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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.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/entertainment/6-of-the-coolest-speedos-in-production-cars/

Replies (94)

Replies (94)

I own two of the speedo's listed, '62 Chrysler 300 and a '66 Olds Toronado. I also feel my '59 Imperial should be on the list or at least honorable mention.

New Driver

OK, maybe a little more automotive history is in order here.
The '39 Plymouth had a speedometer that changed colors from green, to yellow, to red, depending on the speed alone. The 1959-61 Buick, and likely others, had a horizontal ribbon speedometer.
The Tucker had nothing special going for it, with only 50 copies, was hardly innovative or let alone even seen. I believe the Riviera also used a drum speedo like the Toronado. The '29-'31 Ford Model A used a drum speedo.

There were other digital speedos before the vette, like the '80-83 Chrysler Imperial. I believe some Janese cars may have also.
The Chrysler 300F was the 1st use of high voltage electroluminescent lighting, also used on later Dodge Chargers, a beautiful look, with no age dimming or yellowing.
This stuff needs to edited better!

New Driver

dodge had a speedo similar to the 60 plymouth in 1957

Passenger

I would agree with those illustrated other than the 84-89 Corvettes with the "Cheesy" plasticized cluster which was problematic from the standpoint of reliability, the boards burning out and not sunlight readable. 1954-55 Buick utilized a scrolling speedometer also.  Perhaps edit out the Corvette and add that one. 

New Driver

A question came up yesterday that I cannot find a definitive answer on....Can anybody confirm or deny that the Chevy Corvair may have had a push button transmission selector either in the center of the steering wheel or on the dash in any of their model years? Thanks for input!

Navigator

I agree with Studebaker. My grandfathers station wagons speedo was a big lens with the numbers to either side of center looking small. When they moved to the center, rotating like a compass, they got magnified quite large. As a small kid I was totally fasinated by this unit.

Pit Crew

BTW, Boing didn't make the DC-10! DC stands for Douglas Craft!!  Boing made the 747.

Passenger

I recall that Lincoln had one of those vertical speedometers that appeared to fill with mercury as you speed up.

Intermediate Driver

Loved the Mercedes finback speedos.  If you ever got pulled over by the police, you could get out of a ticket by having them drive it & asking them if they could figure it out!

Passenger

The Plymouth Fury Speedo is the same as the Imperial's, and yes, I like the elegant look of it in my 1964, but I have seen better than this list. How about a 1950s Mercury, with the arch and the other gauges arched over the top?

Pit Crew

1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser had a red tape speedometer. 1963 and '64 Studebaker Avantis had 160 spedo

Passenger

Some early 60’s Oldsmobile’s also had the ‘ribbon’ style speedo shown on the 1960 Fury.

Pit Crew

The 60 Chrysler & Plymouth, yeah. The rest: meh.

What about Buick’s early 60’s “mirror” speedometer?

 

Pit Crew

What about the 58 Edsel, the 66-69 Lincoln. Why are Ford products so often left out?

Passenger

Not quite sure how you leave out the 58 Edsel domed speedo. Not the easiest to read, but certainly unique.

Pit Crew

We have a 1990 Buick Regal Gran Sport 2+2 Coupe. Grandpa's sporty car I'd guess 🙂 

Why we still have it is a story for another time.

It has the coolest digital LED dash! I wonder if it was among the first offered by the manufactures?

New Driver

1948 Cadillac speedo cluster is one of my favorites.   Anything digital, like the '84-'89 Corvette, etc., is doomed for failure sooner or later.  Good luck getting it repaired.  Boeing DC-10?? 

New Driver

60 olds dynamic 88 had a great Speedo

 

Passenger

I always loved the 1957-1958 Chrysler giant speedometers. 1964-1966 Thunderbird speedometers aren't too shabby either.

Pit Crew

Mini Cooper's large speedometer is the center of the dash is one of the coolest

New Driver

Thanks for the video's; Dad had a waterfall speedo in the (I think...) '68 Plymouth Fury III wagon, it was way cool even at the time. I've tried to explain this to my gang but never did a very good job. PS - one of my personal favorites is the simple white-on-black chrome ringed analog speedometers in '60's - 70's vintage Triumphs, set in a wood dash. This defines functional elegance.

Pit Crew

One of the coolest is the Mini Cooper with its huge speedometer in the center of the dash

New Driver

TBH I have yet to find a better dash gauge and layout than the stock one in my '65 Corvette Sting Ray.  Simple, flat, complete, imminently readable.

Pit Crew

The 1960 Chrysler instrument cluster also had electroluminescent lighting instead of light bulbs. A friend of mine has on of these and the lighting still works perfectly.

Passenger

Before I even read the list I thought to myself "the late 60's Toronado HAS to be on there....".

Passenger

Early Volvo P1800 instrument cluster must be up there

Passenger

I had a '63 220b with that vertical speedometer.  It had a kind of hairspring that returned it to zero.  When I re-finished the dash, I had to take the cluster out, and in the process the speedo got whacked.  In the days before the internet, finding a replacement required many trips to many salvage yards, but I was able to literally dig one up from an otherwise useless pile of scrap.

Intermediate Driver

The green translucent plastic that backlit the speedo on the 1955 and '56 Ford's was pretty cool. And the art deco font on the 1946 GMC truck just takes you back in time.

Intermediate Driver

1960 Buicks with speedo reflected in an adjustable mirror or 61/62  Oldsmobiles with color changing bar (green to orange to red as speed increased)

Passenger

How about the Citroen CX Series 1 speedo? Nothing else like it...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=29&v=nNCb3bSeF5s&feature=emb_logo

Passenger