1958 Chevrolet Corvette & 1953 Chevrolet Corvette - The Wheel Deal

'53 to '62 Corvette Wheel Restoration.

Richard F. Newton Nov 1, 2000 0 Comment(s)

In 1954 the holes were never drilled for these clips. The interesting thing here is that Chevrolet used the same part number for both the 1953 and 1954 wheels.

The 1955 wheel is quite different from the previous two years. There are raised nubs pressed directly into the wheels, reducing the need for riveted clips.

By 1956 we began to get a variety of wheels installed on the Corvette. In 1956 the wheels had four gaps between the stamped center and the outer section of the wheel, in contrast to the earlier four. Chevrolet actually used three different attachment methods for the centersection on the '56 wheels. Most of the wheels were spot-welded, while some others were arc-welded. At the same time, others were riveted. Rubber seals were again used to fill the gaps, which in some cases were actually pressed flat to fit into the small gap. In all cases these seals were installed after the painting of the wheel. The wheels themselves had small dimples on the inside of the outer section to hold the wheel covers in place.

When 1958 rolled around Chevrolet was down to two different styles. The basic difference was once again the method of attaching the centersection to the rim. Some were spot-welded, while others were riveted. If they were riveted, 12 rivets were used. The painting process remained the same from 1958 to 1960.

In fact, these wheels would remain the same right through 1962. While all of this might seem a little intimidating, you can simply skip the whole process and install a set of alloy wheels on the car. The only problem is you might be forced to return your membership card to the National Corvette Restorers Society. After all, they take Corvette wheels even more seriously than I do.

The Wide WheelsOption Code 276Yes, there was a time when 51/2-inches was considered a wide wheel. Today, when we're all putting 11-inch wheels on our C4 Corvettes, it's hard to consider a mere 5.5-inches wide-but that was the case in the early '60s. What's even more incredible was that Chevrolet didn't charge you extra for these wide wheels. This was a no-cost option.

This is a really tricky option to nail down. Very few of these wheels were actually sold, and those who purchased them were usually hard-core racers. This meant they were quickly painted, swapped around, or widened even further in the backyard welding shops of America.

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