Pre War Dash and Gauge Panel Research

Are you in need of information regarding "the way it was?" Or are you are a walking "who's-who" of Chris-Craft history? Share what you don't know—or do know here.

Postby PK44 » Wed May 06, 2009 11:14 am

DonJ,

I do to, I think I have a clear idea what my boat wants.

"Do we know who manufactured these for cc?"

It has to be an outside vendor.

It just wouldn't make sense for a wood-centric company,with such low volumes, to go into such unrelated technologies (as stamped metal, over-molded plastics, motors, etc).

I just found out that the exact "unique" 35-37+ CC custom dash-gauge-panel/bezel-plate, was also used in old Willey's cars and trucks! The exact same thing.

So I'm with you DonJ, someone else made those wheels and they were probably sold to CC off the shelf.

Regards, PK

Willeys dash. familiar?

Image
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Postby Don Vogt » Wed May 06, 2009 12:29 pm

thanks for the note. do you have a picture of that old dash? I am familiar with the later instrument panels on the 17 and 19 foot runabouts. they were the same at least in 1938, but wonder about the instruments in the earlier customs. If you have something maybe we can start another thread on these instrument panels. This is interesting information.
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Postby PK44 » Wed May 06, 2009 1:47 pm

Is this what your looking for?

Though the holes look the same dia. and the needles are the same on the some. the guages are different at least in my photos

They're not Stewart Warner, as best I can tell, as every thing from SW I've come across is at least 1/8th in. smaller for both the large and small gauges and they don't have domed glass

Also, the shorter customs I don't believe used a panel at all.

Funny, I'm trying to restore my gauge panel (holes,dents, and a bend). I actually separated the stamped fascia from it's rigid flat panel with a can opener

Hope this is what your looking for, I pretty sure I've done my research.

Regards, Peter

1935 19ft custom. Gold standard (I believe)
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Looks correct CC to me (less temp gauge shown below)

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Correct 2-3/8th (with weird temp scale). SW is 2-1/4
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Last edited by PK44 on Wed May 06, 2009 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Chad Durren » Wed May 06, 2009 1:57 pm

Here's one from a '37

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Postby Don Vogt » Wed May 06, 2009 3:31 pm

This is interesting, thanks, and maybe bill can start a separate thread here. This is the same as on the 1937 to 1939 17' deluxe runabout, which had all stewart warner gages, I believe. In 1940 the deluxe went to the separate instruments inserted into the dash, which was accompanied by the design change in the boat to the barrel stern look. I will send out a photo of mine this evening. What would be of interest to me is to see the documentation that shows this to be the same one used in the willys. Now i know the willys as a post war car but not familiar with anything before the war. can you shed further light on this? Would also be interesting to know who made the panel itself.
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Postby PK44 » Wed May 06, 2009 4:19 pm

Don-J, your killing my day, indicates how exciting my work is today.

As best I know Willeys started around '37, later to be the originator of the WWII "jeep". Probably disappeared in the 50's.

Since CC used this dash starting in '35-'37, hard to imagine CC being the supplier to Willeys. Similarly, being a designer and having done some automotive, I can't imagine designing a whole dash around a 3 yr. old. off-the-shelf gauge panel. I'd revolt. It's a mystery...???

I don't know that these gauges weren't SW, but they weren't standard. I've been searching for a oil press and a temp gauge for a year. Every morning ebay sends me all the new listings for said gauges and no SW has ever been the correct diameter. Nor do they have the domed face. Maybe they had a custom OEM line. Dunno

BTW. A postwar CC, ccw 4000 rpm gauge with a new face and without the trim-ring, fits my 35 fine (if that adds to the confusion). Other post war CC gauges fit to but have the wrong needle swing

Another Willeys Dash
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Hubcap from a 1937 Willeys (pretty cool looking)
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Regards, PK
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Postby Don Vogt » Wed May 06, 2009 7:40 pm

I am sure cc got the panels from the same people willys did. Perhaps we can ask someone like instrument restorer mark clawson if he knows. I will email him and ask him to contribute to this thread.

I am attaching a picture of my '38 deluxe panel. This was used for the '37 -39 models. Note there is a raised piece of wood behind the panel stained walnut. Apparently not on the 35 19' custom. However, by '37 it had this feature. The second picture is of Sequoia, a 37 19' custom. so somewhere between 35 and 37 cc added this to the customs. (I think it should have been dark stained on Sequoia, too). I also note that at least Sequoia has the rpm and speed gauges going the same way. I know that at least in '38, they were opposite as in Jennifer II.

Since I had all the original gauges, I didnt focus on gauge hole diameter, sizing, etc., just had them restored, so can't add anything on that point.

Some of your pictures are a little unclear. Is the surrounding area of the panel covered in something or is that just the reflection of the wood or whatever on the chrome? In the case of the deluxes, the surround area is chromed.
Image

Image
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Postby drrot » Wed May 06, 2009 8:36 pm

Willys actually made cars in the mid teens. I think they started as Willys-Knight in about 1914.
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C-C instrument panels

Postby Al Schinnerer » Thu May 07, 2009 1:18 pm

Those 4-hole panels, as well as the C-C 5- & 6-hole panels, were made by Stewart Warner.
Restoration projects:

1940 C-C 27' Racing Runabout
1955 C-C 21' Cobra
1942 Gar Wood 33.5 Runabout
1972 Riva 21.5 Olympic
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C-C tach rotation question

Postby Al Schinnerer » Thu May 07, 2009 1:24 pm

I should have added in my last post that tach rotation direction depends on the engine in the boat. Boats with Hercules engines (B, K, M & W series) had counter-clockwise rotating tachs due to the way the tach drive on the engine was designed. Boats with Chrysler engines had clockwise rotating tachs.
Restoration projects:

1940 C-C 27' Racing Runabout
1955 C-C 21' Cobra
1942 Gar Wood 33.5 Runabout
1972 Riva 21.5 Olympic
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Postby Don Vogt » Thu May 07, 2009 4:03 pm

Thanks, Al, that is all very interesting. I am wondering if you know when s-w started making that panel and what all it went into? I have an email into the willys club to see what they know about the use of the panel in the willys car. Do we know whether any other boat mfg's used it? I gather the last year cc used it on any boats was 1939?
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4-hole instrument panel & C-C instruments

Postby Al Schinnerer » Thu May 07, 2009 4:56 pm

I think that C-C started using the 4-hole panel a couple of years after they started using the S-W 6-hole panel in 1932 - so early 30's. C-C also used two styles of S-W oval panels (a "boats & bouys" face and a plain black face) in the '30s in their less expensive boats. Yes, I agree that the last year for the 4-hole panel was 1939. C-C went to individually-mounted S-W instruments in all models in 1940, starting with the blue & beige faces like I have in my 1940 27' Racing Runabout. Changed to white on silver faces in 1941 and white on black in 1942-1956. There was some overlap in colors in 1940-42, but all used the same basic construction. Another style change was made in 1957, with the lettering ,etc. on the glass and a dark gray background. In 1964, the same basic style was used, but the lettering changed and the background color changed to silver and black.
Restoration projects:

1940 C-C 27' Racing Runabout
1955 C-C 21' Cobra
1942 Gar Wood 33.5 Runabout
1972 Riva 21.5 Olympic
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Postby PK44 » Fri May 08, 2009 4:21 pm

Hi Don Al & Drrot,

Don; Though it isn't clear in the more recent photo The Willeys dash is definitely all chrome, with machine turned recessed area...just like the CC.

As far as the raised area behind the gauge panel, from all my pictures, 35 was the only year without it. I have a couple '36 pics showing it. Now though I'm a little confused in that your boat (nice need I say) doesn't have a glove compartment door. Other 37's do(?).


Al; So SW is behind it all. It must have been for the OEM market.I've not seen anything like them as NOS retail products.

Glad to hear a Chrysler powered CC's used a clockwise Tach. As luck would have it, I picked up a very nice CCW CC tach for 35 bucks just about the time I got the my nice Chrysler Crown.


Regards, PK

Peep show...naked dash...

Below are pics of the dissection or "skinning" of my dash panel, special tool... a can opener.

Rolling back top fold over with can opener to bang some dings and fill some holes.
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With just the top edge rolled back the backing plate drops in your lap.
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A week of thought, 5 mins. to do. Post pics soon if I make it fly without to much fuss.
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Postby Don Vogt » Fri May 08, 2009 5:43 pm

thanks for the compliment and the pix. The panel wasnt a very substantial deal, was it?

My boat is a 17' deluxe. This model was from 37 to 39. These 17s did not have a door on the glove box. also did not have side pockets in the back cockpit. Crash padding also more modest. Those were the main cosmetic differences between the deluxe and 19 custom. Also most of the extra 2 feet was in the rear deck area.

Just got an email from someone i was inquiring with re the willys connection. Based on that I suggest someone who has access check out 32 fords, and 35/36 plymouth/dodges to see if some models also used this panel.

Al's explanation of the tach was very interesting. I never knew why it was that way before. I am glad all of this is getting captured. Lots of interesting little idiocyncracies to these boats!
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pre war dash panels

Postby steve bunda » Fri May 08, 2009 7:51 pm

Hi to all interested, I wish to have a nice 4 hole engine turned panel for my 36 , Back years ago I opted for a new insert glued to the face of my original panel. I wonder If should remove it to release the old washed out engine turning? Since this string is on pre war Chris Craft dash panels, my question,, Any info on the 5 hole cracked ice panel out there? THANKS , STEVE
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Postby Don Vogt » Fri May 08, 2009 8:24 pm

I think Al schinnerer makes reproductions. check out the california classic boats web site.
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Postby Don Ayers » Sat May 09, 2009 8:32 am

Image


Clawson is the guy who is doing the cracked ice panel faces right now. From what I have seen the 5 unit ones have a slightly different appearance than the 6 unit. I have some great pic but they are too high res to attach. I'll have to go back and dumb down the image. I did write an article in the Brass Bell on this subject just a couple of years. In that issue there is a great pic of the 5 unit panel.
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Postby PK44 » Sat May 09, 2009 12:01 pm

Steven,

If I follow you, your original panels turning was fading or disappearing. You added a turned insert and laid it over it. Al Shinner builds pretty much show quality stuff and as I recall, that's how he handles the turning (an insert).

I don't think insert is costing you any more points than worn out turnings would, unless your boat is all original- warts and all, in which case it's (turning insert) kinda incongruous. I'd take off the band-aid, air the wound. Match the boat.


I did some research on engine turning and came to the conclusion that the only way that could have been done on the gauge panel was before it was stamped into shape or, it's not turned at all but pressed in (which would be a 'elluva manufacturing trick).

Anyway, no remotely cost effective way to replicate in a reproduction or restoration.

So,if the boats original, I'd take it off. If the boats restored, leave it, the worn turns would stick-out.

That's just me and my 2 cents.

Regards, PK
Last edited by PK44 on Sat May 09, 2009 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Don Ayers » Sat May 09, 2009 12:14 pm

Here is a pic of a new Clawson panel.
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Postby Don Vogt » Sat May 09, 2009 2:34 pm

The panel, at least, looks great.
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Postby PK44 » Sat May 09, 2009 8:59 pm

Don Ayers wrote:Clawson is the guy who is doing the cracked ice panel faces right now.


Is that pic "cracked ice" a finished product. Is that something CC did?

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Postby PK44 » Sat May 09, 2009 9:30 pm

donj wrote: The panel wasnt a very substantial deal, was it?
No it really surptised me how easy it came off,

donj wrote: This model was from 37 to 39. These 17s did not have a door on the glove box...Crash padding also more modest.

That explains it. Interesting about the "modest" crash pad on a Deluxe. Though my boat is 19 feet an looks every bit like a custom (except for the dash), my hull card identifies it as a 1935 19' Deluxe. I wonder if it should have the "modest" crash pad too.

donj wrote: Lots of interesting little idiosyncrasies to these boats!
Sure is. I seem to have a habit of delving into the minutia of every project I get into.

Funny I was just nudging my motor around the warehouse with an old old Yale forklift. I swear it has the same 3 spoke steering wheel as that boat up a post or 2.

Regards, PK
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panels

Postby steve bunda » Sun May 10, 2009 8:51 am

Yes my 36 panel has an insert from Al,Installed many years ago and has served me well. I took a crack at the ice panel for my 37,got some what close , but would like know what the procces is to replicate the original finish. And finally just to add more too this discussion. Pictured a nice panel from a 30 model 100 ,that I purchased as inventory, who made these for CC? steve
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Postby Don Vogt » Sun May 10, 2009 9:16 am

To PK, what is the hull number of your boat. I didnt see any 1935 19' deluxes mentioned in conrad's book.

As to steering wheels, i suspect whoever made them probably supplied a generic one to many users. The pre war black 3 spoke always reminds me of a john deere tractor.

I doubt very much that cc did the cracked ice. I am sure it came that way from whoever made it.

Steve, your panel is quite interesting. I believe it had some silver content? I am not sure but perhaps al referred to that one, above? In any event it has a real 20's or early thirty's feel to the design.

I agree with PK, there is probably nothing to be gained by taking off the insert,and I am unaware of any way to restore the original surface.
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Postby Don Vogt » Mon May 11, 2009 7:33 pm

I wanted to post a couple of items of interest I got from Mark Clawson, who does instrument restoration. The first is from a 39 cc catalogue that illustrates the various panels. Secondly, Mark's restoration of one of the panels. Between the speckled banjo steering wheel and the cracked ice panel, and the various deck striping and boot top colors, not to mention wild upholstery, cc seemed to get carried away in the late 30's.
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Postby PK44 » Mon May 11, 2009 10:40 pm

donj wrote:To PK, what is the hull number of your boat. I didnt see any 1935 19' deluxes mentioned in conrad's book.


Hey Don J,

My hull # is 48071. I thought I saw it called a deluxe but the only descriptions I see in my paperwork is "model 27".

Elsewhere in a list It's just called a "double cockpit forward" in the 1935 slot between "Deluxes" & "Custom"s. The hull card says it was sold 8/8/35.

Never seen anything like that cracked Ice finish before, I wish CC was geting wild in the mid 30's. Theres alot I'd like to do to my boat.

The top o of your scan seems to contradict Al's statement that the Chrysler engines had regular clockwise tach.


I'll take 2 of the 4 hole panels at $30 per...you take Paypal?

Regards, PK
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Postby Don Vogt » Tue May 12, 2009 7:30 am

According to conrad's book, that number series is the 19' custom. So I dont think it can be a deluxe. There are not a lot of those pre-barrelback customs out there. This was cc's first 19 ft. boat. Both the 17 and the 19 dcf's evolved out of the earlier split cockpit runabouts.

I think the statement on the instrument panel sheet could be interpreted two ways; one, that all engines in cc are counter rotation as to tach, or that only cc engines are thus. I think they thought of the hercules, as modified by cc, as a cc engine. Technically, a chrysler engine, could be considered a non cc engine. Who knows? wouldnt it be nice to get one of those for $30. I imagine getting one fixed up today could easily be more than a grand. I dont even think you can get screws for a boat for $30. Everything seems to be in multiples of $100's.

In any event, yes, these mid thirty's boats were a lot plainer than what followed. But I personally like a more straightforward classic, design. I guess that is why we are fortunate to have all these different models around, something for everyone.

If you could email me those willys dash pictures separately, i would like to send them on to the willys people for comment.
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prewar cracked ice panel

Postby steve bunda » Tue May 12, 2009 7:50 pm

This is the cracked ice panel that I made in 1999 , tried to replicate the original panel. There is very little info on this panel face treatment. It seems to be a lost art. I think the CC archives has a black and white picture of a Cracked Ice panel, thanks steve
Image
Image
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Postby Brian Robinson » Tue May 12, 2009 8:09 pm

That looks pretty good Steve, how did you do it?
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cracked ice

Postby steve bunda » Tue May 12, 2009 8:36 pm

Hi Brian, I spent a couple of years researching this panel treatment, I finally found a old guy that knew about the proccess and he gave me some tips. I experimented and finally came up with this finnished product..I think I still have the old paint cans, have to think about how I did this for a while as it has been a few years, steve
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