Updating any part of a classic car, while retaining the integrity of its nostalgic feel and appearance, can be difficult. Utilizing a high-tech digital readout in the past meant finding a complete late-model dash from a donor car that could be modified to fit in whatever you were building--not an uncommon exercise for many aspects of building a street machine. The biggest downside to that was the need to completely change almost the entire dashboard to accept a new design. So what if you like the original dash?
Luckily, we can now install a digital readout in many applications, including our project Chevelle, with Dakota Digital's new Series Two Control Box System. The digital gauge system used on the Goodmark car is actually a one-off kit made for the Malibu gauge cluster. Dakota builds the Series Two System for the Super Sport gauge cluster only. With the Super Sport dashes being either non-existent or far too pricey for reality, this problem was quickly resolved with a phone call to Dakota Digital to see if they could build a special kit just for us. The results speak for themselves every time the ignition is twisted and the dash lights up with all the necessary readouts.
Another dilemma in the quest for technology's fitting into a stock location is the sound system. Many advances in the car audio world have been made in the last 10 years and should be utilized in any cruiser today. After all, good sounds are a very important part of cruising down the road. Short of cutting a large, rectangular slot into your dash or building a mount for today's normal DIN-size car stereo under the dash, where do you turn? One way is to contact Custom Autosound, who specializes in putting modern stereo components into a stereo frame built to bolt into the factory radio position. In fact, these units are fully compatible with Kenwood's 6- or 10-CD changers and feature 60 watts of power, separate bass and treble controls, RCA pre-outs, a black or chrome face, and almost every other modern car radio feature necessary.
With the stereo and gauges installed, you'll also see how well the Factory Fit wire loom fits and is adapted to work with all this new technology. Remember, we are attempting to install modern electronics that fit into the factory position, so hopefully the wiring will fit without too many alterations.