When choosing replica wheels for any vehicle, it is important to research the original wheel design and color very thoroughly beforehand. Often, vehicle wheel designs and colors change mid-model year, and the vehicle manufacturer could also have changed the wheel manufacturer. It is imperative that the vehicle build dates and option codes be accurately researched and de-coded in order to purchase the correct replica wheels. Even wheel width varies from option to option, and having an improperly equipped wheel on a show vehicle can be a huge deduction in points. If in doubt on the correct replica wheels to purchase for a vehicle, it is wise to contact a club that specializes in your specific vehicle to gain some valuable insider information.
Subtle style differences which may appear minor to the average car enthusiast will stand out to the experienced eye. Many replica wheels are painted a silver color and come close to matching an original factory wheel; however, most original wheels were painted argent and not silver. The best quality replica wheels will also be painted in argent and could be the difference in an accurate restoration and a closely-finished vehicle. Even the shade of black paint used on original factory wheels must be accurately matched when choosing the finest quality replica wheels.
Be prepared to spend top dollar for quality replica wheels. There may be some very good bargains found in online auctions and swap meets, but in most cases, the most accurate replica wheels will come with a hefty price tag. Wheels that also had decorative chrome trim rings and fancy center caps are typically the most expensive, as these parts are the most difficult to obtain in good condition.
Some replica wheels come complete with the original manufacturer's stamp on the inside of the wheel. Ford and Chevrolet, for example, are two of the most frequently purchased wheel lines due in part to the collectability of the Mustang and the Camaro. Many of the original wheels for these vehicles have long been discarded or destroyed due to racing and customization. The original wheels that were deemed useless were thrown away, and now only replicas are available to return these collector cars back to showroom condition. As time goes by, even the quality replicas could become more expensive and more difficult to obtain.