W111 Mercedes hub caps and beauty rings

Classic Mercedes have always had attractive chrome and painted wheel trims. Most people are very familiar with the ubiquitous one piece Mercedes hub caps that were available on nearly all models from the late 60s to the mid 80s.   W111s (and associated models such as the W110, W112, W113, W108, W109) had a few different styles that are now rarely seen.

Style 1:  13″ wheels (1959-1965)

Cars covered:  W111 – all 220s except 220b.   W112 – all 300s.  

These cars were delivered with 13″ wheels, although most cars have been upgraded to 14″ during their lives as it is now hard to get 13″ tyres for a full size car like a W111 Mercedes.

These cars had an attractive two piece design, with a center hub cap that was painted body colour (or roof colour if two tone), and a surrounding beauty ring with 12 holes.   From a distance they look very similar to the later one piece design, but up close they are smaller because of the 13″ wheel and they stick out more.    The wheels are also painted body (or roof) colour.

220 Style

 

The W112 300s used this style until the change to 14″ wheels that coincided with the release of the 250 models.

Cars covered:  W111 220b, W110 – all models.

These cars used the same Mercedes hub cap, but omitted the beauty ring.   The body coloured wheel was much more prominent on these cars as it was almost hidden when the beauty ring was used.

Style 2:  14″ wheels (1965-1967)

Cars covered:  W111 250SE & 280SE (up to #0053); W112 all models;   W113 230SL & 250SL; W108 250S, 250SE, 300SEb; W109 300SEL

These cars retained the hubcap from style 1, but replaced the beauty ring with a model that covered the outer part of the wheel only, and no longer had any holes.   With this design, a section of the painted wheel was visible between the beauty ring and the hubcap.

250 Style

This style only works with the early style 14″ wheels with the W108 part number.   These have been superseded with a W126 part number wheel that does not have the lip to allow the small hubcaps to mount to the wheel.   (which can be seen in the photo below)

Early style wheels

Style 3:  14″ wheels (1968-1985)

This is the most common style, which was used on nearly all Mercedes models until the mid 80s.   These were a one piece design and will fit to all Mercedes 14″ steel wheels of this period.   They look very similar to the first style, but flatter.

20150901_192543

 

Many cars that were originally delivered with one of the styles above, are now using this style due to its availability both in terms of the trims but also the wheels.   Getting a set of wheels and hubcaps from a W123 was an easy proposition for a W111 owner who wanted to go from 13″ to 14″ wheels.

Style 4:  15″ wheels (optional extra)

It was possible to order 15″ wheels for rough roads, and they were standard for the universals.    These are rare and 5″ wide.    The car pictured below has these wheels and the matching 15″ hubcaps.

15"Some of the different styles can be seen in the photo below – the inner hubcaps used for Styles 1 and 2, the 14″ beauty rings and the 14″ one piece hubcaps.  My 250SE had the later style hub caps when I purchased it.  I have since changed it back to the correct 250 type.  I also had the blue and red Mercedes hub caps painted the correct colour.  This ensures I have spares in case one is damaged or lost.   The 250 style is much rarer and I prefer it.

styles

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