Having the right instruments in your car is important – even more so if it’s an older model. The gauges are crucial for keeping track of temperatures and all mechanical components so that in the case of any problems, you will be able to act in due time. In addition to that, the instruments are a big part of the car’s interior and updating them is a great way to perfect the classic look or make modern updates.
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In our top-7 best classic gauges, we have carefully selected the best instruments from high-quality producers and found some great classic designs. The gauges will fit any vintage car perfectly – and if not yours, maybe a new instrument would be the perfect present for the man who has everything?
1: Marshall Instruments
California-based Marshall Instruments offer a wide range of performance gauges, bimetal thermometers and pressure gauges. They specialize in OEM and private label gauges – all in high quality at a reasonable price level. The Black Gauge series feature white numbers, white lighting, red pointer and black bezel and the White Gauge series feature black numbers, white lighting, red pointer and silver bezel. The stylish and classic design is perfect for both vintage cars and more modern vehicles. Our favourite is the white dial with silver (stainless steel) case and the iconic red pointer – a perfect design that will fit most classic cars!
Faria Beede Instruments was founded in 1956 and is a world-leading manufacturer of engine instrumentation. They have collaborated with Ford Motor Company, the US Military and Harley Davidson and even provide instrumentation rugged enough to survive on a military HMMWV (Humvee)!
Faria Beede offers a wide range of analog and digital instruments for engine monitoring and their Aftermarket Collection includes 9 different product lines. Each line has a different graphic style and comes with different color options – our top choice is the clean “Dress White” with a lighted white dial and bold black graphics. You can even buy “The Boxed Set” that oﬀers a complete set of gauges ready to install.
Equus is based in Chicago and has produced instrumentation since 1967 for OEM and several aftermarket brands. All products are 100% US-made and you also get support and product manuals with detailed instructions to ensure easy installation. Equus offers four main series: 5000 White Series, 6000 Black Series, 7000 Chrome Series and 8000 Performance Series with different sizes available. The Performance Series has aluminum bezels that are lightweight and anodized to optimize appearance, and bright backlit displays to ensure easy night time viewing. If you’re looking for something “less racing”, the Black Series is an excellent alternative with black dial artwork and black bezel.
Bosch was founded in 1886 and has grown into a huge global brand best known for their high-quality tools and home appliances but they also have a racing heritage. The Bosch Performance and Automotive Aftermarket division deliver everything from complete diagnostic and repair shops to spark plugs and gauges. Their line of instrumentation was launched in 2014 and you’ll find gauges in both retro and sport style. The Retro line has a clean design with white lettering against a black background and the Sport lines offer a variety of more modern designs suitable for most cars. The Sport II line with a black dial face and chrome bezel is a favorite!
American Autometer has one of the widest collections of gauges from classic nostalgic design, retro style and specific car brands to hard-core racing! In 2007, AutoMeter bought Stack, Ltd. of England, whose roots are in Formula 1 instrumentation. In addition to the instrumentation, Autometer also offers great mounting solutions from direct fit to universal solutions. In the classic part of the collection you’ll find gauges for American muscle cars, antique vehicles, cruisers, old-timers and stylish black and white design to fit pretty much all classic cars. We are particularly fond of the Old Tyme Black/White series with vintage-style pointers.
AEM focuses on performance electronics and is a well-known American brand within in racing. Even though many of their products are made with the latest innovative technology, they also offer a line of classic digital gauges as well as an analog-style. The overall design options are white or black display with either a silver or black bezel – and the pointer in a classic red. Since the design is kept in a very simple style, the gauges could fit any classic or modern car and AEM guides you through the installation with all instructions available online. Our top-choice is the classic analog version with the black display and silver bezel.
Stewart-Warner is a true American icon for automobile instrumentation. They have been in business since 1905 and offer gauges for any vehicle from Models Ts to farm tractors, hot rods and muscle cars. With seven different product lines, you can find stylish black/white designs suitable for most classic cars and models made specifically for high-powered muscle cars. We really like the Wings product line with authentic 1940s styling and the distinctive “teardrop” style pointers.
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