Too often when it comes to customizing a classic truck, builders make changes just for the sake of making changes. In many cases, the best modifications are the ones that you need to look for, not the ones that slap you in the face. When it came time to design a dash for my '68 Chevy pickup, I wanted something that was custom but still retained much of the stock flavor that would be incorporated into the rest of the buildup.
There are several aftermarket bezels available to suit most people's taste, but I decided I wanted to keep the stock chrome and black plastic bezel. Also, I wanted something different than the stock gauges. I have always liked the look of the Auto Meter gauges, and with the two large 4 3/4-inch holes in the stock bezel, I figured they would fill the need well. When I saw the Carbon Fiber Series in their catalog, I knew I had just what I was looking for.
I had a couple of ideas on how to mount the new gauges, but they required two different size gauges. The 2 1/8-inch openings for the four gauges that run along the bottom of the bezel would work with a set of 2-inch gauges mounted from the front. But, I also wanted to see if I could show more of the stock chrome bezel by mounting some 2 5/8-inch gauges from the rear. Luckily, Auto Meter indulged me and supplied me with both sizes so I could try both methods. Once everything arrived, I headed over to the Primedia Tech Center with a box full of gauges and a new dash bezel from Classic Industries and started putting my ideas to work. We tried three different methods, all of which look good. As you'll see, we had to make a separate panel to mount the gauges. It turned out to be a little easier than I had thought it would be. The hardest part was making sure that the gauges lined up perfectly once the stock bezel was put in place.
Take a look at our three options, and hopefully one of them will inspire you in some way.