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Hi all,

Below are pics of the steel wheels that came with my car. The previous owner was pretty adamant about having concours/period correct stuff but I don't know what these are...can anyone shed some light? I could not find too many markings or stamps. The beauty ring and the center caps seem way too new to be original obviously, the steel wheels themselves seem pretty old (good amount of rust, the pics are after scrubbing with a brass brush). They are 14" rims, they seem riveted without any weld marks and I couldn't find any discernible stamping or marks inside the barrel. My car is a 68 coupe with GT Equipment Package (shouldn't the center caps say "GT" vertically?).

Anyone have any clue what year these are? Are they just modern reproductions? Worth holding on to or better to toss them? Thanks!







 

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Those are the '68 Ford "styled steel wheel". All '68 HCS were hardtops and I don't believe any were GT's, although they featured the same "accoutrements" as the GT/CS...which wasn't really a "GT" either... If you don't have at least a 302-4V, flip-open fuel cap, heavy-duty suspension and dual exhaust (along with the fog lights and stripe) then you don't have a GT.
 

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Those are original styled steel wheels. If your Marti Report shows your car had the GT Equipment Group it's possible the HCS package took precedence dropping the GT center caps for the plain ones. Those wheels are the real deal. :) (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Those are the '68 Ford "styled steel wheel". All '68 HCS were hardtops and I don't believe any were GT's, although they featured the same "accoutrements" as the GT/CS...which wasn't really a "GT" either... If you don't have at least a 302-4V, flip-open fuel cap, heavy-duty suspension and dual exhaust (along with the fog lights and stripe) then you don't have a GT.
Thanks Woodchuck! I do have a 302-4V (matching vin), flip-open fuel cap and dual exhaust (along with the Lucas fogs and stripe) though I'm not sure how to identify the heavy-duty suspension (it has been refreshed with KYB shocks anyway). I do believe this one is a true GT (I believe one of two HCS GTs in '68 but that's just what I was told). Good to know the wheels are the original 1968 wheels.

Any tips on removing the remaining rust and storing these long term? The rust doesn't seem too bad but I'd like to be able to put this away in a shed for years and not worry about it. I was thinking of using some rust removed and scrubbing all the rust off and then rubbing some oil all over the rims and bagging them for storage. That, or I could spray paint them with some rust encapsulator (backside only)?

Those are original styled steel wheels. If your Marti Report shows your car had the GT Equipment Group it's possible the HCS package took precedence dropping the GT center caps for the plain ones. Those wheels are the real deal. :) (y)
Thanks! My Marti report does show GT Equipment Group and California Special, my understanding is the same as yours, that the CS/HCS designation would override any GT items. I guess the CS/HCS had plain center caps? Is there any way to tell if the beauty ring and the center caps are original?
 

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Thanks Woodchuck! I do have a 302-4V (matching vin), flip-open fuel cap and dual exhaust (along with the Lucas fogs and stripe) though I'm not sure how to identify the heavy-duty suspension (it has been refreshed with KYB shocks anyway). I do believe this one is a true GT (I believe one of two HCS GTs in '68 but that's just what I was told). Good to know the wheels are the original 1968 wheels.

Any tips on removing the remaining rust and storing these long term? The rust doesn't seem too bad but I'd like to be able to put this away in a shed for years and not worry about it. I was thinking of using some rust removed and scrubbing all the rust off and then rubbing some oil all over the rims and bagging them for storage. That, or I could spray paint them with some rust encapsulator (backside only)?



Thanks! My Marti report does show GT Equipment Group and California Special, my understanding is the same as yours, that the CS/HCS designation would override any GT items. I guess the CS/HCS had plain center caps? Is there any way to tell if the beauty ring and the center caps are original?
If you're not going to "restore" the wheels at this time, I'd grab a quart of Fluid Film (NOT the aerosol) and wipe them down all over then double bag. The FF is lanolin-based and will clean off easy enough when the time comes.
 

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If you're not going to "restore" the wheels at this time, I'd grab a quart of Fluid Film (NOT the aerosol) and wipe them down all over then double bag. The FF is lanolin-based and will clean off easy enough when the time comes.
Awesome, thanks for the tip. Do I need to remove all the rust before I apply Fluid Film?

I will brush it on liberally, I assume it works like cosmoline or other "preservation" oils but not as sticky/messy.
 

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Awesome, thanks for the tip. Do I need to remove all the rust before I apply Fluid Film?
No need, brush it on, let it dry and bag them. It's complete overkill, as the only way they're getting worse is if you leave them out in the weather 24/7/365. Stored in a dry shed or garage, they'll last 1000 years as is.
 

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Is there any way to tell if the beauty ring and the center caps are original?
Probably yes, but the "how" will have to fall to someone else. If I'm understanding this all correctly you've got quite a unique car there. Unique enough that endeavoring to return it to original in every way possible would be way cool. Just my opinion.
 

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Probably yes, but the "how" will have to fall to someone else. If I'm understanding this all correctly you've got quite a unique car there. Unique enough that endeavoring to return it to original in every way possible would be way cool. Just my opinion.
It's definitely pretty cool. I am keeping it mostly original but I do drive this car regularly, so I did opt for larger 17" wheels for better tire selection, I'm replacing the belts and the seats for safety...just small things to make it more comfortable for actual use as a vehicle.
 

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Great story behind your car. If you do a few web searches, you will see some original trim rings. The key is the shaping on the outer edge, as reproductions and generic Pep Boys type rings are not the same.

As far as cleaning / removing all paint, etc. I have steel wheels stripped down to bare metal and then plated to deter rust. Not trying to boost a listing, but here is an example:


It costs me about $12 per rim to get this done, but I have used this place for years.


Don't panic if there is a problem with a single rim. The wheels were common back then, and are not wildly popular, at least around here. The 1968's were painted, the 1969's were chromed, and people tend to want the chromed ones. Also, people like Magnums or, as you said, 17" wheels, etc. The choice of 14" tires is also diminishing. While people can ask what they want, I see a lot of these wheels at the swap meets in the $10 - $20 range, because they are big and heavy to try and ship.

The last set I bought, with junk tires, and very nice GT center caps, was $20 for the set of 4, because a friend needed 2 wheels, so it was worth it to buy them. I stopped at a tire store just past the swap meet and for $8 they took off the tires and recycled them. I gave 2 rims to my friend, and sold the 2 wheels on ebay for $20 a piece, and sold the hub caps for $60. Not really worth lugging and boxing, but my friend got a pair of wheels for free, and I made enough to take the boss out for dinner. :)
 

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I used to have a '68 Torino GT that had those wheels, but the hub caps had "GT" on them. I always preferred the plain hub caps over the GT 'caps.
 

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@68J where you at in MA? I'm near Foxboro. We should meet up at Gillette next spring for the car shows.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great story behind your car. If you do a few web searches, you will see some original trim rings. The key is the shaping on the outer edge, as reproductions and generic Pep Boys type rings are not the same.

As far as cleaning / removing all paint, etc. I have steel wheels stripped down to bare metal and then plated to deter rust. Not trying to boost a listing, but here is an example:


It costs me about $12 per rim to get this done, but I have used this place for years.


Don't panic if there is a problem with a single rim. The wheels were common back then, and are not wildly popular, at least around here. The 1968's were painted, the 1969's were chromed, and people tend to want the chromed ones. Also, people like Magnums or, as you said, 17" wheels, etc. The choice of 14" tires is also diminishing. While people can ask what they want, I see a lot of these wheels at the swap meets in the $10 - $20 range, because they are big and heavy to try and ship.

The last set I bought, with junk tires, and very nice GT center caps, was $20 for the set of 4, because a friend needed 2 wheels, so it was worth it to buy them. I stopped at a tire store just past the swap meet and for $8 they took off the tires and recycled them. I gave 2 rims to my friend, and sold the 2 wheels on ebay for $20 a piece, and sold the hub caps for $60. Not really worth lugging and boxing, but my friend got a pair of wheels for free, and I made enough to take the boss out for dinner. :)
Thanks for the valuable insight and story! Really helpful to know--I'm not trying to sell these or anything, I am just wanting to preserve them and keep them with this car, even if just in storage while I drive around on better tires. It might not be worth much but I guess it's worth hanging on to for me. I might bring them somewhere to get blasted but they aren't that rusty either so I think they'll survive in a shed.
 
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