The wheel you see now has taken an evolutionary journey, and the history of car wheels is quite phenomenal.
From the Paleolithic era wheels operated manually, with people having to push them into motion using logs.
The Egyptians invented the first wheel due to the high demand for transportation for their farm produce from Mesopotamia and chariots. Since then, wheels evolved into wagons and wire spokes in the 19th century.
1845 was a revolutionary year for the history of rims because R.W Thompson came up with the idea of the rubber pneumatic tires that had rubber all around the wheels.
This paved the way for John Dunlop to invent the smoother replacement of the rubber, paving the way to the automobile wheels.
The Automobile Era Of Car Rims
Did you know that the first automobile wheels were on a 3-wheeled Benz made of steel, surrounded by rubber tires, and wheel hubcaps that were not long-lasting and strong? They led to the addition of carbon, Goodrich’s idea to enhance the car tires’ longevity.
The first third of the 20th century adopted the approach of making the wheels differently, where they had to be taken through a stage of rolling and stamping of the steel.
In this era, the wheels were starting to resemble the current wheel more and more, with Ford’s 1927 models achieving a substantial 2000 miles before the rubber on the tires could wear.
According to the history of car wheels, car manufacturers at the time, the 1960s, started using metal alloys to make the rims, an evolution from the previous wheels made exclusively from steel.
The alloy wheels began with aluminum and steel and then evolved to the aluminum and magnesium alloy car rims in 1965.
The Chrome Era
During this time, as part of the history of car wheels, the car industry introduced the chrome rims in the mid-1960s when Ford brought out the Mustang GT350 whose other option was the wheels made of aluminum with a chromed rim.
During this period, chrome rims were popular because people in chrome plating shops for aircraft would plate their cars for them.
At this point, there was a need for rim covers to protect the chrome coating and the trend began.
The Introduction Of Spinners, and The Need For Custom Hubcaps
In the 90s, there was a significant change in the wheel size. The wheel got bigger, the wheel diameters increasing from 15 inches to 22 inches. From the 90s, the wheel evolved pretty fast and continues to grow even now.
The 90s also introduced spinners, which are more of a decorative feature even in the current car wheel. They are attached to cover the entire car wheel’s center. The spinners rotate even when the vehicle is not in motion.
Since the spinners are decorative, they can be expensive depending on their make. Even now, one can have their spinners made for their car to their specifications. They, however, need to be protected using wheel hub caps to avoid damage.
The tire hub cap can be custom-made to fit your preferences in terms of material and color.