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WilburV
04-28-2013, 04:55 PM
I'm contemplating a dashboard change to my '53 custom C Coupe and the photo of the engine turned dash in the '54 Porterfield custom made me think about the various options that are out there.

The wide range of C-K dashboard designs used over the model run have their pros and cons as far as overall styling, gauge types and placement/legibility, location and labeling of controls, level of reflectivity, and dash padding (on some models).

What is the ultimate C-K dashboard design you've seen, either stock, modified stock or custom?

SN-60
04-28-2013, 05:02 PM
C/K dasboards are all exceptional (I think)......but all-in-all, it's hard to beat a '64 GT Hawk 'Full Dash' complete dashboard assy. (knee padding and all)

sweetolbob
04-28-2013, 05:12 PM
C/K dasboards are all exceptional (I think)......but all-in-all, it's hard to beat a '64 GT Hawk 'Full Dash' complete dashboard assy. (knee padding and all)

Yup!! You've got to like the GT dashboards. Like this one in my 54K I'll submit.

http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh263/sweetolbob/021.jpg

Bob

sals54
04-28-2013, 05:13 PM
The best looking and best overall, in my opinion, is the 55 Speedster Dash. Beautiful, complete and also machine turned face. Delicate, yet bold in its layout. By far and away the best. Sadly, they are very rare to come by.
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm197/sals54/1955_Studebaker_President_Speedster_For_Sale_Interior_resize_zps1b2b8f5d.jpg (http://s296.photobucket.com/user/sals54/media/1955_Studebaker_President_Speedster_For_Sale_Interior_resize_zps1b2b8f5d.jpg.htm l)

SN-60
04-28-2013, 05:14 PM
Yup!! You've got to like the GT dashboards. Like this one in my 54K

http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh263/sweetolbob/021.jpg

Bob

And that custom steering wheel is super-nice Bob!!

Pat Dilling
04-28-2013, 05:15 PM
Regardless of the front appearance, I think the best improvement that could be made to a C/K dashboard is to make it deeper and longer. There is very little room behind that dash to add any modern amenities, A/C, Sound system, Nav system etc. Making the dash deeper would not be that difficult. Draw a straight line from side to side just beyond the curve of the dash then cut on that line. Then weld in a new strip of metal 2-3 inches wide across the the whole width then reattach the piece that was cut off. That retains all the attachment points at the base of the windshield. Then on the sides, fabricate panels to box it in. Finally fabricate a "skirt" to go across the bottom of it to make it longer. This would hide any A/C components and provide locations for A/C vents. There is plenty of leg room in these cars so a mod like this would not crowd the passengers. I plan to do something like this on the dash of my Conestoga. Either that or I will custom fit a 59-60 Chevy Impala dash into it if I find one at a reasonable price.

dnevin
04-28-2013, 05:15 PM
The best looking and best overall, in my opinion, is the Speedster Dash. Beautiful, complete and also machine turned face. Delicate, yet bold in its layout. By far and away the best. Sadly, they are very rare to come by.

Another vote for the Speedster dash.

SN-60
04-28-2013, 05:17 PM
The best looking and best overall, in my opinion, is the 55 Speedster Dash. Beautiful, complete and also machine turned face. Delicate, yet bold in its layout. By far and away the best. Sadly, they are very rare to come by.

I like the '55 Speedster dash......but to Me, it always seemed like a 'Work In Progress' compared to what was offered by Studebaker on '56 and later C/K's.

Pancho
04-28-2013, 08:45 PM
Is someone making a reproduction of the 55 Speedster dash? I was thinking about swapping out my dash in my 53. To me, it was always the best looking one and for certain better looking than the one I currently have.

BobPalma
04-28-2013, 09:21 PM
1955 Speedster, hands down. :!: BP

Andy R.
04-28-2013, 09:34 PM
Another vote for Speedster.

While on the topic, though the aesthetics of the '53 Commander are better, the '53 Champion has superior legibility, IMO.

Studedude
04-28-2013, 10:04 PM
I'm not offering mine as the, "Ultimate C-K Dash Board Design," because I know it isn't. Such standards are only a matter of opinion, or, like beauty... exist only in the eye/mind of the beholder.

But, it might offer an option to consider when deciding an approach....

Here is what I wound up doing with my '54 Champion instrument cluster:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r113/DavesPlace_photos/Sheba/dash1_zpsb1fd038c.jpg (http://s142.photobucket.com/user/DavesPlace_photos/media/Sheba/dash1_zpsb1fd038c.jpg.html)

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r113/DavesPlace_photos/Sheba/dash2_zps572e13e3.jpg (http://s142.photobucket.com/user/DavesPlace_photos/media/Sheba/dash2_zps572e13e3.jpg.html)

Like all modifications, some will like it, some won't.

My theory used to be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

With that in mind, since all instruments and gauges functioned in my '54 after (I thought) I was, "Through with it," I made the choice not to change them out.

On the first road trip with the car, my friend Craig took the speedometer to places it had never been, resulting in it being broken. I searched, found, and priced a NOS speedometer. This caused me to search for someone that might rebuild the old speedometer.

Same price, either way.

Given this, I researched new gauges, and found that I could replace not only the speedometer, but all of the old gauges, and add a couple more, for less than the cost of either replacing, or repairing the Champion speedometer.

This seemed, to me, to be the reasonable thing to do. The other issue was the fact that the markings on the glass that covered the original gauges were worn off. I searched for other options, and determined that it was not practical, for me, to attempt to restore the marking on the glass.

S0... I ordered a new speedometer, gauges, and tachometer. I then purchased some engine turned metal, and commenced cutting, shaping, and fitting everything, in such a way that allowed me to eliminate the glass cover from the equation.

What you see above is the final result, like it, or not. I felt that going with the engine turned metal was Stude-like, even though Studebaker did not go that route until a few years later.

Anyway, I now know how fast I'm going, ('haven't twisted a speedometer since.) I also know what my oil pressure, water temp, volt production, fuel level, and RPM are. To me, that's, "Ultimately," what a instrument cluster is for.

Don't get me wrong... while I feel that function is what instrument clusters are about, I certainly agree that one should like the looks of them, and build their car accordingly!

Milaca
04-28-2013, 10:06 PM
I like the woodgrained '63 GT Hawk dash best. The Stewart Warner gauges are no-nonsense, easy to read and look good in my opinioin.

GThawkwind
04-28-2013, 10:50 PM
Studebaker-r2-4-me's Dash in the 64 GT hawk, is my personal vote. So a GT dash with custom wood grain. That being said the Speedster dash is so classy, yet sporty. For a hawk I think the GT dash, for an early C/K I would say speedster, but where you gonna get one of those?

candbstudebakers
04-28-2013, 11:52 PM
64 GT when it is full with everything there .

http://i691.photobucket.com/albums/vv271/canbstudebakers/1964%20super%20hawk/IM002878.jpg (http://s691.photobucket.com/user/canbstudebakers/media/1964%20super%20hawk/IM002878.jpg.html)


And full means when everything is there even one of these.

http://i691.photobucket.com/albums/vv271/canbstudebakers/1964%20super%20hawk/IM002882.jpg (http://s691.photobucket.com/user/canbstudebakers/media/1964%20super%20hawk/IM002882.jpg.html)


and of course the 53 custom.

http://i691.photobucket.com/albums/vv271/canbstudebakers/1953%20custom/IM001177.jpg (http://s691.photobucket.com/user/canbstudebakers/media/1953%20custom/IM001177.jpg.html)

8E45E
04-29-2013, 12:11 AM
64 GT when it is full with everything there .

I agree completely on that one! It's next to impossible to improve upon the GT Hawk dash design, but 1964 version complete with the padded knee bar on the passenger side is arguably the best of the three model years.

Craig

t walgamuth
04-29-2013, 05:16 AM
I'm not offering mine as the, "Ultimate C-K Dash Board Design," because I know it isn't. Such standards are only a matter of opinion, or, like beauty... exist only in the eye/mind of the beholder.

But, it might offer an option to consider when deciding an approach....

Here is what I wound up doing with my '54 Champion instrument cluster:

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r113/DavesPlace_photos/Sheba/dash1_zpsb1fd038c.jpg (http://s142.photobucket.com/user/DavesPlace_photos/media/Sheba/dash1_zpsb1fd038c.jpg.html)

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r113/DavesPlace_photos/Sheba/dash2_zps572e13e3.jpg (http://s142.photobucket.com/user/DavesPlace_photos/media/Sheba/dash2_zps572e13e3.jpg.html)

Like all modifications, some will like it, some won't.

My theory used to be, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

With that in mind, since all instruments and gauges functioned in my '54 after (I thought) I was, "Through with it," I made the choice not to change them out.

On the first road trip with the car, my friend Craig took the speedometer to places it had never been, resulting in it being broken. I searched, found, and priced a NOS speedometer. This caused me to search for someone that might rebuild the old speedometer.

Same price, either way.

Given this, I researched new gauges, and found that I could replace not only the speedometer, but all of the old gauges, and add a couple more, for less than the cost of either replacing, or repairing the Champion speedometer.

This seemed, to me, to be the reasonable thing to do. The other issue was the fact that the markings on the glass that covered the original gauges were worn off. I searched for other options, and determined that it was not practical, for me, to attempt to restore the marking on the glass.

S0... I ordered a new speedometer, gauges, and tachometer. I then purchased some engine turned metal, and commenced cutting, shaping, and fitting everything, in such a way that allowed me to eliminate the glass cover from the equation.

What you see above is the final result, like it, or not. I felt that going with the engine turned metal was Stude-like, even though Studebaker did not go that route until a few years later.

Anyway, I now know how fast I'm going, ('haven't twisted a speedometer since.) I also know what my oil pressure, water temp, volt production, fuel level, and RPM are. To me, that's, "Ultimately," what a instrument cluster is for.

Don't get me wrong... while I feel that function is what instrument clusters are about, I certainly agree that one should like the looks of them, and build their car accordingly!

I like this. I'm having the same issue with painted glass on my 39 CE. So this might be in the cards for it, or something similar.

DEEPNHOCK
04-29-2013, 06:09 AM
Just to shove the other end of the spectrum....
Here's a narrowed '61 Hawk dash, all filled and re-guaged.
Strictly function over form, but looks count, too!

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j54/deepnhock/1953%20Studebaker%20Drag%20Car%20-%20Interior/IMG_2224_zps4259e94c.jpg

Studeous
04-29-2013, 06:09 AM
I would pick a Golden Hawk dash and add a factory matching radio delete plate. Cute vacuum pressure gauge. Or any 56-61 Hawk dash. Easy to find and all have a glove box (flop it ). If anyone has a matching radio delete, I'm in the market.

swvalcon
04-29-2013, 07:21 AM
I like the stock look of the 64 hawk dash. Stude dude dont cut your dash short if you ask me it looks great and looks to do the job very well. Steve

Pat Dilling
04-29-2013, 12:05 PM
If you like a somewhat simple design I'll submit mine. The gauge cluster was built from scratch and attaches with the original screw points. The gauges are from Dolphin with a Sun mini tach in the middle. The carbon fiber color gauge on the left is a controller for my rear air bags. Painting it to match the rest of the dash is on my round tuit list. The dice on a string controls my wolf whistle.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8537/8692421829_f9b43ed97d_z.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8537/8692421759_a603de6ccf_z.jpg

Nox
04-29-2013, 03:41 PM
There's a guy in Sweden who's been but'n a -59 Impala dash in his -53 coupe but I like -57's dash more & what I NEVEREVER would do is take any other dash than my own -55 sedan/wrap-around windshield dash! ...But I for sure gotta admit that the 60-62 Chrysler dashboard beats the most... oh that's just heaven! ...No silly stick for the gear-shift or indicator...

Mike Van Veghten
04-29-2013, 05:05 PM
I know I'm in the minority...but I like plain ol, stock Commander dash.

Maybe the 53 over the 54, but not by much. A different paint scheme, I painted the 53 back or seperator plate to resemble crushed rock. It's paint from Lowes. Then put flat clear on it to protect it. The four bezels are gloss black. So each gauge face and between each gauge is the white/black crushed look. With the plastic gauge face over the gauge face, it changes the look just enough to make it look different than what's between the gauges.

And the funny thing, in most hot rods/customs....very few of that design left around...most change them..! So mine, being sort of a hot rod...is...actually...different.

Mike

clonelark
04-30-2013, 03:36 AM
The 56-61 Hawk dash is the most beautiful thing i have ever seen.

http://www.frontiernet.net/~thejohnsons/Porterfield%20Custom%2054/Porterfield%20Custom%20finished%20car%20for%20Forum%20posting/100_0697%20(640x480).jpg

brngarage
04-30-2013, 05:24 PM
I agree with Mike; I really like the stock '53 Commander dash. My plan is to paint the dash the same color as the exterior of the car (a metallic green called Mystic Emerald from a 2006 Nissan Altima) and then paint the gauge surrounds a darker green (and upholster the interior to match).

Corley
04-30-2013, 09:56 PM
I've always marched to a different drummer I guess, but I've always loved the look of the '53-'54 Champian dash. However, mine is a mess, so I'll have to redo it. I'm thinking of keeping the original shape, but using smoke plexi with led gauges under that. Did that on another rig, and it came out great. As for the swept back lower part, I love that look too, and will leave it alone except for paint. Brown don't cut it... (Don't need no stinkin' A/C.)

Studeous
05-01-2013, 10:55 AM
I voted for the 56-61 hawk dash, but must admit that aurguably the 55 Speedster wins! One dash that I believe should recieve honerable mention is the 55 President NonSpeedster dash. I like the look of the large circular gauge pods. Question How hard would it be to modify a early hawk dash on the passenger side to look like a speedster dash? Maybe someone could post pictures of them side by side. I like the GT and 53-54 dashes also. That about covers it.

Swifster
05-01-2013, 02:02 PM
I really like the Speedster dash. Hard to come by, but well worth it.

Flashback
05-01-2013, 08:28 PM
Bad partial picture, maybe I can find another. Maybe all this shows is how bad I am with a camera. I like kinda simple.

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn320/Flashback53/mineraloilandupdate12-8-10020_zps56276a7f.jpg (http://s307.photobucket.com/user/Flashback53/media/mineraloilandupdate12-8-10020_zps56276a7f.jpg.html)

paintim613
05-01-2013, 09:41 PM
I know I'm in the minority...but I like plain ol, stock Commander dash.

Maybe the 53 over the 54, but not by much. A different paint scheme, I painted the 53 back or seperator plate to resemble crushed rock. It's paint from Lowes. Then put flat clear on it to protect it. The four bezels are gloss black. So each gauge face and between each gauge is the white/black crushed look. With the plastic gauge face over the gauge face, it changes the look just enough to make it look different than what's between the gauges.

And the funny thing, in most hot rods/customs....very few of that design left around...most change them..! So mine, being sort of a hot rod...is...actually...different.

Mike

Put me in the same minority. The '53 Commander dash is so...Studebaker. We will never change it even though our custom is pretty out there. Before and after restoration pictures in signature link.