Is Chrome Dead?
I am pleased to announce after a ten year run chrome plated wheels are officially uncool. At least in the West Coast. Chrome plating and the West Coast just don’t mix.
Our climate loves to kill chrome. Salt and water are the perfect catalysts to start the pitting and peeling that comes with chrome wheels running through our winters. Most car manufactures have learned this lesson the hard way and now offer their chrome wheels as plastic cladding not plating. This is a step up from a hubcap but not much of one.
Customers are moving away from chrome and into diamond cut and satin paint finishes. Ironically some of the first custom wheels in the early 80's were finished the same way. Some of you might remember the first generation of Fittipaldi, Enkei or Momo wheels. Paint finish and quaility of clearcoats was of parmount importance, not a layer of tinfoil wrapped around your wheel.
Chrome is now used a an accent on wheels. Chromed stainless steel lips and windows are a good example. The plating bonds to stainless steel and plastica offering a much lower maintenance cost compared to chromed aluminum.
For some hot new trends in wheel finishes check out:
Leave the chrome for the gansters..