Hubcap House - Replacement auto hubcaps
Danbury News Times
Friday, March 9, 2001

The News-Times/Wendy Carlson
If you need to replace a hubcap for your Hupmobile, Doug Yeomans, left, and his brother Dwight may have it at the Hubcap House in New Milford.
Note: Click here for a lager text version
By Joe Gould

might be wondering what two
clean-cut gentlemen like the
Yeomans brothers are doing
in the hubcap business any-
  Dwight and Doug Yeomans
say most people walking into
their hubcap-adorned shack
off Route 7 expect an old man
with a Doberman on a chain,
not two chipper thirty some-
  "One lady came in and asked
"Where's the old men?"" Doug
said.. "She expected two old
men in rocking chairs with cig-
ars. Everyone expects to have
to dig through piles. They don't
expect it to be clean and come
in a bag."
  The brothers believe the
secret of their success lies in
keeping a balance between
good service and quirky shab-
  "we try not to keep it too
Hubcap business a labor of love
grease" as well as a lot of
Windex and S.O.S. pads."
  It's a labor of love, the broth-
ers say, as evidenced by some
of their uncanny talents.
  When Dwight spotted a Toy-
ota Tercel pulling into the
parking lot during business
hours Wednesday, He muttered
its missing wheel cover's se-
rial number under his breath,
  Half of their business is with
auto dealerships and parts
stores, 30 percent is through
their Web site and the rest is
  The brothers get their hub-
caps by trading with other
hubcap dealers, through a few
select distributors and through
auto dealerships.
  At dealerships, they often
sell a set of new hubcaps for
a used car before it's cleaned.
Dealerships often trade what
was on the car to defray the
clean," Doug joked. "People
will stop coming."
  The Yeomans brothers guess
they have about 30,000 hub-
caps in stock. Many are fairly
new and plastic. Some date
back to the 1950's. The average
cost is $25. Their most valu-
able hubcap was a rare Rolls
Royce center cap, probably
from a 1980 Corniche.
  At the counter, hubcaps hang
behind the Yeomans like
chrome halos. They're on
wooden racks in the back
room. They're in cardboard
boxes in the attic.
  "The jumble's in order,"
Doug said of one room.
  Stacks and stacks clutter
their musty basement, leaning
against each other and the
Sheetrock walls. Grimy hub-
caps waiting to be washed are
piled in the basement slop
sink next to a box of scouring
pads. Behind the red fence out
In 1989, Doug was going to a
friend's house when he got
stuck in dense traffic on Route
7. He realized that the well-
traveled road would be per-
fect for a hubcap business.
  "Whereas most people are
disgusted, I was impressed by
it," he said.
  These days, the brothers
split the duties and keep cre-
ative regular hours -- Wednes-
days and weekends or by
  Dwight lives in Windsor with
his wife. He handles most of
the business, traveling from
dealership to dealership trad-
ing and selling when he isn't
behind the counter.
  Doug lives nest door, above
Golden Thistle Antiques. He
helps keep the books, but he's
also a real estate agent at
Weichert Realtors in Ridgefield.
  Both brothers clean the hub-
caps, which take "elbow
back, piles of hubcaps peek
out of the snow, waiting to be
  If the Yeomans brothers love
hubcaps, it may be because it
runs in the family. Their father
collected hubcaps he found as
he was growing up in Man-
chseter during the 1940s.
  After he introduced his sons
to collecting hubcaps as teen-
agers, they became enthralled.
  "When my wife and I first
started going out," Dwight
said, "I used to see hubcaps
on the side of the road. I would
look at it just see if it was
usable, and I could tell it was
from an '84 Oldsmobile. She'd
say I was full of it."

Hubcap business a labor of love
Continued from Page B1
  Doug laughed at the idea that
they fence stolen hubcaps from
street kids.
  It's just not good business sense,
said Dwight.
  Hubcap House got its own Web
site last year -- www.hubcap-, naturally. Doug said
orders trickled in at one each week
at first. six months age, they hit
the current rate of five each day.
  the brothers have sent hubcaps
to northern Canada, to California,
and recently a set of four 1965 Mus-
tang hubcaps went to a U.S. Air
Force base in Montana.
  Doug said the company recently
landed a contract with the nation-
al Fuddruckers restaurant chain
 to supply 300 hubcap from the 1930s,
1940s and 1950s to decorate the

chain's Southern restaurants.
  Other recent good fortune
included this year's harsh weather,
which peppered area toads with
hubcap-jarring potholes Drivers
with newly lost wheel covers are
expected to come in a steady
stream as the thaw begins.
  Not everyone who buys hubcaps
from the brothers puts them on
their car. Years ago, Doug said, a
woman bought hubcap to use as
a dip plate at a party. Another
woman recently bought hubcaps 
because she heard the reflective
surface would scare crows from her
  Every once in a while, under the
road grime of a found hubcap, the
brothers discover one with a return
address, so that the owner might
get it back.
  "We'll call them up, tell them we
have it and send it back to them,"
Dwight said. "They want to know,
"Where did you find it?""
  Count Mary Ellen McDonald, of
New Canaan, and her 80-year-old
mother among Hubcap House's sat-
isfied customers.
  Her mother discovered the broth-
ers through word of mouth and got
a special wire hubcap for her 1989
Chevrolet Caprice below what it
would have cost to buy the wheel
cover new.
  The last time McDonald's moth-
er brought a hubcap it was at a Nor-
walk junk yard, and that "wasn't
like talking to these guys," McDon-
ald said. "It's like ordering from a
catalog. They seem to enjoy what
they're doing, and that's so impor-
Contact Joe Gould
or at (860) 354-2275.

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