Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Memorable Dashboards

jeijei Posts: 143
We had a 1960 Chevy when I was a young kid. Its
dashboard had a sort of horizontal scooped-out area
at the top of each side. The passenger's side was
an empty rounded-off shelf of sorts over the glove
box. The driver's side had 5 round, hooded
binnacles or "pods" with guages and idiot lights.
The center binnacle was the largest and held the
speedometer. There were 2 smaller "pods" on each
sides that each held the gas guage, ammeter and a
couple of idiot lights. The whole thing had a sort
of sculptured, stylized jet fighter look to it.

What dashboards - good, bad, ugly or beautiful -
do YOU remember?? We spend a lot of time looking
at them whether driving or riding.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I always liked the "machine-turned" dashes on Studebaker remember, aluminum faced with those little swirling circles in rows and rows?

    And the "thermometer" gauges on Volvo P1800 "sports" cars, as they are euphemistically known.
    The gauges NEVER worked right but watching the little fluids go up and down vertically was fun.
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Posts: 219
    I remember my dad's '60 Oldsmobile had a ribbon speedometer that changed from green to yellow to red the faster you went.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Had the strangest dash. When you looked at the speedometer you were really looking at a mirror image of it. It had a know where you could adjust the angle.

    Some of the best looking in my opinion were 1965 Thunderbirds and 1965 Buick Rivieras.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Not "know"!
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    from the mid-fifties, mostly from GM. In 1954, my cub scout den mother had a new '54 Olds, and I remember looking at that dashboard full of symmetrical, sweeping chrome that blended in to the door panels and thinking "what a car!" Always liked the 55 Chev dashboards too-thought they were simple, yet attractive examples of classic 50's dashboard styling. For pure schmaltz, though, try one of the early 50's Buicks with that huge chrome radio. Today, of course, all those chrome salads and shiny surfaces are STRICTLY ILLEGAL! Safety, you know. Gotta have the organic, grey padded look as per NHTSA.
  • chris396chris396 Posts: 53
    I'll second the '65 Riviera dash. As for the ugliest how about the bathtub-looking Nash dash.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    The machine-turned Stude dash is my first choice too. Always liked the 57-60 Chevy dash, with each instrument in its own hooded receptacle. The early XR-7 dash looked like something out of a Jag. Early Covair turbo dash, flat aluminum finish with lots of round gauges. GTOs with gauge package--handsome and purposeful. Mid-60s full-size Pontiacs with optional gauges spread out in a row, in chrome bezels. The '68 Charger had an elegant layout, a flat black ribbed background with lots of (small) gauges. The '67 Charger's was impressive for the opposite reason--full gauges in large chromey pods. You have to spend $30k+ today to get a dash worth looking at.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    As a youngster, I seem to remember a friend of my parents who had about a '48 Plymouth.

    At night, I seem to recall the color of the dash lights changing with the speed of the car.

    At higher speeds they turned almost red.

    Am I dreaming or does anyone know?
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Posts: 219
    I was reading something the other night that talked about Chrysler products in the 40's having changing color lights in the speedo. It was green up to 30, yellow between 30 and 50, and red over 50. It's been a long time since I've driven a '40s Chrysler, but I seem to recall that with a six you were going to wait a loooong time for the lights to turn red.
  • gkelly3gkelly3 Posts: 38
    This heap had a very interesting dash layout-it had a ribbon speedometer (which worked in fits and starts-you had to give it a good smack now and then)., and a multi-colored temp gauge. The real piece de resistance was something called the "icealert"-this was an amber light on the dash-it would start blinking as the outside temp dropped below 35F, and would stay on when it hit 32F. An of course, the helpful lamp to show you that the heater was on-very useful, as you otherwise would not know!
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Posts: 140
    Remember the swing-away steering wheel? And the little door on the dash end of the console that rolled up and down like an overhead garage door? Anyone recall cup holders in the old day of metal (gasp) dashes? I remember my mom and dad's 63 Galaxie 500, when you opened the glove box, there were two depressions in the back of the glove box door for sitting drinks! Cool!
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    It had the tach and speedo in little black crinkle finish cowlings sticking up from the dash like the gauges on a motorcycle... between those and the wooden steering wheel (no ugly rivits) I had to buy the car.....
  • sgaines1sgaines1 Posts: 44
    Neither of my two '70's cars had/has them, but my parent's '76 Aspen had a dent in the glove compartment door that was obviously meant to hold cups, even though it was less than 1/8" deep. Utterly moronic. Not a memorable dash either, so...
  • billy9billy9 Posts: 19
    I've driven lot's of cars, but none will stick in my mind like this one:
  • billy9billy9 Posts: 19
    Isellhondas:; was that moveable mirror in dash an option or standard on all '60 Buicks? I've been interested in that year of Buick. Mostly because I like the front end. But then I read in the Ultimate Car Spotters Guide, it was the first year of the three sheild insignia and the year of return to portholes after a couple years off. I think it would be a cool car to own. Thanks for any info.
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Posts: 140
    Now that is truly a memorable dash! I have never seen a car that color--beautiful! Is it yours? I'd love to have something like that but right now my garage is full of them natty little furen cars!

    Thanks for sharing that with us!

  • billy9billy9 Posts: 19
    Thanks for the compliment. Yes it's mine. The color sort of clashes with the sheet metal, but I guess back then like the pamphlet says "you can order interior colors to match or CONTRAST the exterior. They are kind of southwest colors. The whole site is:
    I'm going to put some new pics up tonight of the car with the skirts on.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Well, I've been a long time Buick fan and for some perverse reason have always liked the 1960 model also. An Invicta or Electra coupe would do!

    And that wierd mirror/speedometer...I think they all had that. It was only used one year and I have no idea what they were thinking!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    My parents had one (white Le Sabre) and also my grandparents (blue Electra). The Le Sabre definitely had the mirrored speedometer. What was Buick thinking? Probably chalk it up to the "gee whiz" factor. Kind of like the HUD on my GTP. It's one of the reasons I leased the car (it seemed like real progress) yet I rarely use it.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    in Portland yesterday. There was a 48 DeSoto 2dr in a dark olive green that looked like new. Was from North Dakota-must've been stored for years in some old ladies garage. All original. Anyway, I took a look inside and noticed the dashboard and the steering wheel. Holy chrome salads what a steering wheel! The whole thing was like a revolving jukebox, and with that white pearl wheel-it was pure art deco. And that dashboard was glitzy as well. What a huge, comfortable, gutless car-but that steering wheel! Just couldn't get over the size and decoration of it-almost another dashboard by itself.
  • With the lack of power steering you needed a wheel that big just to get that big old barge pointed in the right direction. But if I found a nice one, nearby I'd be sorely tempted to buy it.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    I haven't seen too many cars that age that nice. It would probably run decently for a long time [question mark on that Fluid drive] and could be had very cheaply. A guy couldn't lose money on it, I don't think. Maybe I'll go back and look.
    I think it could be had very cheaply. Much less than the 57 Chev I went to look at.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    just got the latest issue, which has a great feature article on dashboards of the fifties. Lots of great pictures and stories! Thought I'd pass it on. I'd forgotten about those Chrysler corporation dashboards of 1955. They sure don't make 'em like that anymore!
  • I own a 1960 New Yorker with the AstraDome instrument panel, complete with Panelescent lighting. One of these days I will post a
    picture. Awesome!
  • email9email9 Posts: 2
    Learned to drive on my dad's 1960 Chrysler Windsor with that panel.
    Push button transmission and a steering wheel that wasn't round,
    but flat on the bottom. "Forward Look" Chrysler products were works
    of art.
  • Post #26 reminds me of the old Chrysler we used to have, come to think of it the steering wheel wasn't round either, it was flattened out on the bottom. .....Always wondered about that.

    That car was had a front end that was sooooo ugly it was sorta cool. I did like the rear end styling though. And the drivetrain was bulletproof! 361 with a Torqueflite.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Another memory. A kid in our high school took his mother's 64 Chrysler 361 out one night.

    Tried to race my buddy's 65 GTO. Of course, the goat won, but not by very much!

    The Chrysler must have laid 200 feet of rubber though! I remember looking back through the back window of the GTO and seeing a WALL of tire smoke!
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    it would have won.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I'll bet that girl is a better person today as a result of the "lesson" you taught her! :)

    We did the exact same thing in front of a girl's house with a buddys (dad's) 63 T-bird. It was about 1:00 in the morning. Every porch light on that street must have come on...dogs barking, etc.

    We still laugh about it today.

    Since she lived on a steep hill, we would also go down the hill, switch off the ignition until we got in front of her house and turn it back on.

    Man, that T-bird would backfire like no other car!

    Did we impress her?

    " You guys are such a******s!"

    THAT was her reaction!
  • Does anybody remember the weird looking CITROEN speedometers and tachometer? These were rotating cylinders, which carried the numers on the sides. They were from all accounts, quite readable, but next to impossible to fix. Anyway, Shiftright, are they still used? And, what's the chances of seeing CITROEN back in the USA?
This discussion has been closed.