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Hagerty Employee

6 of the coolest speedos in production cars

The amount of importance put on how the exterior of a car looks is huge, and the driver is likely the owner who selected a car based on that outer appearance. However, when we drive we don’t get to see the outside. Instead, we’re left gazing through a clear windscreen with an occasional glance at the gauge cluster.


If you are less concerned with the outside appearance and more concerned with what you will see from the driver's seat, here are six cars that might be worth considering for your next purchase.


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124 REPLIES 124
Pit Crew

How about a 67 Riviera?  The "toilet tube" speedometer.  Gota love it eh?  read the comments below.  Yeah you guys are right the speedos from the 50/60s were cool.  Wait a minute?  We're talking about speedometers right?  🙂


Love that 1960 Chrysler dash!

New Driver

My favorite is the ones in the 1960 Dodge Dart series. It was a thick piece of glass with the numbers etched in the back that sat up on top of the dash.  Absolutely beautiful with the sunlight (or moonlight) coming through.

Pit Crew

The 1961 Oldsmobile Super 88 had a speedometer somewhat like the 230SL it was horizontal and changed colors the faster you went. I think it did not change red until 60-70 MPH. My mother had it when I was growing up, it was a convertible. Beautiful car with plenty of power.

Pit Crew

I submit the very Euro-techy Stewart-Warner instrumentation of 1956-58 Studebaker Hawks. If I could attach a photo of my ‘56 Sky Hawk‘s instruments, I would...but...


My favorite speedo was a 55 chev with the small chevy bow tie in the middle of the speedo ... as the high beam indicator ... that speedo was a classic design.


my favorite speedo was a 55 chev with the small  chevy bow tie in the centre of the speedo ,,, as the high beam indicator light  ... that speedo was a classic design

New Driver

How about the citroen GS with its funky speedo ?

Intermediate Driver

Unfortunately, you failed to mention the Buicks of the 1950's and 60's with their "ribbon" speedometer and turned dashboards. They were very attractive.


Can't believe you left out the waaay cool Lincoln tube of gel or whatever it was that oozed it's way across the dash as Dad stepped on it with that sweet 460 cid engine


This was a horrible list. 59 Buick had a beautiful cluster.  Hell, so did the 58 Edsel with the spaceship speedo.  The author has no idea what a cool gauge cluster is. I suppose #7 in his list was a 2018 Ford Fusion?


Cool is a matter of opinion. I don't particularly care for the Edsel speedo that you like, and that is okay.
Advanced Driver

The Chrysler speedo/instrument cluster is even better at night. It is lit with elctroluminescent lights. That is, the numbers, and the pointers, are coated with a paint that lights up when electric current is applied. So, at night, the numbers, and the pointers, are lit, hanging in darkness. Has to be seen to be appreciated.


Chrysler used these clusters for 3 years, 1960 - 62, in all their models. Only the F & G speedos went to 150, all others topped out at 120. The elctroluminescent lights needed high voltage AC current, so there was a device that made DC current into AC. Every year that device shrank in size. The first one, 1960, actually made a small noise.

Advanced Driver

The 66-67 Buick Riviera also had the rolling speedo... It is fun, if you accelerate fast enough, the speedo being a drum cannot keep up, then when you let off the gas it will bounce.  
Another great IP would be the 1990-1993 Buick Riviera, it was simple yet marvelous. 
Arguably even though it is new technology, the 2018+ Mustang Digital IP is noteworthy, easy to read, and you can change modes to have different looks depending on what mode you are in...


Can't beat the original Toronado. 


Altho the Plymouth Fury is one of the easiest to read.


I own a 1986 Nissan 300zx with the digital dash package.  It is noteworthy.  Also, my family owned a '57 Pontiac with a speedometer that showed a red bar moving to the right as speed increased. Pretty cool in those days 


Funny that the C4's digital instrument cluster still used an analog odometer.

Community Manager

Wow, I never thought about that!  I think the problem here is that the C4 cluster had no memory to "save" a number.  Saying that because now that I recall digi dashes from the very early 1980s, they all had passive gauges that only displayed feedback from a speedometer cable, fuel sending unit, tach wire, etc...there was no storage of an odometer number until the mid 1980s.


And recall the the C4 was delayed (by at least a year?) because of other issues, so its speedometer cluster was almost out of date by the time it arrived in showrooms. The 1985 Tbird/Cougar had a redesigned dash with a new gauge cluster that included a digital odometer. 


It's a shame there weren't some decent photos of the speedos.  Glare, dirt and wide angle shots didn't do any of them any justice and that C4 corvette?  Where'd you find it; the wrecking yard?

Pit Crew

I think it is kind of neat to see the 84-89 C4 dash mentioned. I had a 86 and I always thought the 84-89 digital dashes looked cool (especially at night) and were the best by far of any of the digital dash of that era. The tach was useless at WOT, though. The dash technology was too slow to update. The C4 didn't accelerate hard so the speedometer wasn't that big of deal.  The ZR-1 was supposed to be introduce in 1989 and was suppose to use a variation of that dash, fortunately by the next year they update the dash to use analog tach.


I think if you were young in the 80's, the 80's Atari dash is probably nostalgic. Other generations probably not so much.

Intermediate Driver

I vote for the elegant 1960 Chrysler dash. Beautiful and ergonomic. 

New Driver

My 67 Buick Riviera also had a Cylindrical Speedo I refered to it as the " Toilet paper roll" I dont know what the Largest graduation was I only saw 120 MPH. At that speed It floated Like it was in Flight.


good thing you’re only talking dashes because that Doug Nash Monster Mash transmission was only slightly more useless than the Bosch pseudo-fuel injection borrowed from the last C3;


come to think of it, that dash was none-too-popular as well, particularly when it needed repair;


New Driver

I remember the plymouth and chrysler dash boards I owned a 60 Chrysler bought it just for the dash speedo which I thought was super cool, wish I still had that 25 dollar car, Guess that dates me, good to see it again, Bruce


I bought a Cobra SC kit car about 20 years ago from an individual from Southern California and the speedometer was story had it, that from Cosby’s wrecked Supersnake, I still have it and it does say by the 200 mph WOW! . This kit car was a Contempary brand car.i have more no when I get back to Amarillo, Tx, where I have the car and speedometer. 806-228-2750