A100 Hell Project: Finally, the Right Tachometer

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
a100 hell project finally the right tachometer

The thing about my ’66 Dodge A100 van project that makes it a challenge is that I’m going for an early 1970s customization job, not the far easier late 1970s routine. My van won’t have Aztecs On Mars airbrush murals or a wood-burning stove (not that there’s anything wrong with those things), but it does have a telephone-handset-style 23-channel CB radio, (faux) Cragar S/S wheels, and now it has a Watergate-burglary-era cheap aftermarket tachometer.

You could buy this type of no-name tach from J.C. Whitney or Manny, Moe, and Jack for at least two solid decades. It’s got the right blend of 50s industro-chic and Early Malaise Era plasticky cheapness to go with my Sportsman Custom’s instrument cluster, which probably cost Chrysler about $4.17 to make. It will look just right bolted to the steering column.

I’m pretty sure the 4-6-8 selector feature on generic tachometers didn’t appear until the 1980s, but the Japanese factory that made these things probably didn’t change the essential design from its early-60s original until Gulf War I.

I picked up this gauge at the same yard that gave me the TBI intake for my van’s eventual Megasquirt conversion. Right now, the fuel tank is getting cleaned and having a return-line fitting added, so an EFI 318 should be powering my van in the not-incredibly-distant future.

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2 of 16 comments
  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Jul 08, 2011

    I put a modern - all black plastic, circular readout - version of that tach on my '87 Grand Am. "Seriously, the Iron Duke is capable of over 10,000 rpm. See! Do you really think it would sound that rough at only 5200?" I enjoyed that car.

  • -Nate -Nate on Sep 16, 2012

    A Madman Muntz stereo is what it needs..... " Motor Minders " were in vouge in the 1950's and again in the late 1970's , they're very useful for proper tuning and diagnosis once you learn how to read them . Old Boat Tachometers typically only go to 6 K RPM's and so are much better in stock vintage vehicles . In 1967 in rural New Hampshire , I logged more miles in a Dodge A-100 Sportsman than you'd think possible , it was a sturdy truck , just right for dragging 8 kids or tools around . We even drove it to Canada a few times . -Nate

  • Philip This raises two questions for me:[list=1][*]What happens to all of the chargepoint that we have installed at our homes? Do those all have to be replaced?[/*][*]What happens to all of the billions of dollars from the federal government being spent on non-tesla ports at wal-marts and pilot service centers? [/*][/list=1]
  • FreedMike I didn't know the 318 was made in anything but that ugly hatchback style.
  • Jkross22 Good for the seller selling at the right time. I don't see 7 grand here for a 30 year old 318i, but as the late John Candy said, "You don't make any calls, you don't make any sales."
  • Analoggrotto For Tesla owns the entire universe, General Motors is allowed to have part of the heavens on earth, but only true Tesla owners, the first and true followers of Elon Musk will see the purest of Elysium.
  • Probert The only extra port I see happening is a V2G outlet. I don't think the Tesla port supports this. To have both CCS and Tesla would involve masses of cabling and expense that would be absurd in a game of nickels and dimes.