Friday, January 4, 2013

Stewart Warner Boat Gauge Panels

One of the many avenues that SW pursued, and created great examples in, were the custom classes of boat gauges and panels.



Each panel in the Marine catalog had an equivalent "hot rod" application. The Ensign was The Straight Five",  the "Master" was the Hollywood Panel", and so on.


1948 SW Marine gauge panel brochure





And, being the sharp business hustlers in Chicago, they used some stock Detroit panels for both. This early 1930's Willys panel was also used in the 1938 Chris Craft, with slightly different gauges...







There were other boat styles that were used as hot rod set-ups, like this 1940's four-gauge panel...







And the three-gauge version, like this from a Scripps military boat...







The most beautiful, in my opinion, was the circa 1947-1948 Chris Craft Deluxe panel, (all SW, of course).








A round, "plain Jane" panel was in heavy use for Palmer and Chrysler-powered boats, like this style...


This first panel has been retro-fitted with 1960's SW gauges, the next one is all original.




And they made the occasional, single function, big 5" gauge, usually a tachometer, like this early 1950's reverse-read tach.



 

They were a smart, and dominant company. Next update we'll start looking at rare individual examples, including the rarest of them all...any guesses?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stewart Warner, The King of Gauges


There has never been an equal to the impact of the Stewart Warner gauge company on hod rod and race instrumentation, in both impact and ubiquitousness as with this legendary company's products. Since the 30's, SW has provided the top-end race instruments, stock factory gauges, and custom calibrated speedometers, tachometers and more. 
This is part one of that story...






 The late 1940's to late 1950's was the height of Stewart Warner's popularity in hot rod gauge use. They were everywhere, used in Allards...

From the 40's



To the 50's




and Fords...

1934 Ford Stewart Warner speedometer

And even Police cars...







   In the next update, we'll take a look at the early incarnations, and why they took command of the race market so easily.