Lately I've been able to concentrate on Grace pretty well, but I've been thinking a lot about the instrument panel. Obviously at this point that's a very low priority, but when a kid makes a car out of a cardboard box, what are the first items he wants? A steering wheel and an instrument panel.
So here's my conundrum: I don't feel the stock instrument panel will suffice. I have very little faith it will give me the information or the accuracy I want.
The gauges I need are as follows
Most guys in this situation will just make a new panel with holes in it for universal gauges. There's nothing wrong with that, but I really don't like the aesthetics of that method. I don't think the instrument panel shape lends itself well to having several round gauges in it. When you take that approach I feel it screams "parts catalog" and I'd like to avoid that. I'm going for a quasi-factory look.
|Common methods of adding gauges to the Falcon instrument panel|
I want my instrument panel to look as if in an alternate universe, this could have been factory. This is my quick and dirty photoshop of what that could be.
I tried to find a way to integrate all these into my dash with a congruent design. I think I'll mount a small to medium sized tach on the steering column. At first I wasn't too keen on this idea, but I think it looks period correct to mount a tach on the column so long as the face matches the instrument panel decently well.
The 100 mph speedo is not sufficient, and I think a 140 mph speedo would add functionality without overdoing it. I could have a new electronic speedometer unit embedded into the panel. The temp gauge on the right would be replaced by a prominent boost gauge. I will probably run about 20# boost, so I think a 30# gauge where the needle points straight up at 20# would be nice. On the left I want a tri gauge as seen on vintage Porsche dashes. This would contain fuel level, water temp and oil pressure. voltage would be monitored by an idiot light.
So the real question is how do I do this? I know that Classic Instruments will do custom panels, but are there any others? I don't know. If you, dear reader, have any ideas please chime in.