A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

  1. Welcome to GM Inside News Forum – General discussion forum for GM

    Welcome to GM Inside News Forum - a website dedicated to all things GM.

    You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, Join GM Inside News Forum today!
     
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29

Thread: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

  1. #1
    2.8 Liter Turbocharged V6 Syclone478's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    763
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    I've always been fascinated by electronic displays. The first one I saw used in the instrument panel of a car was on a field trip; one of the driving parents had a new Lincoln Town Car (I have no idea exactly what year it was but roughly 1981-82). It looked simple even at that time and even to a kid, but the mere fact that electronics were at work and being displayed digitally made it feel like I was peering through a window into the future.

    Today's electronic displays are incredible but, in some random searching, I started to come across an interesting collection of early digital instrument display pictures and thought I would share. There were some really wild ones from the '80s by other manufacturers, mostly foreign, but I've only included GM displays here.

    I did it quickly and just for fun so it is by no means an exhaustive presentation (or even quality, in some cases). Also, if anyone sees an error in the dates or model descriptions, please correct me.

    Some came from an interesting web site (which includes some of the wild ones I referred to) called Double You Digital here: http://www.doubleyoudigital.nl/~cars...dashboards.php

    On to the pictures...


    1978 Cadillac Seville


    1984 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta


    1984 Chevrolet Corvette


    1985 Cadillac El Dorado


    1986 Buick Riviera


    1986 Cadillac Cimarron


    1986 Cadillac DeVille


    1986 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24


    1986 Oldsmobile Toronado


    1987 Buick Grand National


    1987 Cadillac Allante


    1987 Pontiac 6000


    1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am


    1988 Buick Regal


    1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme


    1988 Pontiac Grand Prix


    1989 Buick Reatta


    1989 Cadillac Seville


    1989 Chevrolet S10


    1990 Buick Reatta


    1990 Cadillac El Dorado


    1990 Chevrolet Corvette


    1991 Cadillac DeVille


    1991 Chevrolet Caprice


    1992 Cadillac Fleetwood


    1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham


    1993 Oldsmobile Delta 88


    1996 GM EV1


    It seems strange that the vibrant colors and ambitiously busy, technical look of the '80s lead into an oversimplified, generally boring monochromatic look in the early '90s.

    With that said, I think my underwhelming boyhood glimps into the future (gleened in the early 1980s from a Town Car's archaic digital dash) has finally come to fruition in CUE...

    Last edited by Syclone478; 03-06-2012 at 06:28 PM.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    GM Inside News
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Hitman1970's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    7,294
    Thanks
    85
    Thanked 24 Times in 18 Posts
    My Ride
    2012 Regal Turbo PG1 Cr Red Tc

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    Thanks for posting that. Some of those 80s interior shots took me back to my teenage years. Still think the 1984 Corvette and 1987 Trans Am are cool looking. The 1990 Reatta's monochrome is at least the right shade of blue green to preserve peripheral night vision light a military aircraft cockpit.
    Current: 12 Buick Regal Turbo Premium I Group (Crystal Red/Cashmere with sunroof) and 09 Saturn Outlook XR

    Previous: 09 Pontiac G8 GT (09-12), 06 Buick LaCrosse CXS (06-09), 05 Ford Freestyle SEL (05-09) 02 Hyundai Elantra GT (01-06), 00 VW Jetta (00-05), 85 Mercedes 350 SEL (99-01), 84 BMW 316 (98-99), 90 Mitsubishi Mirage(91-98), 79 Chrysler LeBaron (88-90), 73 Dodge Dart Swinger (87-88).

  4. #3
    Banned MCGARRETT's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    7,944
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 288 Times in 117 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    The geeky 80's kid in me does have a crush on digital displays, I remember how cool the GCC touch screen display in the Riviera seemed when it came out in 1986.

  5. #4
    Chevrolet VOLT F14CRAZY's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Dimondale, MI
    Posts
    10,214
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 112 Times in 74 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    you need the digital ones the Chevy trucks had lolz
    '07 Subaru Forester 2.5X 5MT. Bought new. 164k miles. '05 Dodge Durango Limited Hemi AWD. Mom bought new. 90k miles. '74 Buick LeSabre Luxus convertible. 455/7.5L, Quadrajet, dual exhaust. '89 Buick Reatta. 3800 SII L67/F40 six speed swap to be completed someday.

    '87 BMW K75. Pichler V1 fairing. '87 Kawasaki 650SX. '85 Bayliner Capri 1952. 3.0L OMC. Restored. '71 Chris Craft Coho 33'. Twin 327QA's. Basketcase but restoration in progress. '70? Amphicat 6x6 AATV. 13 hp Honda swap.

  6. #5
    2.8 Liter Turbocharged V6 Syclone478's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    763
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    My pleasure Hitman1970! They certainly took me back to my teen years as well. And I agree about the '84 Corvette and '87 Trans Am's still being cool, the latter's in particular. From the eighties on, Pontiac seemed to be skilled with interior and button/control lighting. In high school I had an '85 Trans Am, not with the digital dash but it was the year they updated the interior and added lots of red backlighting. Dang, I loved that car.

    MCGARRETT, I remember reading about the Riviera's touch-screen display in Motor Trend at the time. It was the first of its kind (according to Wiki... used only for casual discussions) and had a 9-inch CRT display! CRT for cryin out loud!! Neat stuff.


    In the '80s, it seems the domestics had a jump on colorful and interactive digital displays ahead of the Japanese makes, interestingly enough. Although, some Japanese manufacturers made some neat displays as well.

    The '85 300ZX had a really cool display...


    same thing with their 1986 200SX...


    Subaru's 1986 XT Turbo's(?) dash was a bit underwhelming but did look kind of 3d-ish...


    Here's a fun one. Actually, it's a mess (why does EVERYTHING have to be accessible from the steering wheel?). Looks like a stage prop from Judge Dredd or Demolition Man. I believe it is a 1982 Lancia Orca (ItalDesign)...

  7. #6
    2.8 Liter Turbocharged V6 Syclone478's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    763
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    Quote Originally Posted by F14CRAZY View Post
    you need the digital ones the Chevy trucks had lolz
    If it's the one available on the late 80s to early 90s models you mean, it's there.

    That's another one I remember staring at in the brochure (for hours) dreaming about...

    1989 Chevrolet S10

  8. #7
    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Smaart Aas Saabr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Montréal, Québec
    Posts
    17,763
    Thanks
    39
    Thanked 110 Times in 80 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    They are so laughably dated

  9. #8
    News Contributor FBODYRULES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    little NewZealand
    Posts
    2,162
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    My Ride
    AMERICAN

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    wicked!!!!! i love them. my 83 imperial has a good digital vfd dash

    think of someone that you consider to be of average intelligence...
    half the worlds population is stupider than that person.


    I own and drive classics, check them here:
    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/621647

    GMi RIA concept cars i designed:
    http://www.gminsidenews.com/naias/revitalization/

    http://ultimategto.com/cgi-bin/showc...008/08_00102_1

  10. #9
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 VS Ute 5Litre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Wagga NSW
    Posts
    8,567
    Thanks
    100
    Thanked 309 Times in 202 Posts
    My Ride
    2008 SX Holden Captiva Diesel

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    Holden Calais dash circa 1985


  11. #10
    2.8 Liter Turbocharged V6 Syclone478's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    763
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    Quote Originally Posted by VS Ute 5Litre View Post
    Holden Calais dash circa 1985
    Nice! I like how the designers provided the words "ELECTRONIC" (printed in classic '80s futuristic font). I suppose in the hair-raising event the driver forgot, it's tactically positioned. Looks like there's an information center at the top right in red LCD. It really seems like, relative to those from the early '90s, the earlier attempts not only provided more information but arguably looked more sophisticated, or at least were striving to.

    As commented previously, Pontiac had some real cutting edge ideas but even Chevy was pulling off some impressive stuff. The '84 Corvette's standard instrument panel appears entirely ahead of it's time. Unfortunately, the image of the '84 Camaro Berlinetta's interior looked so much nicer than it actually was in person. My friend's older sister had one and, as anxious as I was to try it, after my first hands-on experience, I'd seen enough. Not only did it suffer from the common '80s-era quality issues, it was very cumbersome. Although visually appealing at first, everything didn't seem thought out. The rickety, pivoting HVAC/radio/tape player tower always made me wonder how long until it was going to snap and dangle by wires at the passenger's feet. That never happened but certain functions were sometimes reluctant to work. Great peice of history though.

  12. #11
    3.6 Liter SIDI V6 RedHotMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,207
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 72 Times in 46 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    Quote Originally Posted by VS Ute 5Litre View Post
    Holden Calais dash circa 1985

    That is *the* reason I bought my VK Director back in the day. The car was great but the dash was sooooo different

    RedHotMike

  13. #12
    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 VS Ute 5Litre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Wagga NSW
    Posts
    8,567
    Thanks
    100
    Thanked 309 Times in 202 Posts
    My Ride
    2008 SX Holden Captiva Diesel

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    I never drove one but i believe that they had a really good trip computer

  14. #13
    3.6 Liter SIDI V6 RedHotMike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    1,207
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 72 Times in 46 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    Quote Originally Posted by VS Ute 5Litre View Post
    I never drove one but i believe that they had a really good trip computer
    I found it about as reliable as my great grand father at finding water with a divining rod. Granted it was a neat gizmo for the day.

    Red Hot Mike

  15. #14
    Firebird Concept (the turbine one)
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    11,790
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 187 Times in 118 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    All the digital gauges shown are interesting, but the CUE beats the rest by a wide margin. To me, the best combination is analog and digital instrumentation, especially on standard instrumentation, such as speed, oil pressure, coolant temp, trans temp, fuel gauge, etc.

  16. #15
    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    France
    Posts
    17,612
    Thanks
    70
    Thanked 49 Times in 32 Posts

    Re: A Look Back at Some Early GM Digital Dashboards

    Quote Originally Posted by VS Ute 5Litre View Post
    Holden Calais dash circa 1985

    What does the switch at the bottom left do? If you turn it to the right when you'er at the beach, does the car start surfing?
    All are heartily encouraged to check out and join the Facebook group for my automotive blog: https://www.facebook.com/groups/theautomotiveattic/

  17. Remove Advertisements
    GM Inside News
    Advertisements
     

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.1.2