July '16

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JULY 2016 THE SHOP 89 Working with Classic Instruments, Z Rodz "can color-key the gauges to the vehicle—not just the lighting, but the face printing as well." The customer may choose a speedometer that reads in 5-mph increments instead of 10—or even by 7's—"which I've seen done," says Ingram. "We can put the name or emblem of the vehicle on the gauge face as well." Or, for that matter, the owner's name or corporate logo, although so far no one has asked for that. "We're even doing a car where the speed- ometer and tachometer turn opposite each other, so the needles meet in the middle." These same customers may also opt for a fully custom dash panel, which Z Rodz can fabricate from sheet metal, fiberglass, foam, or a combination of materials. "We just had a whole gauge assembly CNC'd out of billet aluminum," Ingram notes. And if there's a trend, he adds, it's toward ever- more-intricate and unusual designs. Stark confirms that. "With CNC machining and water-jet machines, the sky is really the limit. If you can dream it, we can build it. We've worked closely with gauge suppliers to build some clusters that didn't seem possible. We do try to work within some kind of a budget, however, and unfortunately that can some- times be the limiting factor." As for that '32 three-window Stark mentioned earlier: "The dash and inte- rior follow the original Ford design, but we've made it look like the interior of a luxury car. We have been working very closely with Classic Instruments on an original '32 dash insert, because we like the shape and size of the opening; but we've discussed putting new-style gauges into that opening." He says the design team at Classic cre- ated a few different bezel designs, "until we all liked what we were seeing. Greening Auto Com- pany machined the bezel, and Classic built the gauges to our When it comes to gauges and ac- cessories, shops are advised to keep core sellers in stock. (Photos courtesy Marshall Instru- ments) HOT ROD & CUSTOMIZATION

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