Half of hot rodding is personalization. It’s the little touches and changes that express your personality that make your car unique. On the exterior it’s really the wheels that set the tone for a car, but on the interior we’d have to say it’s the gauges. Think about it: you spend an awful lot of time staring at your instrument cluster. Matter of fact, if you’re driving the way we like to drive, they’re the only thing getting a regular glance. You better like the way they look.

Our buddies at Auto Meter certainly have never been thin on options and offerings, and some of their out-of-the-catalog gauges have graced the highest-level hot rods and muscle cars without alteration; their American Muscle series are some of the best-looking ever created in our opinion. But there’s just something about being able to tweak and tailor a gauge to exactly what you want it to look like. Now imagine if you could do it hassle free and at home while staring at your dash.

That’s exactly what Auto Meter’s Director of Social Media Joseph Mills challenged his team to create. “We’ve always gotten special requests, and while we’ve always worked with our customers to provide them exactly what they want, there were limitations in what we could do, and the process wasn’t as easy as it should have been,” Mills told us. “We knew that we could do it better so we came up with a program that allows customers to design their own gauges.” Sounds like a simple idea, but implementing it in a user-friendly way was not: “It took 17 people working seven days a week since last May to perfect it,” Mills added.

The result was well worth the effort though; now just by clicking through a few screens and choosing your options in the Auto Meter Custom Shop, the possibilities expand exponentially; so far there are over 14 trillion combinations of Auto Meter gauges that you can create in the Custom Shop—and that number is only going to continue to grow as Mills and his team expand and refine the program. As of now the Custom Shop allows users to pick the number and type of gauges they want, dial color, font style and color, ticking style and color, retainer color, pointer style and color, bezel style and color, curved glass versus flat, and LED illumination versus incandescent. Yeah, it’s a lot to ponder.

We decided to create some distinctive gauges to replace the awful factory ones in Project EcoNova, our ’77 Nova disco-era machine, so follow along as we take you through the whole process from concept to experimentation, to getting the real deal in the car.

First you tell the Custom Shop how many gauges you need in your package; customization begins with a clean white six-gauge system. We opted for electric sending units on our 160-mph 3⅜-inch speedo, 8,000-rpm tach, and 21/16 ancillary gauges. Fifteen colors are preloaded into the system for the dial, but since Custom Shop are hand-assembled per order, there is an option to choose a custom color that you provide.

SOURCE
Auto Meter
413 W. Elm Street
Sycamore
IL  60178
866-248-6356
http://www.autometer.com
Classic Thunder Road
866-882-3525
www.ClassicThunderRoad.com
Bodie Stroud Industries
818-768-7600
www.BodieStroud.com