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The Hot Rod Dash

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,675

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,384


    Nice choices. It's a hard decision to pick one over the other.
  3. Bookz
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 221


    As usual Ryan you have nailed it.
    I have always felt the dash and steering wheel and gear shift are the most important parts of the car. They are what you see and feel every time you drive. Even if you have the coolest car around you spend the majority of your time inside it not outside looking at it. It is truely the area that visually is all for you.
    I often feel really ripped off when photos are posted off really great cars but none of the dash etc.
    This should be a great thread.
    By the way Ryan I can't recall ever seeing a really good shot of the interior of your A.
  4. hey ryan thats what i was thinking about under my welding hood as i was making tractor parts all night. trying to string something together for my A mod
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  5. Lucky77
    Joined: Mar 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,483


    Cool post Ryan. I can't sleep either but its because I'm at work. I agree that a dash is very personal extension of the driver. I put a 36 dash in my 30 sedan. This was the first thing that I thought would differentiate my car from the cadre of chopped tudors. I plan on having some original guages reworked, even found an original waterfall and radio delete. All I ever had in my racecars was oil pressure water temp and a tach. I think I'll keep this dash pretty spartan too I never liked that airplane cockpit look with fifteen guages. After I put the dash in I realized how terrible the modern brushed aluminum steering wheel and shift knob looked so the dash actually changed my plas for the rest of the interior.
  6. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,206

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Cripes Ryan! Get some sleep!
    I always thought the dash was the part of the car that truly greeted the driver. The face, as it were, of the vehicle.
    Few things, if any, are as important in the design of a car as the dash, steering wheel, and feel of the controls.
  7. PeteFromTexas
    Joined: Apr 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,837


    I love the Mack roadster. Those gauges really do it for me.
  8. heyerground
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 11


    I've subscribed to car magzines for 40 years, but nowhere can I get stuff like this! Dash boards certainly can be awesome but so can message boards - like this one. Thanks Ryan.
  9. Jack Luther
    Joined: Oct 24, 2005
    Posts: 531

    Jack Luther

    Nice post. I'm also a big fan of dash swaps, which are sometimes what defines an otherwise fairly ordinary hot rod.
  10. Thank You! Not enough attention is given to the dash. It's always the first thing I think of when I'm building a car in my head. After I get the dash figured out I can move on to other stuff like stance, wheel/tire combos/ and how much chop it'll need. Great post!!!
  11. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,075

    from Zoar, Ohio

    You're a sick puppy and your gas gauge is low.
    I see that some of those sample dashes are in fact beautiful but I feel overkill.
    The extra gauges make them look more like a cockpit rather than a simplistic hot rod.
    I have to agree. The dashes are the second thing I look at in any vehicle. Alot like..legs being the second thing I look at on a beautiful woman.
    I only have my dash pic to add..

  12. Who needs to sleep when we have all these great visions of hot rods to think of! I guess I probably dream of hot rods subconsciencly.......
  13. I too love studying dashes. The symetry and design elements are so hard to pull off in such a small space with so many different things going on at the same time. The ones you picked are deffinately some of my all-time favorites.
  14. wedgeii1
    Joined: Apr 24, 2006
    Posts: 552

    from california

    Best dash ever! IMHO:D

    Attached Files:

  15. Those are all great examples and on some of the best hot rods ever built. Got to love those '37 Ford guages.
    Thanks for working so late.
  16. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 5,864

    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    Ryan you nailed it. I just finished a deuce roadster and used a dash off E-bay I snagged for 15.00. After a lot of work it looks like it was meant for the car, but nobody has any idea what kind of car it came from. My last deuce Pu had a 31 Caddy dash, my deuce 3 window has the complete 32 Auburn deal and I just snagged a 27 Chrysler for my next deuce Pu. Dashs are the shit.
  17. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,206

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    Even on new cars. For me, if the dashboard sucks, the whole car sucks.

    I would go so far as to say the dash is the one place on a car you can show your artistic expression in a limitless way.
  18. The dash is one of the best parts of our cars. The older the car the better the dash, usually.

    I have always been a fan of Spencer's dash, but the regular Model A cluster has an elegance of its own.
  19. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,264


    Hotrod dashes with gauge spanning the width of the dash, symmetrically, sure LOOK nice, but having the vitals directly in front of the driver, IMHO, is much more purposeful....but I sure like those center inserts, be it Auburns or S-W's.......
    Give me a tach, oil press and a water temp gauges and I'm happy......


    I have trouble sleeping alot......mostly hotrod ideas swirling around in my head. Usually looking through a few old mags/books for awhile, does the trick.....either that or waking up my wife for a little "hey, how you doin'"........
  20. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,588

    from SUGAR CITY

    I was just going over the ROLF Model A build thread and admiring his guage set a couple of days ago. It's something that I think that I have to start paying more attention to because it really does play heavily into the overall design of the car. It can make or break it sometimes and I think that I am just now seeing the importance. Great post.....oh and don't be afraid to post the Customs gauge thread in the future.
  21. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,988

    Member Emeritus

    Once again Ryan you've nailed it. I've often wondered when looking at an otherwise bitchin hot rod what was going throught the guy's head when it came to the dash. Some are almost like an afterthought. I'm sure it's because the dash is one of the last things done in a lot of cases and the owner is anxious to get to the driving phase. I'm guilty of that myself but I'm trying to be a little more patient with the new '32 build.

  22. jpbanjo
    Joined: Aug 24, 2007
    Posts: 171

    Member Emeritus
    from Tulsa, Ok.

    Here's my Model A version of the Doane Spencer dash using S-W Greenlines for a late '60's look rather than the earlier curved glass S-W's.[​IMG]
  23. [​IMG]

    Was for my car, 28 RPU with a DuVall screen. This pic doesn't do it justice, the flow was VERY nice! It was going to have a 5 gage vintage oil filled Moon set and a 38 banjo wheel. All long since gone, sigh.......

    PS, its 02:15 HRS here, insomnia is a bitch.
  24. The '40 dash into something else has been done over & over again...... for a reason.

    I love 'em.


    Attached Files:

  25. arto
    Joined: Nov 23, 2007
    Posts: 57


  26. CaseyK
    Joined: Jan 27, 2004
    Posts: 386


    In my opinion dashes can make or break a car. Here's one of my favorites: It's in Cheater Mike's '32 5 window. Some call him 2-wheel.

    P-38 and P-51 guages, and yes they all work! F'n nerdery!

    Attached Files:

  27. Ryan, I have to agree with your viewpoint on dashes. Since we spend all of our time behind the wheel, a nice dash is very important. It is the part of the car we see most often. It is also an area where we can be creative. I always do something different in my cars when it comes to dashes. Always liked wood ones as well. Pat.
    The wood dash in my T tub.

    A 34 chev dash in my 28 A.
  28. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,318


    Nothing super original here, but they work for me:



    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  29. 36C8
    Joined: Sep 8, 2006
    Posts: 326


    This One of my fave old time

    Attached Files:

  30. Gas Huffer
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 272

    Gas Huffer

    Thank you, Ryan for the dose of inspiration. The only thing I could hope to add to this post is, I anxiously await the customs dashes article!

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