The '66-67 Chevelle has some of the most killer exterior lines of the A-body cars. The long deck lid, sunk-in rear window, and angled C pillars are some of the things that make this muscle car one of the favorites in this author's eyes. Unlike the exterior, the interior is not nearly as cool, specifically the dashboard. The sunken instrument cluster and radio area make it difficult to add aftermarket goodies like gauges and a modern head unit. While you can squeak in some gauges and a radio, the looks can leave something to be desired. And we won't get into when the head unit ejects the CD into the upper area of the dash.
We have been slowly wrenching on a '66 that will be a test mule for all kinds of things and wanted a full assortment of big, easy to read gauges, but didn't want them placed around the dash all willy-nilly. A few months back, we installed a shaved firewall panel we got from ABC Performance and that is when we found out about the company's Pro Touring dash. Tony G, owner of ABC, takes a stock instrument panel and works some sheetmetal magic to remove the upper portion of it and widen the opening for an gauge insert. This mod allows you to install a combination of two 5-inch gauges (speedometer and tachometer), and six 2 5/8-inch gauges, or two 5-inch gauges and four 2 5/8-inch gauges, while still leaving room for a single-DIN radio and center air conditioning vent.
After the metal on the dash has been redesigned, ABC offers an aluminum insert to which you can add all your gauges. The company offers precut inserts with all the gauges holes or you can get a blank insert and come up with your own layout. We decided to get a blank insert because we still need to finalize the drivetrain so we are not quite sure what gauges we'll need. What is really cool about the Pro Touring piece is that it's still a stock panel around the outside so it will bolt right into the Chevelle. One thing to note about this Pro Touring dash is you will need to relocate all of the components (ignition, headlight, wiper, and the lighter) that reside in the upper portion of the dash.