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The Ford Econoline Hubcap Has Hilarious Fake Lug Nuts

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author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2017

If you've seen the Ford Econoline on the road, or parked in front of a utility box so the driver can fix it, or sitting in front of your house because your toilet is clogged up, then you've probably noticed its wheels. They're very sturdy-looking wheels and very substantial. They give the van a heavy-duty look you typically associate with work vehicles of this type.

Only, they're fake.

Ford has been using these "wheels" on the Econoline for ages now, and I still remember when, a couple of years ago, I discovered that they're completely, 100 percent fake. You see, the wheels you see do indeed give the truck a burly, heavy-duty appearance; they have seven lug nuts and they have a giant cap in the middle that makes it seem like the oversized axle is so overbuilt that it's about to poke through. But really, none of that stuff is true, and they're all just hubcaps.

Yes, I mean it: the wheels you see in the image above are hubcaps. The lug nuts are completely fake. There's no overbuilt axle. When you remove the hubcap from an Econoline van, you simply see a steel wheel that looks identical to every other steel wheel on every other car, truck or van in existence.

The funniest part is when you pick up one of these hubcaps. You expect it to be heavy because it's got this nice aluminum-looking finish and there are seven lug nuts in it, but really it's all just plastic (including the lug nuts) and it weighs the same as every other vehicle's hubcap. It just gives the appearance of being heavy.

So why did Ford do this? The reason is obvious: Because they wanted to do everything possible to make you think the Econoline is highly capable and ready for any sort of job, and a 7-lug wheel with a giant axle certainly gives that appearance. Until you're holding it in your hand and you realize it's all a sham, and you can toss it like a Frisbee.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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The Ford Econoline Hubcap Has Hilarious Fake Lug Nuts - Autotrader