Meadow Brook wheels and badges - click above for high-res image gallery

Over the past decade or so, automakers and aftermarket shops have placed a lot of attention on stylish hoops. Barely a decade ago, 17-inch wheels were reserved for a high-end vehicle's top trim model, whereas now you can get factory 20's on larger vehicles, and 18s are becoming increasingly common on compacts.

Though high-end alloys have fast become a must for any new vehicle, it's hardly a brand new phenomenon, as we were reminded at the 2009 Concours d'Elegance at Meadow Brook. While wheels today use aluminum to keep weight down, early wheels were made of wood. And when you're looking at a Cadillac or Lincoln from the early Nineteens, the timber is just gorgeous. As vehicles became more modern, wood turned to steel. Note the generous size of the wheels in relation to the overall size of the vehicle. Some of our favorite wheels reside in the wheel well of Fifties and Sixties-era Ferrari and Jaguar cars, as highly polished wires helped make these two-seaters look that much better.

Click on the gallery below to peruse through some of our favorite wheels at Meadow Brook. We have also added some of our favorite brand badging from the show for your enjoyment.

Photos Copyright ©2009 Chris Shunk / Sam Abuelsamid / Max Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

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