Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dissect A Dash: The 1937 Ford Daniel La Lee Streamliner

Here we have the Daniel La Lee Streamliner, built around 1937 on a Ford chassis, a one-of-a-kind homebuilt that looked like all the ideas of a Chrysler prototype design meeting glued together. 

A very slick and smooth surface reduced resistance by 50% (according to the designer), but the array of gauges in the dash had to have also reduced the drivers attention by at least that much behind the wheel. Even the brakes were operated from the dashboard!We have a banjo steering wheel, a couple of Duesenberg type panel slide switches, and also there is a 1936 Chevrolet speedo. 
And a ton of black-face Stewart Warner gauges! There's a 5000 tachometer, three (?) pressure gauges, two fuel gauges (again, ?), a start button on one side, a headlight switch, I think, on the other.

Here in the second picture, we have more pressure gauges, it looks like several oil and water temperature instruments, and more slide-switches, and pull-switches, and a single clock. Yes, just one.
Obviously, this car was designed for maximum visual impact, from bumper to bumper, and sometimes that's fun, like getting cherry ice cream instead of popular chocolate and vanilla. If every car was this over the top, I'd quit writing about them, but once in awhile, a car emerges from the foggy automotive past that's worth spending an extra few moments on, like this one. 
So enjoy this strange, once in a blue moon, dessert, it's a palate cleanser!