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By Paul Latour

When my 1974 convertible arrived from Tennessee in April of 2008 it had a number of cosmetic flaws. This is to be expected with a 34-year-old car. And to be honest these were exposed to me by the seller in words and photos prior to the sale. I knew what I was buying. 

One that vexed me was a serious injury/dent to the driver's side rear alloy wheel. As well as some minor curb rash on a couple of others. Someone in the past had demonstrated a severe depth perception problem! The wheels are a Centerline clone done by Enkei manufacturing from a plant in Japan. They are of course not Corvette but period-correct and rather attractive, at least to me. I hand-sanded and polished out the rash but a repair of the dent was beyond me so in 2008 I just lived with it. There was no air leakage or tire/wheel balance issues and the car was a solid driver. It appears that a lug wrench or tire installation tool let slip at some point in the past but I am only guessing.

It appears that a lug wrench or tire installation tool let slip at some point in the past but I am only guessing.

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  • Over the course of the 2008-2009 winter I fretted about this. What to do? New wheels from the USA? With cost, shipping, brokerage, installation, etc. a pay-out of $1,000+. I doubted the wheel could be repaired but I consulted some friends at a GM dealer. They recommended that I speak with a company in the west end of Ottawa.

http://www.alloywheelrepair.ca/About.html 

  • I did so in the early spring and they were 50:50 as to whether the wheel could be salvaged. So I just left it with them. Some five days later I received a telephone call telling me the work was done. I was happy with that but dubious as to what the wheel now looked like. Well, to my surprise it was just like new! How they did that I do not know and they would only speak with vague words as their techniques are proprietary. I did not press the matter. 

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So if you and your wheels have a run-in with a curb or other damaging device there is hope: some damage (not all) can be repaired. The cost including removing the tire, doing the work, re-installing and balancing the tire (inside weights) was about $250.00. A bargain compared with a new set of four.

  • Here is the "new" look at the Byward Market show on June 7, 2009

 

 

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