So what are the most radical dashboards you've seen? And just to remind everyone that you don't need mid century/space age design and chrome accents to make something radical to behold (but it never hurts!) here's one of the wildest designs from the 1990s, the 1992 Buick Skylark.
The 1960 Chrysler 300F Astradome instrument panel featuring the three dimensional Panelescent center globe, which has electroluminescent blue lighting at night. Each gauge pointer is an individual light source. An owner invited me to sit in his car at a show, you have to see this to believe it. Push bottom Torqueflite transmission and that space age clear oblong steering wheel. Swivel front seats, too.
@CitationMan - I have to agree. I actually rode in one on a very dark night back in about November 1967, and that blue-green glow was fantastic. Being as it was the heydays of space flight and sci-fi films, we really felt like we were in a spaceship, flying through the cosmos.
Fantastic! I’ve never had the pleasure to ride in one. The owner of the car I sat in drove his all over the US, so that’s great. There’s actually a shop in Washington state that restores these instrument clusters. Gotta love American ingenuity.
@CitationMan: Coulda been the same car, actually. Pretty sure the one I rode in belonged to a traveling salesman. I think the statute of limitations has passed, so I will admit that it didn't belong to the guy who gave me the ride. The story I got was that he'd "borrowed" it from a motel parking lot, where he'd found it with the keys conveniently dangling from the trunk. Not sure if that's the same story he told the officers who took him downtown later that night, because by then I had vacated the vehicle and hoofed it home, suspecting that through his actions, he was going to eventually bring some red lights and blue uniforms upon himself. And that proved to be the case.
The 1960 Buick Mirromagic speedometer. Look closely, that’s a tilting mirror with the reflection of the speedometer! The small ovals below the speedometer are the rolling ribbon feature, which changed colors from green to orange to red as speed increased. I first saw this at a car show on a Buick Invicta, but the Electra also had this feature.
1960 Imperial is one of my favorites. Huge dual gauge clusters with Electro-Luminecent lighting. Symmetrical sets of pushbuttons on either side of the clusters controlled the transmission and HVAC. Because there was no visible steering column, there was no room for the turn signal stalk. It was replaced with a directional switch in the upper LH side of the dash.
Somewhat radical for the day was the 1971-74 AMC Javelin dash. The instrument cluster wrapped around the driver position, which was practical and ergonomic. The switches for lights, wipers, etc. were bat-handled levers that sat on top of the lower shelf of the instrument area, moving forward and back in operation. The glove box and radio lived in the central, vertical pillar that was in between the driver and passenger side.
My Father had a '61 Chrysler 300 and the dash, as you see above in the picture of the '60, was very spacey and wonderful to drive with at night. I had a '93 Continental Signature which I loved (a Lincoln) but the digital dash made me crazy.
Wow, looking at the responses I'm happy to own three of the cars mentioned. My '59 Imperial, '62 Chrysler 300, and my '69 Grand Prix. Plus I get extra credit for once owning a '66 Dodge Charger.
I think the craziest wproduction (sort of) car dash was the Aston-Martin Lagonda 4-door https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aston_Martin_Lagonda
Pure electronics from England- for three days before they fried themselves.
These are all amazing examples! As a former owner of a Subaru SVX with its own unique interior, I have always marvelled at the cool dashboard of its predecessor, the Subaru XT!
Whatever happened to the idea of a dash that was just a thing of beauty to be glanced at in passing but surrounding the driver in walnut veneer like a Jaguar XK 120 or a Rolls Royce, or a machine turned metal like a 1957 T Bird?
What is really happening in a vehicle is out the windshield, screwing around with buttons knobs and screens is missing the whole point of everything. Glancing at something well crafted while getting in or out is what builds self esteem and confidence and is the definition of a great driving experience!