Ford Slides Retro Gauges into Mustang, Should Do F-150 Next

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

It is flummoxing when automakers decide to saddle an enormous expanse of digital real estate with relatively few display options. Sure, the whole so-called Calm Screen from Hackett-era products at Ford was a fine idea – but not without supplementary options from which to choose.

Fortunately, someone at Ford finally plowed through the red tape and infused the new Mustang with entertaining choices. First, a Fox Body-style gauge option was on tap, a neat throwback now joined by a display selection inspired by the 1967-1968 model years. Best of all, it found its way into cars by way of an over-the-air update.

According to the company, hundreds of individual Mustang gauge clusters spanning a bunch of years were evaluated to create this new Heritage look. A realistic chrome render wraps these gauges, just like the polished metal used in 1967-1968, a feature which is said to even reflect the needle as it sweeps around the gauge. It’s that type of attention to detail which makes these efforts enjoyable instead of an eye-rolling attempt at pandering to the fan base.

Since it seems to be the Blue Oval leading this innovation charge, we’ll take the opportunity to suggest other excellent gauge clusters from the brand’s history for future consideration. As a child of the ‘80s, this writer suggests anything from the old-school green LCD digital era, such as this display from the  Probe or these from the  Crown Vic, though it’s up for debate what current models in which they would be appropriate. 

Maybe it would be better if the truck division could get to work with the F-150’s cluster to replicate  these from the ‘90s or  this set from the Bullnose era. Actually, the latter would work perfectly in the existing cluster, with appropriate gauges on the left and right plus the option of a tach in the center (most trims had a blank plate in that space back in the day).

Give us a call, Ford. We’ve a ton more ideas.

[Image: Ford]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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2 of 18 comments
  • Merc190 Merc190 on Apr 22, 2024

    Howp bout a retro mode where a manual choke lever pops out if the dash and only 1st, 2nd and 4th gears are operational.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Apr 22, 2024

    Show a digital map of each head gasket with next predicted failure points highlighted.

  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."
  • Jeff Does this really surprise anyone? How about the shoes and the clothes you wear. Anything you can think of that is either directly made in China or has components made in China likely has some slave labor involved. The very smart phone, tablet, and laptop you are using probably has some component in it that is either mined or made by slave labor. Not endorsing slave labor just trying to be real.
  • Jeff Self-driving is still a far ways from being perfected. I would say at the present time if my car took over if I had a bad day I would have a much worse day. Would be better to get an Uber
  • 2manyvettes Time for me to take my 79 Corvette coupe out of the garage and drive if to foil the forces of evil. As long as I can get the 8 track player working...