Last Call: A Dash of Class Edition

Earlier today we discussed whether or not modern automobile interiors were dull as dishwater compared to those of earlier eras. As proof that they are, I give you the 1984 Chevy Camaro Berlinetta digital dash. Soak in its ’80s amazingness.
Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day.  It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.
Image: Wired

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  1. Wind Advisory Avatar
    Wind Advisory

    That really does look like a choke indicator next to the brake light (Good Eye!)

  2. Citric Avatar

    I am weirdly uncomfortable with how much I like that freestanding stereo, given how irritated I am when designers can’t integrate modern screens into interiors properly.

    1. evan r Avatar
      evan r

      I walked away from a Mazda3 for that very reason – and yes, the Berlinetta radio/tape deck is awesome.

      1. moorewr Avatar

        Ah, bummer, you missed out not only on a superior chassis and car, but on the brilliance of Mazda designers who lowered the cowl of the dash and still put the screen at a convenient angle to the driver.
        Better luck next time!

        1. evan r Avatar
          evan r

          It was a competent car, indeed. It looked like they Velcro-ed a cheap Android tablet to the dash, though. Which actually would be a better idea, because it’s upgrade-able.

    2. smokyburnout Avatar

      when will automakers realize that instead of a screen with instantly outdated software, they can just give us a phone mount on articulated stalk
      and all of the control knobs and switches on a second articulated stalk
      and a third articulated stalk with a bunch of flashing LEDs

      1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

        I wanted one of those so bad back in the 80s.

  3. stigshift Avatar

    I dare you to find one that still works. Lucas had nothing on ’80s GM electronics…

  4. Batshitbox Avatar

    A ribbon tachometer. Wow. And it’s illuminated? Small chance it’s LED? Obviously, being from the ’80s, it must be a vast improvement over those mechanical kludges from the ’70s…

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      Seems like a good entry for the Encyclopedia Hoonatica, if it’s not already there – alternative tach/speedos.
      I like the old Volvo ribbon speedometers.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Of course, I am a fan of the sliding speed limit indicator – and one of the first 5 digit mileage counters:

        1. 0A5599 Avatar

          I think you mean 6 digits.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            I think you are right.

      2. vega60 Avatar

        I am always fascinated by the medical thermometer style of the Mercedes Fintail speedo

      3. Batshitbox Avatar

        “Ribbon” is a strange term to define. I think we’d find that out in this theoretical EncycloHoon diversion. I would limit it to gauges that exhibited no trace of radial motion; though rotating parts would have to be allowed.
        Where the Torino in the video has an indicator that sweeps left to right while remaining vertical, it’s just a regular tachometer mechanism turned 90 degrees so its axis is vertical and its motion is in the horizontal. Likewise, the linear numbers on some dashboards were just swept by a regular, radial indicator.
        The Fintail that vega60 mentions comes closest to true, mechanical linear readout. I’m not sure how they were arranged, but in my ideal world the red part would be the area under a curve defined by the equation that defines the measuring instrument’s true motion. This would be printed on a scroll (a ribbon!) driven by the instrument. Much better for a fuel gauge than a speedo, though.
        My favorites are the ones where the indicator needle is fixed and the dial rotates behind it, as seen in a ship’s compass and many aircraft gauges. They’re like the Magic Eight Ball toys to me.

        1. Vairship Avatar

          Actually, from what I can see in the video it appears that the fintail speedo consists of a vertical axis rotating cylinder with a yellow/red triangle painted on it (yellow at the low end of the triangle, red at the taller end). Only a small portion of the cylinder/triangle is visible through the narrow rectangular sight glass.
          The numbers are printed on plastic (Bakelite?) that hides the rest of the cylinder.

  5. Sjalabais Avatar

    Want to rant about a diminuitive future? My local newspaper tested the DS4 Crossback yesterday, sort of Citroën’s premium hatchback, lifted 3cm. There’s no space in the rear doors, so one can’t open the rear windows. Car caught heavy flak for stupid development priorities on several corners. This paper has a happy, positive approach to all cars, usually, but this non-Citroën-badged Citroën fell flat through.×653.jpg

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Just wait ’till the Hatchovër comes out!

    2. ptschett Avatar

      Citroen must have left the US market a few years too early for them to have known about the wretched fixed rear door glass in late-disco-era Malibus…

      1. dead_elvis Avatar

        Ugh, we had a Buick Century wagon with those terrible rear door windows (plus, useless vent wings). And of course, Dad being Dad, vinyl/no AC. Made for some seriously miserable summer road trips.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          The spoil of a century! Ha!
          Seriously, we went on 4000km+ roadtrips with a family of four in a VW Scirocco. The only car we could afford on a used car market that was totally emptied after reunification of the two Germanys – it was hot and miserable. Orange juice warmed up to 50C destroyed the concept of juice for me for a small decade.

          1. dead_elvis Avatar

            That must have been painful. I’ve folded my adult self into the back seat of one of these a few times.

          2. tea party jesus Avatar
            tea party jesus

            I still think it’s a great-looking car, and although it must have been an exercise in misery at times, I bet it still provides some unforgettable family stories.

          3. Sjalabais Avatar

            Got to admit, when I posted the image yesterday, it was the first time it didn’t repulse me – and we’re 25 years in. I love roadtrips now and they had their bright side back then, too. My parents were car people, but of the cheap sort (eh, so am I). My mother pushed a Twingo to 182kph once, way out of its range. We could drive from Italy to Germany in one night, doing solid 3-digit-averages. First time in Scandinavia, being passed by a boxy 240 was a shock to my stepfather.

        2. Tanshanomi Avatar

          We had a 1979 Malibu sedan. Trust me, the A/C was so weak it didn’t help much.

        3. stigshift Avatar

          My condolences…

          1. dead_elvis Avatar

            Also, those rear vent windows aren’t terribly useful for vomiting out of, at least not at highway speeds.

          2. stigshift Avatar

            That’s a particularly bad visual…

          3. dead_elvis Avatar

  6. casho2015 Avatar

    I love this dash! Side pods with lots of buttons. That stand alone stereo. Sporty wheel. 4 analogue gauges. Digital speedo and rev counter. And the pizza resistance (sic) the yellow section, straight out of KITT.