One of the best parts of having a classic restoration is having the opportunity to make parts of your vintage Defender like new again. Restoring or upgrading your original Defender’s gauges can completely transform the interior of your vehicle. If you need any further motivation to upgrade your gauges or to do a complete Defender dash restoration, here’s some motivation for why you should just take the leap:
Gauges come in a variety of styles, colors, and sets. From a nickel finish to customized colored pointers, the look and style of your Defender’s gauges can be an element that can be an easy upgrade for the average person working to restore their Defender. Sites like YouTube have tutorials if you’re a DIYer, and places like Rover’s North sell some of the more classic styles.
Whether your Defender has a more modern puma dash or a classic (called TD5) styled dashboard, new gauges can add both style and, most importantly, functionality. Nothing’s worse than driving a restored Defender and NOT knowing how fast you’re going, or worse, how much gas is left in your tank.
You’d want to make sure that your new or restored gauges match the current style of your vehicle or the style you’re upgrading it to. If you have a modern-looking Defender, Moal Bomber is a popular gauge brand (some of our most recent builds use these). Some of our favorite classic style gauges come from brands like Nostalgia VT and Classic Instruments. These gauges make your restoration stay true to its original style while adding the modern convenience of working right and looking good, and that’s something you can’t beat.
If you’re having a custom Defender built and restored, you should have a range of gauges styles to choose from. It may seem like a small detail, but if you think about how often you look at your vehicle’s gauges, the details tend to make the most significant difference in your driving experience. It’s also the details that take your classic Defender and turn it into a true restored masterpiece with your own personal touch.
Research is key! Tackling a puma dashboard install or restoration might be a bit more than a self-taught car restorer can take on, so be sure to know your resources for fixing or repairing your repairs. Other upgrades you can have done while you’re at it include adding new controls, switches, ac vents, and a steering wheel that really pulls everything together. Some aftermarket parts manufacturers even sell kits that allow you to easily upgrade some of these features.
If you aren’t ready to take the project on yourself, see what companies like ECD can do to offer custom upgrades for your beloved classic. Check out our showcase page to get some inspiration for styles.
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