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.

More by Matthew Guy

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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.

  • Jkross22 It very much depends on the dealer. Just bought a replacement for the CX9. A local dealer gave a $500 discount on a CPO car while another one gave a few thousand dollar discount but was out of the area and we had to drive 5 hours to get. The local dealer still seems to think it's 2022 and cars appreciate when sitting on the lot. I wish them luck.
  • Ajla "and the $34K price doesn't seem too steep." Respectfully disagree. This would be okay at $29K. $34k clangs into way too much.
  • FreedMike i puUut pUniZhR sTikKr oNn mY KoMMpAs aNd nOW i hEeR Eegle SkReem. (And no one knows it's made in Mexico.)
  • SCE to AUX What a farce.Besides, "patriotism" has been redefined a hundred different ways in the last 20+ years. Disagree with one of them, and you're a traitor.And for starters, Jeep is a Stellantis brand with its HQ in the Netherlands. If this persistent myth about patriotism is ever cracked, the brand is doomed.
  • MaintenanceCosts I'm definitely seeing more dealer-level discounts than I did a year ago, but not a lot of lower MSRPs.