Saturday, February 10, 2007

A 200MPH speedometer

In the original Herbie The Love Bug movie, the speedometer should've gone to 90MPH because in 1963 that's what shipped in Beetles. The truth is, Disney wasn't 100% consistent and some shots even showed an earlier 80MPH speedo.

Difficult to see, but you can see it here:

Herbie Fully Loaded introduced the idea of a 200MPH speedometer. Although I am basing my replica on the original Herbie from the first movie, I thought the idea of a 200MPH speedometer sounded pretty cool. And the way they did it, they kept the same font and styling of an original gauge, but just increased the numbers so at the end it was 200 instead of 90.

So how do you get a 200 MPH speedometer? You go to the source. North Hollywood Speedometer (NHS) made the custom gauges for Disney. And they aren't just a standard speedometer with a different face. The mechanical components inside were reworked so they were accurate with the new numbers. Now I suppose that means, if you ever only get up to 100 MPH that makes half of the gauge pretty much unused, but it's just too cool to pass up.

I've contacted NHS and talked to Waldek. He really knows his stuff. He even said when adjusting for the 200MPH gauge, he could calibrate it to deal with the fact that I'll be running larger than stock tires (which always throws off a speedometer.) Looks like it'll cost around $275 depending on shipping and if I send one of my own cores (and in what condition they are in.) I'm also talking with him about doing a 1963 accurate replica of a tachometer (no Herbie didn't actually have a tachometer, but if it is period accurate, I think I'll add one, as he should have had a tachometer.) I'll cover information about the tachometer in a later post.

Lastly, I haven't fully investigated this, but I'm thinking that perhaps more accuracy could be achieved on the speedometer and tachometer if the internals were replaced with modern (i.e. electronic) internals. I'll have to ask that question when I place the order. I'm still doing a bit of research and figuring out the best timing for this.