cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Bryan
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.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

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

124 REPLIES 124
BobKantor
Passenger

‘64-‘66 Thunderbird red “thermometer” sliding in glass tube is also cool!

ATM
New Driver

Yes, if there ever was a cool speedometer, it was the 64-66 Thunderbird. It should of made number One on this list, but I guess its all in the likes of the person writing the article huh?

930Flachbau
Intermediate Driver

What?! No Porsche speedometer?! Porsche rightfully put the speedometer where it belongs, to the right of the Tach and smaller. Iconic

audiocage
Detailer

Oh, *that* kind of speedo...

TGJ
Passenger

Boeing is not the builder of the DC-10

Sajeev
Community Manager

Changing it to McDonnell Douglas right now! 

Citroguy
New Driver

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

kc
Passenger

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)

TonyT
Instructor

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.

ed
Detailer

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.

TerryJL
Passenger

Early Volvo P1800 instrument cluster must be up there

BillHagan
Passenger

1966 / 67 Charger needs to be on the list. Decades ahead of it's time.

The instrument panel consists of for round Bezels with six gauges. Besides the normal instruments, there is a standard 6000 RPM tachometer. All instruments are illuminated without the use of the 12V DC light bulbs as in other MOPARS. This system, known as Electroluminescent Lighting (EL) creates a soft uniform glow without objectionable intensity and glare. Light levels can be controlled in the usual manner with the headlight switch rheostat. 
Google it and be surprised 🙂

 

NoelH
Passenger

Chrysler’s iconic 300-F predated the great Charger by 6 years, in 1960. Its AstraDome instrument panel featuring Panelescent lighting - Chrysler’s term for electroluminescent lighting - was an amazing work of engineering artistry. Not only does the AstraDome on my 300-F beautifully illuminate its 150 mph speedo and its ammeter, oil pressure, fuel and water temperature gauges, but also its cable-driven tachometer on my console, at night with its soft silvery-blue glow. This dashboard design graced all the 1960-1962 Chryslers, while the calibration markings on the speedo and gauges varied slightly in each of the three years. The speedometer on all the non-Letter Cars for those three years sported a 120 mph face, vs the 150 mph on the F, G and H. Too bad the various Google sites that pop up when we look up AstraDome instead spell it Astrodome. Reflection of journalistic ignorance or carelessness! Also love that the ‘66/‘67 Chargers continued the full length interior console Chrysler introduced in the 300-F’s. Too bad they didn’t also continue the front swivel seats that were standard in all 300 E, F and G Letter Cars!

Stealthymitsu
Passenger

I would like to nominate the Subaru XT6 as an addition to this list. I would say it's eithet as cool or even cooler than the C4 dash. 

Matimbo
New Driver

I second! I read the comments just to see if anyone else mentioned it...

johnemc123
Passenger

1983 Mitsubishi Starion/Dodge Conquest speedo was awesome!  That is why I bought that car.

Goatsnvairs
Passenger

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

Jamunn
Passenger

Yes.  I had a one too.  Fun to watch the barrel speedo try to go all the way around.  140 mph I think .   Never got it that far though 

merk66
New Driver

Boeing didn't make the DC10  McDonald Douglas did

Sajeev
Community Manager

You are right! I am making that change now!
Jaguarman
Pit Crew

Actually it was just Douglas when they made the DC-10 (the DC stands for Douglass Corporation).  After they merged with McDonnell they changed the name to MD-11 (MD stood for McDonnell-Douglas).

TrustyRusty
Intermediate Driver

Make that McDonnell-Douglas; they didn't sell hamburgers, nor did they own a farm!

Rkuzn
Passenger

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.

pauluptime
Pit Crew

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.

sir_keith
New Driver

This list is LAME! Nothing of note here except the 300F. C4 Corvette? Really? Apparently the people who came up with this list have never been anywhere near a car from the 50's.

rokky
Intermediate Driver

You are so RIGHT!! LAME it is.

Both the 50's and the 60's were works of art.

Even the new cars with all the digital read outs are lame as most are to small to read.

Take the temp read out alone on some of these cars is impossible to read unless you put you nose up against the instrument panel. 

drread
Passenger

I would have thought one of the mid-50's Buicks might have made the list with their 'rolling log' speedos.

 

Charlie
Pit Crew

You hit the nail on the head !!  There never has, or will be, a digital dash worth

a dime.  Why didn't the 1960s GM thermometer speedos make the list, they were beautiful ??

karofsky
New Driver

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

JBaguley
Pit Crew

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.

HD
New Driver

Take a look at a '57 Studebaker speedo, digital before digital was a thing!  '56 was similar...

karofsky
New Driver

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

Patrician
Intermediate Driver

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

Irish
Passenger

60 olds dynamic 88 had a great Speedo

 

35-709
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?? 

MR
Intermediate Driver

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?

greatscott73
Intermediate Driver

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

Contibob69
New Driver

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

MrKnowItAll
Detailer

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

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

 

rokky
Intermediate Driver

u are so RIGHT!! LAME it is. Both the 50's and the 60's were works of art. Even the new cars with all the digital read outs are lame as most are to small to read. Take the temp read out alone on some of these cars is impossible to read unless you put you nose up against the panel. 
shoulderboards
Intermediate Driver

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

doctorofmotors
New Driver

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

cestor01
Pit Crew

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?

Herbie
Passenger

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!

SSIKNSS67
Pit Crew

1961 Buick speedometer. The speedometer was horizontal flat on the dash and refelcted in a mirror that was adjustable for the driver's viewing. 

m-mman
Passenger

EXACTLY!  Forget the color of the line or needle, If a speedo that is printed backwards and viewed through a mirror isnt the most interesting speedo ever then you havent really looked at many dashboards. 

toddkraemer
Hagerty Employee

I loved driving Hagerty's Plymouth Fury and watching the speedometer fill squares as I accelerated. Great design. Still pretty partial to the instrument panel on my '62 Thunderbird, though!

bblhed
Detailer

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

SilentBoy741
Advanced Driver

So that would be filled with... Lincoln-mercury?