When it comes to building old trucks, it can seem like you're toying with a double-edged sword. On one hand you want the style and look of some vintage tin, yet you also want the amenities of a late-model vehicle. Things such as suspension, brakes, and motors are a few things that are handled with ease. By simply swapping new mechanics for old, one isn't jeopardizing the look and feel of a truck. The truck still looks vintage, but performs like a late-model-it's a win-win situation. The only problem is that not all areas are cured that easily. Or are they?

When dealing with '47-53 GM trucks, there are a lot of areas that need to be dealt with, one being mechanical. Things such as front axles, inline-sixes, drum brakes, and more, aren't exactly what we look for in a modern-day hot rod. Yet those downfalls are easily worked around without straying much from the look of one of those trucks. But what happens when you install that 350 motor and your six-volt system is no longer an option? On top of that, the gauges in those trucks are dialed-in for the early Stovebolt sixes. They're not set up to be able to monitor the higher speeds, oil pressure, and temperatures of today's motors. The six-volt problem is once again cured with a new harness-but as for the gauges, normally one will install a three-pod gauge setup under the dash, or all-new aftermarket instruments. The problem is that that simple fix strays from the classic and timeless look of the cab of one of those trucks. However, nowadays Chevs of the 40's has a solution that will satisfy both blades of the sword: form and function.

Chevs of the 40's makes reproduction gauges for the '47-53 trucks that look just like the original gauges-only their new gauges are set up for late-model engines. This means you can finally have your cake and eat it too. On their new gauges, the temperature gauge now runs up to 220 as opposed to 212, and the oil pressure reads up to 60 psi versus the old 30 psi. When it comes to the speedometer, the Chevs unit reads up to 90 mph, a full 10 mph over the stock gauge. Also, the new gauges come with all the hookups to monitor your engine vitals. With this setup one gets the modern-day features, while still retaining the classic look of the cab.

For the past few months Sam Head has been knee-deep in building his '53 Chevy. He has already dropped in a late-model 350 and more. Now he needs to equip the cab with instruments. Wanting to keep the stock look of the Chevy, he decided the Chevs of the 40's gauges are exactly the ticket. He even ordered various other restoration parts from Chevs to round out his dash. Check out what it takes to install a new old dash into an A-D Chevy.