By on February 24, 2012

I’ve been pulling car clocks from junked cars for several years now, gathering them for a seriously unnecessary sculpture project, and now I’ve got 50 or so of the things in boxes in my office. We started this series with this 1980 Toyota Cressida fluorescent digital clock, made by Jeco, and now I’m going to make it a regular series. Today’s clock is also a Jeco, but this one is a handsome analog unit with a weird conical plastic faceplate. Before you make the jump and see the answer, guess what year/make/model car produced this clock!

1978 Toyota Corona Station Wagon

It was a red-letter day when I found a super-rare Corona clock in the junkyard; the lowly Corollas and trucks had a different, less snazzy unit (if they had the clock option at all). This one works, too— a rarity among analog junkyard clocks, even the Japanese ones. Be honest now and tell us what you though it was.

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24 Comments on “Name That Car Clock: Jeco Analog With Conical Cover...”

  • avatar

    The conical part made me think of Toyota but I was thinking Corolla.

  • avatar

    Interesting to see some history on the capped-conical gauge cover. My ’06 Element has the same shape, and I assumed it was just Honda being intentionally weird.

  • avatar

    I was pretty sure it was a 70’s Toyota something. Those horn buttons are vaguely hilarious.

  • avatar

    That looks like a Celica Clock but early Celica clocks weren’t cone shaped.

  • avatar

    I was going to guess mid-70s Celica.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I guessed Toyota, but that’s it. Interesting factoid: one of the many changes the Japanese invasion brought to the U.S. automotive marketplace was selling cars “fully equipped,” i.e. with a clock and a radio included.

    Prior to that, those were extra-cost options on American cars (with possible exception of “luxury cars” like Cadillac and Lincoln). If you bought a “stripper” there was just a plastic panel where the clock or the radio was supposed to go. How do I know? My dad always bought strippers. Our 3 Chevy’s (’58, ’63, ’66) never had clocks, never had radios (until I put an aftermarket unit into the ’66). The ’57 didn’t have turn signals (optional) or a passenger-side sun visor (optional) or a right side outside rearview mirror (also optional). The ’63 had turn signals and maybe the ’66 had dual sun visors. Dad always popped for the extra cost heater which admitted outside air, rather than simply recirculating cabin air.

    No carpets, no a/c, 3-on-the-tree manual transmission.

  • avatar

    I GUESSED RIGHT! right down to the year. That could be my mother’s ’78 wagon in the pic. Except that looks brown, could be the lighting. Hers was the deep burgundy/wine or whatever the marketing guys were calling it. My brother and I (and a few classmates) learned to drive in “Burt.” Virtually indestructible, fortunate because in Canada Corona parts were few and far between.

  • avatar

    Nice. I still prefer analog clocks to digital, and that one is really very nice looking. The Japanese option packages really did a lot for making luxury options like clocks commonplace.

    It wasn’t that long ago that right side mirrors were and extra cost option on a lot of otherwise pretty nice cars, but on the other hand, you could order a Chevy station wagon with a 454, a 3.9:1 rear end, two-tone paint, no heater, and a record player if it suited your fancy.

    Today, not so much

  • avatar

    That conical clock is nostalgia for me. I used to look at that clock all the time as a youth. The Toyota Corona was the first car my mom bought for herself after she finished grad school in the seventies. I always loved that Corona because I considered it as a huge step up from the old clunky Dodge Dart that my grandpa used to drive us in. And now, I realize how much gas it must have saved her in seventies and early eighties. And this was in South East Asia. What was a Dodge Dart doing that part of the world? Ask my grandpa. And while you’re at it, ask him how he converted his Dart to diesel (a cheaper fuel).

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I guess that makes you a sucker for clocks with a pretty face?

  • avatar

    I actually know a junkyard with an older Corona I am going to grab the clock now. Its a liftback though.

  • avatar

    I love ‘Name That Clock’. Would also like to see ‘Name That Tachometer’.

  • avatar

    Believe it or not I have a very hard-to-find Jeco wall clock from that era that looks similar (black dial with orange-red markers and hands, and chrome details).

    It is absolutely as-new, and features a quirky tuning-fork electric movement (it was the precursor to the quartz movement that vibrated a metal fork at high frequency with an electric current as a means of running and regulating the movement). It buzzes happily on my wall for months at a time with a C-cell battery, keeping damn near perfect time – it actually runs more accurately than any more modern quartz clock I’ve had.

    I work in the watch industry and I’ve always had a soft spot for tuning fork mechanisms so when I came across this one I had to have it. It’s a great conversation piece.

  • avatar

    Funny thing about electric clocks. Back in the mid 90’s I was restoring a ’62 Cadillac convertible here in the Palm Springs area. There were plenty of early 60s Cadillacs in the scrap yards here. I pulled every clock I could find and they often had a tag on them from a repair business near LA. The date was usually 2 years after the car build date. I guess the dealers sent them there as warranty repairs.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Auto clocks especially the pre-digital electrical-mechanical ones seem to have a short life span. I owned a number of cars from the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s that had electric clocks that would not keep time. Wind them or slap them and they might work. But cars I owned since then the quality improved and they were trouble-free.

  • avatar

    I guessed correct. But I did own a Corona.

  • avatar

    I thought it was a late 70’s Corolla. I owned a 77 Corolla with 3 pods. One for gauges, one for speedometer and a blank one meant for a clock…All the gauges had a conical plastic cover.

  • avatar

    My 1979 Honda Accord has a Jeco clock, too. Funny thing about that one is that the reset knob is on the left side, which means that your hand blocks your view of the face when setting it. It’s one of several little right-hand-drive details they either didn’t bother or forgot to change over for US cars. Another is the radio, with on-off/volume on the right side, station select on the left, which is reverse of the usual US convention.

  • avatar

    The conical shape had a reason: To break-up the reflection. Much clearer than flat gauges. I saw this first in the original VW Golf (Rabbit).

  • avatar

    Hey, Ive got this exact car that Im having trouble finding parts to. Can you let me know which salvage yard this is at so I can quit searching. PS I have the same clock so I knew exactly what it was. Of course mine doesnt work.

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