Dashboard and instrument cluster

Since the dash is the focal point of the interior, I started there. Stripped off the ruined foam dash pad, filled the holes, and painted it. It runs shock green to silver and yellow, which will complement the stainless and aluminum expanses of the door panels and console. (The maroon control escutcheon on the lower dash is a terrible experiment/mistake that will be rectified shortly.)

The stock dash gauge cluster is spartan and very 1950's Nash. And rusty, for some reason, but the car came with a spare unit, minus the two side gauges, so I hacked on that.

The Rising Sun fits the rest of the theme, and work with the speedo divisions, somehow, and the two ovals (then grey, now white) looked like clouds, which with my poor graphical skills I decided to leave as-is and not back with cartoon clouds (wise choice). Blue masking tape, a straight edge, X-acto knife, and a half dozen hours.

The TEMP and FUEL guages required very delicate surgery. I had exactly one (1) set of gauges. They are physically delicate. They are 44 years old, made from extremely thin aluminum, and had to be de-crimped to disassemble, sand, paint and reassemble. I neglected to re-balance the speedo pointer to compensate for the weight of the added paint and strontium aluminate (it's heavy). They are very delicate and subtle devices. The speedo error finally got to me, so I did a second extraction and balanced the speedo pointer on a pencil point and added bits of brass until level. Problem solved.

The front transparent bezel is engraved and white-enamel filled and contains all of the text. I painstakingly removed it (and repolished from decades of scratches) and refilled the characters with strontium aluminate (spectacular green glow powder) mixed with gold-leaf sizing. There will be UV lamps in the car and it will all glow spectacularly.

Everything (each indicator, overall backlighting) is lit with old incandescent lamps, of course, with plastic film (red, green) behind the overlay to color the light. I replaced all the films with translucent white plastic (an old plastic box, sandpaper) with the intent of later installing LED lamp replacements in appropriate colors; but the warm glow of the incandescents works great with the green, yellow, silver that I just may leave it all monochrome.

The scheme works in daylight or night time. The night photos don't do it justice; it looks far better in real life (because the human eye is so much more sensitive than digital film can capture).

I did a really bad job with re-marking the gauges. The dots came out like crap! Total crap, but it's too painful to re-do, so I'll live with it. It's not like I gave up any gauge resolution; there weren't much markings to begin with. The gauges are accurate, and you go by pointer relative location anyways. Hopefully you won't notice when it's done.