Vintage truck builders invest enormous effort improving the exterior's appearance, but often ignore the interior. When you are in your truck cruising around, what do you look at the most? Most likely it's your instrument cluster. When we talk about old trucks, these can really start to show their age, and no amount of wax will keep the needles from fading. Dealing with early C10 pickups, '67-72, to be exact, the cluster comes apart very easily. There are even upgrades available. Traditionally, these trucks came with a few empty holes in their symmetrical layout that could house a factory tachometer and a vacuum gauge. If you want to restore what you already have, then you can get the parts that are too far gone to bring back. Alternatively, if you want all the bells and whistles, you can get those too, because as we all know, Chevrolet is the king of interchangeability.
We wanted to freshen up a cluster for one of our project trucks. So we phoned Stan, the man with the plan, over at Early Classic Enterprises-provider of all things early Chevy truck-to get a new bezel assembly and all the parts to convert to a tach/vacuum dash. Not only does he sell the components separately, but he also has complete instrument clusters available. We ordered all the pieces it would take to do the conversion and set forth to restore the rest of the cluster ourselves. Looking back, we should have bought the whole assembly. We found out the hard way that one of our original gauges didn't work. Spending a little extra money at the beginning would have saved us time and some consternation in the long run. Still, we learned how to renew Chevy instruments-a valuable skill considering the hobby we enjoy.