When dealing with the restoration of a classic car or truck, replacing old or faulty gauges is a must. Aside from providing vital diagnostics of the vehicle, your gauge cluster is one of the most important visual aspects of your ride, and the one upgrade we become most familiar with.

There was also a time when replacement gauges meant having to modify your dashboard to accept whatever size gauges were being offered. These were the days of custom dash inserts, multiple trim rings to make them fit, and simply put, it was an era where function outweighed fashion-but times have changed.

Thanks to Dakota Digital, they’ve created a stellar line of automotive gauges that integrate form, function, and fashion. Unlike gauge manufacturers of the past, Dakota Digital has crafted gauges that are perfectly executed. From the contours on the bezel to the typography and spatial settings of the gauges, they offer a period-correct look that meshes with the elegance of your classic ride. So when it came time to jump back on our project truck, we opted for Dakota Digital’s 1947-1953 Chevy/GMC gauges for pickups. These drop-in solutions require no adapter rings or modifications and are not only chrome plated, but crafted from machined aluminum with each gauge featuring a pair of capacitive-touch buttons and a full-color TFT display integrated into each gauge, which is also ready for full personalization.

Available in black or silver alloy gauge-face styles, the HDX series of gauges allows drivers to select independent illumination colors for the gauge as well as the needle.

Calibration and personal settings can be input using the capacitive-touch buttons found on the gauges or via Bluetooth using either Apple or Android devices. Look closely and you’ll come to find that each needle hub is black nickel-plated from spun aluminum (to match the buttons); specific to the HDX series are dead-faced indicators (turn signals, high beam, check engine, cruise control, parking brake, plus two user-definable) and a red, settable warning light for each gauge.

With all that technology infused into each of their units, one may be apprehensive about the installation process but with their central control box, installation is simplified by using the included vehicle-harness sourced signals and supplied, solid-state sending units, which connect cleanly to their respective terminals.