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  • Ultimate C-K Dashboard Design?

    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?

  • #2
    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)

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
      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.



      Bob

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      • #4
        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.
        Last edited by sals54; 04-29-2013, 10:48 AM.
        sals54

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sweetolbob View Post
          Yup!! You've got to like the GT dashboards. Like this one in my 54K



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

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          • #6
            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.
            Pat Dilling
            Olivehurst, CA
            Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL


            LS1 Engine Swap Journal: http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/jour...ournalid=33611

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sals54 View Post
              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.
              Dave Nevin
              Corvallis, OR
              1953 Champion Deluxe Coupe
              Stud-e-venture blog

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sals54 View Post
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    1955 Speedster, hands down. BP
                    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                    Ayn Rand:
                    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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                    • #11
                      Another vote for Speedster.

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

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                      • #12
                        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:





                        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!
                        Last edited by Studedude; 04-28-2013, 07:13 PM.
                        sigpic
                        Dave Lester

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                        • #13
                          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.
                          sigpic
                          In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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                          • #14
                            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?

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                            • #15
                              64 GT when it is full with everything there .




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




                              and of course the 53 custom.

                              Last edited by candbstudebakers; 04-29-2013, 03:26 AM.
                              Candbstudebakers
                              Castro Valley,
                              California


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