blue, green & white.
For those of you who are not aware, there are subtle difference between each model year's wheel cover design from 1966 through 1969, even though they appear similar.
1966 is the most different: it stands away from the wheel due to cooling slots running around the perimeter in the black area behind the outer edge. It's paint scheme is as follows: Matte silver in the outer depression, black in the thin channel that runs around the outside of the bolt-on cast finned piece, matte silver behind the finned piece, black in the channel and chimney leading up to the inner ring (which says IMPERIAL on it, twice), and black in the central well. The valve stem pokes through the finned piece.
1967: Looks like a 1966 cover in terms of decoration but sits flush on the wheel, with no cooling slots. The valve stem pokes through the outer depression.
1968: Functionally identical to the 1967 cover, but with a different paint scheme only as follows: black behind the finned piece, and unpainted in the central well.
1969: Functionally identical to the 1967 and 1968 covers, but with a different paint scheme only as follows: black behind the finned piece, and black in the central well.
So, you can modify any of the '67-69 covers to look like the correct ones for your year with a little paintwork (be sure to use epoxy primer underneath for better adherence to the stainless steel cover), but the '66s are unique to '66.
It always seemed odd to me that Chrysler stuck with the same basic wheel cover design for three complete body designs ('66, '67-68, '69)..
Having restored my wheel covers once already, here's my attempt at recalling the answer to your riddle: they consist of five pieces plus hardware (main stainless steel cover/backing plate, outer ribbed ring, inner "IMPERIAL" ring, center Lucite emblem and its retaining ring). I believe there are six screws for the outer ring and three for the inner ring. And I believe they weigh 12 lbs each, or 3 lbs more than an entire alloy wheel for my Honda CRX. no?
The 1966 hubcaps are unique - because of the valve stem hole placement. However, the 1967-1969 hub caps will still fit the 1966 rims. Before I got a nice set of "correct" 1966 wheel covers, I used to have two 1966 wheel covers on one side of the car, and two 67-69 covers on the other side.
1. The wheel covers are not the same as 1967. it would seem each year from 1966 to 1969 was a little different, as follows: - 1966 has valve stem poking through cast-metal turbine-finned appliqué. - 1967 has valve stem poking through outer rim area. - 1968 has white central inverted dome (black all other years) - 1969 has black paint behind the turbine-finned area (matte silver all other years) - more knowledgeable 1969 owners than I say the outer rim is painted body color in 1969
Question from John:
I have recently purchased a wonderful and original '69 LeBaron 4-door in gold with white leather and top. The wheel covers are painted white in the center and behind the veins which I first thought must be totally wrong. After a very close inspection to sniff out paint color change, I am not certain this is not the way it left the factory. A friend's '69 has black behind the veins and in the center, but he has a silver with black top car. Does anyone know if there was any variation in wheel cover painting in '69? Is black actually the correct color for behind veins and center? Any chance of a spring edition in lighter, brighter colors?
Reply from Tony:
As the present owner of one '69 Imperial, and two others in the past, I do believe that your hubcaps are, in deed, supposed to be painted white in the background. According to my dealer brochure the hubcaps are color keyed to the interior of the car. I am not certain of this, but every '69 I have seen has followed that pattern. My '69 Coupe has black interior and black background caps, A friend's '69 had brown interior and his caps were brown. I hope this helped you as that is all the information I can give as of right now.
Tips and Question from Chris on Wire Wheel Hubcaps (an option starting in 1971):
Wire wheel covers were a Chrysler Corporation option starting in 1971. They came in 14" and 15" sizes and were offered through the early 1980s on anything from Chargers (my '72 Charger SE was born with a set) to Volares to the midsize late-1970s Monacos (which were face-lifted Coronets). I have never seen them offered on any of the full-size cars: they seemed to be offered only on the B-body and F-body -- that is, the Charger/Coronet/Satellite/Cordoba and Aspen/Volare. Oh, and the Dart Special Edition and Valiant Brougham sedans in 1974 and 75.
I also don't know how good they'd look on the big cars because they are quite conical in profile. But I tend to be a purist in that sense. To me, just because Mopar offered them doesn't mean they "fit" all Mopars aesthetically or physically. I wouldn't put Rallye wheels on my Imperial but they look great (and correct) on my Charger.
The pseudo-alloy wheel referred to is probably the "road wheel" option that was offered from about 1971 and with revisions through the end of the full-size era in 1978. To me, they look fabulous on a '76-78 New Yorker Brougham but wrong on a '74-75 Imperial. Of course these are the same car, but in my heart I know Mother Mopar never offered them on the Imperial so they don't look right to me. They are simply argent-painted dished steel wheels with decorative trim rings and center caps that leave the chrome-capped bolts exposed. You could get these only on C-bodies (Polara/big Monaco/Royal Monaco/Gran Fury/etc.) and luxury B-bodies (Cordoba/Magnum/Charger), I believe.
As for Imperials, they seem to look best with what the factory gave them, and isn't the search for perfect ones part of the fun of owning a classic?
I have Road wheels, five spoke, on my 73 Charger E86 motor Rallye, they are correct, look great. This may pain you, but I found a set of factory wires at a local junk yard..."all hubcaps $5.00 each", on a 74 Imp. coupe. You just need to keep looking....good luck.
I owned a '74 4-door with road wheels, which looked quite nice in my opinion - I didn't buy it new, so I can't verify they were original equipment, but the previous owner was a bit old to be seeking out replacement wheels for his land yacht. I also had a '76 NY Brougham, which had wires...
I am planning to install a set on my 75. I have two and I am looking for another pair. I have talked with a former Imperial salesman who stated that he had a lot of requests for road wheels on the 74-75 Imperial. He related one case of a fellow who bought a new 75 and wanted to swap his wheels and hubcaps for the road wheels on a Newport. The dealership refused a straight swap as it would be wrong to sell a Newport with Imperial hubcaps. They would make the trade if he bought a new set of Newport hubcaps but at a $100 a piece or some such ridiculous amount he refused.
Follow-up question from Dan:
Are these road wheels the same for all full size Mopars? If so, then I know where a complete nice set is on a 76 or so Newport that would mean that I will have 3 wheels, 2 centercaps, and 2 trim rings gathering dust if you're interested.
Reply from Adrian:
I think Newport wheels should fit, though I know some later Chrysler products had 14 inch road wheels. Can the 15 inch road wheels be used on the 74-75 Imperial (The stock wheels were a little wider I believe)?
Reply from Dan:
I don't see why not since mechanically (correct me if I'm wrong) the only difference between 74-5 Imperials and 76+ NYBs are that the Imperials had rear disc brakes. That shouldn't matter since I doubt Chrysler would have made the brakes so as to require a special offset wheel for such a low production car.
Question from Justin:
I am in a search for factory hubcaps. I have a 72 Imperial and I am missing a hubcap. If anyone knows where I can get one, please drop me a line.
Hopefully you've found one by now :o) but just FYI, be sure that you get a '70 to '73 hubcap. The hubcaps for '74-'75 Imperials LOOK the same, but actually have a more shallow center section, which won't be obvious until you see it next to the other hubcaps (yes, this is the voice of experience).
Hubcap heaven (334) 478 6612 may have it.
I went to House of Hubcaps, here in Tucson to check on the hubcap you need. It turns out they only have one. It is in very good condition. $20+S&H. They can be reached at (520) 7-HUBCAP
Question from Mitch:
Hey Ya'll, Well it finally happened. Someone saw my 73 triple black beauty last night while we were out to dinner, and had to have a few of here elegant hubcaps... I guess I can't blame them, they sure are nice looking hubcaps.. But what the hell do you do with 2 hubcaps for a 73 imperial if you don't have a 73 imperial??? Suddenly my black beauty has taken on a new image that I think is unbefitting an Imperial. She is out in the drive looking real naked. Anyway does anyone know where I can begin to look for a couple hubcaps? I have no idea where to begin looking. Help...
Hubcap Heaven worked for me. None there are cheap, but they may have it, and it probably won't be too high if they do. While in DC recently, I checked there by phone for two 14" "bolt-on" wheel covers for my 66 Formula S. "Nope, nothing like that." "Can I look through your stock." "Suit yourself." I drove over and found two, in a stack of at least 50 13" ones that are almost identical. They had some of everything. They wanted $35 each, and they were probably worth twice that. I got the impression that the range was probably $25-$35 for anything they had. Don't overlook these types of places. They may not know what they have for more "obscure" applications, but a polite suggestion that you would happily waste your time looking so they don't have to could produce results.
1970 - 1975:
The wheel covers used on the 70 were of a completely new (and vastly simplified) design relative to those used in 69. The 70's are Hollander #352 (Chrysler #2944444) and are also used on 71, 72 & 73. The problem with these wheel covers (for city/suburb dwellers) is that the center section or "dome" sticks out too far; it works as a great curb feeler! One touch on the curb and your smooth, streamlined wheel cover is ruined. I have a set of "low-dome" 74s on my 70 LeBaron because all 4 of the original covers were curb-mauled and I haven't been able to locate 4 good correct covers. Chrysler must have recognized the curb damage problem because the wheel covers used starting in 1974 (Hollander #380, Chrysler#3580234) were modified to have a shorter dome. This allows the tire sidewall to touch the curb before you destroy the wheel cover. 78-79 LeBarons used Hollander #397A or #425. This cover had a simulated knock-off center section.
1977 & 1978
I recently purchased 4 chrome spoke hubcaps, which were made of plastic. I finally decided to give plastic a chance, so I bought them. (you couldn't tell they were made of plastic, because they were chrome plated). I can't even begin to tell you how disappointed I was. The first day, after I put the hubcaps on, the back ones began scraping against the fender skirts on my '77 NYB, which stripped the chrome plating off both the back hubcaps. Next, on one of the front hubcaps, the spokes began flying off as I drove down the road, and by the time I stopped the car, all the spokes were gone off that hubcap. Also the chrome plating was beginning to wear off the other hubcaps, and this was only the second day!! I thought plastic was supposed to be the best material for new items, but I was WRONG. I finally took the hubcaps back, and was going to look for metal ones (which I wanted in the first place), but nobody sold them! Everyone acted like plastic was the best material, and that was it. I looked around on the internet and found out that NOBODY sells new metal chrome spoke hubcaps, and a company stated that "plastic was the better material". I couldn't believe this, so I went to a junkyard and got 4 deluxe Cadillac spoke hubcaps, which were made of metal, and installed them on my car. I took the stupid Cadillac emblems off of them, and I need 4 cool Chrysler emblems to put where the old emblems were. The hubcaps, after they were cleaned and polished, looked beautiful. This just goes to show that just because plastic is a modern material, and everyone uses it for every product imaginable, doesn't mean that it is quality!! In my opinion plastic is OK when used in the right areas (such as the fake walnut trim in my NYB), but it is an awful material when used on EVERYTHING!
Go to your local Chrysler dealership, and tell them that you want a set of hubcap center emblems for a '78 New Yorker. These emblems are adhesive-backed, and should be just the thing for you! If they won't find them for you, let me know, and I'll get you an exact part number (don't have the parts books here at work!).
Among the many treasures I've found on this website's classifieds is a complete mint set of '73 metal wheel covers. I'm running around on old dented ones because I don't want to damage the perfect set. I've never been able to find anything plastic that looks and feels right as hubcaps. Plastic makes good countertops (why people put granite in is beyond me--one slip of the hand and that glass is shattered to smithereens) but I don't see where it's successful in lots of auto applications. Some of the new apron pieces look good, but when they're damaged they're out the door--or hanging dangerously from the car until a technician can pull them off with that special tool. Maybe I'm not sufficiently indoctrinated in the new materials.
Try using the 78 and up LeBaron hubcaps, all metal there are about 15 of them at my salvage yard for $5 a piece I use them for daily driving.
Actually the 78 LeBaron Hubcap was similar, but had a different eagle (gold) and was a flat cap where the IMPERIAL ones were a deep dish. I have two in my garage.
Question from Jon:
We just tried to install '78 NYB deluxe hubcaps on '77 NYB and wheels don't seem deep enough. Did they make a wider wheel to go with the optional hubcaps? Any info would be appreciated.
Reply from Ron:
Yes, some wheels have a deeper dish/deeper offset or whatever you want to call it. If you were to lay a straight edge across the outer edge of the rim and measure down to the center hole, you get the offset distance.
SALON PACKAGE WHEELS:
Are the Premier wheel covers the ones that have a deep-set center dish >with a hexagonal medallion that sticks out pretty far, and turbine >vanes that radiate around the out edge? Wait, isn't that the 1978 deluxe cover? With the brushed center area around the big hexagonal mushroom-like medallion that does seem to protrude quite a ways? I thought the 1977 cover was a little less mushroomy (and had no brushed center), but I cannot picture it exactly. Maybe that's what you mean here. I think the Royal Monaco Brougham (loved that name... could it get more deee-luxe?) offered a very similar cover for those years, no? I also recall the 1978 brochure waxing on about this new wheel cover in the very first spread like it was a major redesign of the car or an actual reason to consider New Yorker had you been reluctant to do so in the past! (It was featured on a 4-door hardtop looking stately in Spinnaker White with its new non-halo white vinyl top.) I'll have to dig out my 1977 brochure to refresh myself on the '77s, and should I ever find a nice set, Jon, I'll snatch 'em up for ya. Now, anyone remember the Salon Package wheels from 1978?
The Salon wheels I mentioned are on my 1978 New Yorker Brougham Salon. Post-66 wheels and pre-67 wheels do not interchange. And the Salon wheels are exceedingly rare, not having been offered on any other full-size Chrysler product except the '78 NYB with the rather rare Salon Package.
1981 - 1983:
The Imperial wire wheel had a center cover that said "IMPERIAL" in stylized, capitalized letters. The Pentastar caps were for the LeBarons and lesser models. We still find Imperial covers in the junk yards.
Also, certain 80's Imperials had the Pentastar caps, same as the Fifth Avenues.
The wire hub caps were available on your car and all '81 thru '83 Imperials. The hub cap is silver and should say Imperial on it I think. It is my understanding that one could chose the type of wheels on a new '81 thru '83 Imperial either they sell ones with wire basket hub caps or the aluminum snowflake wheels. Either way the cost was the same. People are certainly less likely to steal your wheels than the snowflake ones and your car most probably came with them originally.
Question from Steve (1981):
Are the wire wheel covers on the '81's the same as on the other Chrysler cars with the exception of the cap? It appears that someone had a close encounter of the curb kind with the right rear wheel and had to remove the majority of the outer spokes with a pair of snippers... can I just substitute a cover from a New Yorker and change the cap, or are these Imperial-only pieces? Also, what was the standard hubcap for these cars?
The wire wheel covers are identical to the other Chrysler products, except, as you noted, for the wheel center-cap, with the IMPERIAL logo on it.
My hubcaps have the snowflake Aluminum wheels with clear plastic pentastars in the center.
The snowflake wheels are an option, and in my opinion, highly desirable since they are perfectly round and do not bend or go out of balance. Their appearance also pleases me, but that might be a matter of taste. The fake wire wheel covers were standard on these cars. As we have just discussed, they are apparently identical to those on other Mopars of the era, except for the "Imperial" cap.
Follow-up from Ed:
The snowflake wheels were not an option, but that the buyer had his choice of these wheels or the wire wheel covers, at the same cost. The same was true of the stereo selection and interiors, leather or cloth, all at the same cost, and not options. The only options were the FS package and the moon-roof.
The Aluminum wheels were a no-cost option, wire imitations or the cast aluminum - your choice.
This page last updated February 25, 2004. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club