Last post on Sep 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM
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#1 of 24 Best '70's domestic instrument panel
Sep 16, 2012 (2:04 pm)
Here's the best IMHO:
First seen on the '73 Grand Prix, and also Grand Am.
I love the exterior of the '69-72 Grand Prixs, but I think the dash disappoints a little--other than the 'wrap around' feature. But to me, this '73 dash brings back some of the 'wow' factor of the '65 Grand Prix dash.
Monte Carlo dashes of the same period are bleak in comparison I think.
#2 of 24 Re: Best '70's domestic instrument panel [uplanderguy]
Sep 16, 2012 (2:09 pm)
My '76 Grand LeMans uses that same dash, so I have to agree that I'm partial to it!
I'm too lazy to look up a pic to link right now, but I think the dash that Ford used in their midsize cars, starting with the '72 Torino/Montego and culminating with the '79 LTD-II/Cougar/T-bird was also pretty attractive, and informative.
Another one I like is the '77-81 Catalina/Bonneville, and also the '79-81 full-sized Mopars.
For the most part, I like any dash from that era that at least gave you the option for full gauges...something that was becoming increasingly rare.
#3 of 24 Re: Best '70's domestic instrument panel [andre1969]
Sep 16, 2012 (2:51 pm)
You are right, I forgot it was later used in the Grand LeMans.
I have to say though, that I think it was originally designed with a console in mind.
I can't recall..when it didn't have a console, was the quadrant set inside the gauges, or was it attached to the top of the steering column?
Those Ford and Mopar panels you mention, I seem to recall had lots of circles for instruments and A/C vents, etc.--I like that look too.
Not a panel design per se, but I liked the smoked black trim panel outlined in gold pinstripe, used on the '77-79 Caprice Classic, above the glove box. I always thought if you took it off, it probably had "Impala" pressed into the hard plastic beneath, like the lower Impala had.
#4 of 24 Re: Best '70's domestic instrument panel [uplanderguy]
Sep 16, 2012 (3:05 pm)
with the column shift, the quadrant is set in the lower part of the speedometer dial. I always thought it was interesting that Pontiac went through the effort to have two different dashboards for their midsized cars. IIRC, the Malibu/Monte shared the same dash, as did the Century/Regal, and all Cutlasses had the same dash...although it was revised a bit for '77.
In addition to the '73-75 Grand Am, Pontiac also used the Grand Prix dash in the '75-77 Grand LeMans, which took over for the '73-74 Luxury LeMans. And they used it in the 1977.5 Can Am. In fact, when the molding used to make the spoiler on the Can Am broke, one deciding factor in canceling the car was the dashboard. The Grand Prix was more profitable, and every Can Am that sold meant one less Grand Prix dashboard. So, they decided to not bother making a new mold for the spoiler, and canned the Can Am.
Kind of a shame, IMO. The Can Am was a cool car. Heck, they should've just kept making them without the spoiler! Or simply revert back to the base LeMans dashboard.
#5 of 24 A couple others...
Sep 16, 2012 (3:10 pm)
One dashboard that popped back into my mind, that I almost forgot about, was the '75-76 LeSabre/Electra/Riviera. It was very minimal, only a speedo and a fuel gauge, but I thought it had a sleek, futuristic-in-a-70's-sort-of-way look to it.
Mopar's '77+ M-body Diplomat/LeBaron (and later Gran Fury and New Yorker/5th Ave) also had a nice dash design. It had sort of a driver-oriented cockpit shape, reminscent of the '73-87 GM pickups, and came standard with a temp and amp gauge. I don't know if you could get a factory oil pressure gauge, but the '89 Gran Fury copcar I had had an aftermarket one mounted low on the driver's side, away from the normal gauge cluster.
One down side to the M-body dash though, was that if you got a clock, it actually took away a chunk of the glovebox space! In later years, with digital radios that had the clock built in, that was no longer a problem.
#6 of 24 Re: Best '70's domestic instrument panel [uplanderguy]
Sep 16, 2012 (7:53 pm)
I like the Pontiac IPs from that era too. In the 80s a girlfriend of mine drove a '72 Riviera with the engine turned dash like this one. Not much instrumentation compared to the Pontiac, but still it seemed to fit the glam rock style of a boattail Riviera back then.
#7 of 24 1971 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight
Sep 19, 2012 (6:20 am)
The 1971 Olds Ninety-Eight had a pretty neat instrument panel:
#8 of 24 Re: 1971 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight [lemko]
Sep 19, 2012 (7:05 am)
Those wrap around IP's were a short lived thing. I wonder of it was cost or problems that led to their quick disappearance? I thought they were kind of neat myself.
#9 of 24 Re: 1971 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight [lemko]
Sep 19, 2012 (7:25 am)
Having the climate controls on the left is kind of odd, the front seat passenger (spouse) often likes to change them. Maybe that helped get rid of this arrangement.
#10 of 24 Re: 1971 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight [texases]
Sep 19, 2012 (3:56 pm)
Those are all good panels! I'll have to see if I can find a pic to post, but I like the '71 Cadillac deVille panel, with brushed metal panels. Nobody else must have liked it much, because before the end of the year they had fake woodgrain panels!