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?

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