Fabricating a Throwback Dashboard for a Square Body

April 26th, 2011

Text and Photos by Marcel Venable

So where do you start, and what’s the best way to perform such a feat? We began our quest searching through wrecking yards with our trusty measuring tape, a reciprocating saw and a current tetanus shot. The primary characteristics to look for in a dash are similar width and height to the old version; this will make installation simpler.

All of you guys who have been living under a rock for the past five years; this article is for you! Some of the most influential truck builds from the previous five years seen right here in the pages of Street Trucks have installed a custom throwback dashboard.Pulling off this mod on your truck has its pros and cons, plus it does involve some fabrication skills and a fair amount of imagination, as well. Done correctly, you’ll be the envy of all of your fellow club members. Done the wrong way, your truck might not even run at all.

In reality this is the final frontier of metal modifications that can really make your truck stand out from the rest of the bunch. Take this as an example: The dashboard is the one item on your truck that you’ll spend the majority of your time looking at while driving. Plus, most of the time, the interior is the last place where truck enthusiasts focus their attention. Even then most interiors are plain, re-covered versions of the OEM equipment.

Here’s a chance to get your creative juices flowing and dive headfirst into metal fab. One of the great pros that you’ll receive from this transformation is style. Nothing beats retro or the throwback styling of the dashes from yesteryear. If individuality and uniqueness are what you’re looking for, then start searching for a custom retro dash. Also, be sure to look for something that has either very clean stock accessories, or is supported by an aftermarket manufacturer that makes reproduction parts. You don’t want to get stuck with some oddball unit that you can’t get parts for.

I do have to make you aware of a few things though, which are the cons of this type of mod. This will take considerable time to fab, and keep in mind too that you might have to rewire some items, move your heating/air conditioning system, or even your steering column. If you’re not the best at any of those tasks, then this isn’t the first modification to try out on your daily driver.

Don’t be scared, though! Remember, stock sucks! It’s just a truck made out of metal that can always be put back to the way it was originally made. (Lord help us all!)


Chevy Truck Salvage


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Miller Electric



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