The mystery of the Ubatuba Hubcap Graveyard has been solved, thanks to a professional driver we know.
Tom happened to be driving with Itamar and mentioned the hundreds of hubcaps we saw along the mountain road leading down to Ubatuba along the Brazilian coast.
Itamar knew the real reason. On the long, winding drive, the brakes of the cars become severely overheated, and the heat from the brakes pushes the hubcaps off of their mounts. It’s a matter of hot air pressure “blowing the hubcaps off.”
Mystery solved, though I think my legend is more intriguing!