Monte Carlo, Mille Miglia, Nurburgring .
These are the deadliest curves, filled with the legends of men, machines and immortality.
Join me for a tour of the giants of racing, from 1896 through the 1960's, and their pictures and stories.
Blood, victory, defeat and courage; often in the same race.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
One-Offs #5: The Reverse-Read Stewart Warner Tachometer
Another in my continuing series on unusual rarities in the gauge and cockpit arenas...
This is a tach that I had not seen before or since I acquired it. It's a reverse-read (counter-clockwise) RPM gauge made by Stewart Warner, in the bigger 5" size.
1950 Stewart Warner Tachometer , Reverse-Read
At first glance, this looks nautical. That gold and black color scheme was similar to popular vintage combinations for boat parts makers like Chris Craft and Century.
Vintage Chris Craft Temperature Gauge
1955 Century Boat Oil Pressure Gauge
Plus, the reverse-read was a much more common calibration for boats, given their preponderance of twin engines...
However, on closer inspection of the SW tach, we notice a couple of things. The RPM range refers to the INSIDE track graphics, meaning that the revolutions per minute were on on the low end of the scale, signifying big engine, slow revs.
And naturally, that means that the 70 is the top speed indicator, which doesn't rule out boats, but the lower RPM's make it unlikely.
The back doesn't offer much help...
It has a brass light-hole plug, and brass was the standard case material for boat gauges but the case itself is steel. So no clue there, but it leans towards non-marine use, especially from this time-period.
I didn't dwell on it, and because it had such striking graphics, I just cleaned it up and had it recalibrated so that the outside track now is the RPM range. 7-grand is a decent range to have for any car up into the 1970's.
This guy would look great paired with a speedo that read clockwise. Imagine stepping on the gas, and watching the speedometer and tachometer needles swing towards each other like High-school lovers running to kiss after returning from a three-month Summer break...