Most new cars have some digital elements in their instrument clusters, but it’s often limited to the speedometer. However, in the 1980s and 1990s some car manufacturers experimented with and actually implemented fully digital dashboards in their production cars, resulting in very interesting concepts.

I have been collecting images of these dashboards, found on forums and pages all over the net, and compiled them here. It was once my intention to install a digital instrument cluster in my car, but as it required significant work, this never happened.

Nevertheless, my collection contains as good as all digital instrument clusters from the 1980s and 1990s. However, if you find one that happens not to be listed, please contact me, hopefully with an image! I do reply to all my messages.

Of course, to everybody who already sent me updates: thanks!

This page was last modified on 9 May 2016.

The cars

In the 2000s, digital speedos have become more common, but some show more than just the speed digitally.

Surprisingly, there are also some motorcycles with retro digital dashboards.

Finally, there are some beautifully designed TFT dashboards out there, which are of course much more recent.

The images

Alpha Romeo 90 QO (1984-1986)

Video of working cluster.

Aston Martin Lagonda (1974-1975, 1976-1985, 1986-1987)

Audi Coupe GT, Audi Quattro 20V (1984-1986)

Video of working cluster (green), with female voice providing diagnostic errors.
Website explaining dashboard diagnostics.

Buick Reatta, Buick Riviera (1988-1989, 1990-1991)

While the car itself remained the same, the Buick Reatta and Riviera received a revised interior in 1990, which also changed the design of the dashboard.

Video showing the ‘lightshow’ when the car is turned on.
Video (6.5 minutes) of all functions of the information and control touch-screen.

Buick Regal (1986-1988)

The Buick Regal came in several different editions. The following editions had digital dashboards (which also varied per type):

  • T-Type (1986)
  • Grand National (1987)
  • Limited Coupe (1988)

Video of working cluster of Limited Coupe.

Cadillac Allanté (1987-1993)

Notice that while the dash layout has stayed the same, the lighting of the warnings has received slight display improvements.

Video of working cluster.

Cadillac Cimarron (1986-1988)

Cadillac de Ville (DeVille)

Cadillac Eldorado, Cadillac Seville (1978-1979, 1981-1985)

Chevrolet Astro (1994)

Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta (1984)

Chevrolet Beretta (1989)

Images show both red and green versions, but little detail is known about this dashboard.

Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 (1986-1989)

Video of working cluster.

Chevrolet Corvette (1984-1989)

The fourth generation Corvette, before the ZR-1 arrived in 1990, had a digital dashboard. Note that the 1984 dashboard is slightly different than the other version (see the different shape of the RPM curve). For people interested in using this dashboard, eBay seems to have plenty for sale.

Video of working cluster.

Chevrolet S10 (1989-1994)

The 4WD version of the S-10 is also known as the Chevrolet Blazer or GMC Jimmy.

Video of working cluster.
Video of modified cluster, but with car starting. Notice the fancy animation for the indicators!

Chrysler Imperial (1981-1983, 1990-1993)

The Chrysler Imperial (1981-1983) dashboard was the same as the Chrysler LeBaron (1981). However, the Chrysler Imperial (1990) received a different dashboard than the Chrysler LeBaron at that time. Also, the dashboard of the Chrysler Imperial (1990-1993) was the same as the Chrysler New Yorker (1988-1993).

Video of working 1990-1993 cluster.

Chrysler Laser (1984-1987)

Note that this dashboard was also available on the Dodge Daytona (1984-1987).

Chrysler LeBaron (1981, 1987-1988,1989-1990, 1990-1995)

To make it confusing, there were four different digital dashboards on the LeBaron, which could also be found on other models.

The dashboard of the Chrysler LeBaron (1981) was the same as the Chrysler Imperial (1981-1983).
The dashboard of the Chrysler LeBaron (1989-1990) was the same as the Dodge Daytona (1987, Shelby Z only).
The dashboard of the Chrysler Lebaron (1990-1995) was the same as the Dodge Daytona (1990-1993).

Video of working and talking (LeBaron 1989-1990, Daytona 1987) cluster.
Video of working (LeBaron 1990-1995, Daytona 1990-1993) cluster.

Chrysler New Yorker (1986-1988, 1988-1993)

The dashboard of the Chrysler New Yorker (1988-1993) was also implemented in the Chrysler Imperial (1990-1993).

Video of working 1986-1987 cluster (talking).

Chrysler Town & Country (1991-1995)

Video of working cluster.

Citroen BX (1985)

A limited-edition of the BX, the 19 DIGIT, was released in 1985, and featured a digital dashboard. Although the original dashboard of the BX looks digital, it is not. It does have a very novel way of displaying the RPM.

Video of working cluster.

Citroen GS, Citroen GSA (1970-1976)

This is the only non-digital dashboard in this list. The reason is its very digital-looking dashboard, with the warning lights taking up the most of the dashboard, and the rotating drums as speedo and rev counter (which work like bathroom scales).

Video of working cluster.

Dodge Dakota

Little is known about this dashboard, and these are the only photos available of it.

Dodge Daytona (1984-1987, 1987, 1990-1993)

The Dodge Daytona received three different dashboards, which could also be found on other models.

The dashboard of the Dodge Daytona (1984-1987) was the same as the Chrysler Laser (1984-1987).
The dashboard of the Dodge Daytona Shelby Z (1987) was the same as the Chrysler LeBaron (1989-1990).
The dashboard of the Dodge Daytona (1990-1993) was the same as the Chrysler LeBaron (1990-1995).

Video of working and talking (LeBaron 1989-1990, Daytona 1987) cluster.
Video of working (LeBaron 1990-1995, Daytona 1990-1993) cluster.

Fiat Tempra (1990-1999), Fiat Tipo (1988-1995)

Video of working cluster.

Fiat Uno Turbo (1985-1989)

Video of working cluster.

Ford Aerostar (1986-1992)

Video of working cluster.

Ford Fairlane, Ford Fairmont (1984-1988)

While the dashboard was originally from the Fairmont and Fairlane, many people have been installing it in the Ford Falcon, which is now the most returned search result for this dashboard. Also, its original background is silver, instead of the black you see in many photos (which is another modification performed on the dashboard).

Video of working cluster (installed in Falcon).

Ford Probe (1989-1992)

While it already had the availability of a digital dashboard, there are also instructions available on how to modify a Mercury Villager cluster to fit in the Ford Probe.

Video of working cluster.

Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable (1986-1989, 1990-1995)

Note that the years represent the dashboards, not the generations of the cars themselves. The first generation car (which ran until 1991) already received updated dashboards in 1990. Also, the 1990-1991 dashboard had green lights, while the 1992-1995 dashboard were a bit more blueish.

Video of working cluster (first generation).
Video of working cluster (second generation).

Ford Thunderbird, Mercury Cougar (1987-1988,1989-1993)

For the first generation, even the standard dashboard featured a digital display of the speed and mileage. However, a full digital dashboard was also offered.

Video of working cluster (first generation).
Video of working cluster (second generation).

Ford Windstar (1995-1998)

GM EV1 (1996-1999)

The full-electric car had a full digital dashboard as well. You can only see this car in museums, as GM crushed (almost) all of them, in what some think is a conspiracy. It sparked the creation of a documentary film specifically on this car, named ‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’.

Holden Calais (1984-1986)

Honda Accord (1981-1985, 1986-1989)

This dashboard was only an option in Japan for the top of the range model.

Video of working cluster.

Honda Ballade, Honda Civic (1984-1987)

Only the Japanese ’35i’ and ‘CR-i’ types had the option to choose this digital dashboard instead of the default analogue cluster. While the center digital display is the same, the surrounding cluster organisation can be different, as seen in the following pictures.

Italdesign Orbit (prototype, 1986)

Jaguar XJ40 (1988-1990)

Interestingly, the digital dashboard was discontinued in 1990, and the car received analog clusters until the last of the XJ40s were produced in 1994.

Lada Samara (1987-2004)

Only 1500 cars were made to have this dashboard. And, if you’re interested in ordering it, its part number is 43501.1 21093-3856010.

Video of working cluster.

Lamborghini Countach (prototype, 1971)

The Lamborghini Countach LP500 Prototipo was designed to have fully digital instrumentation. Only one car was made, which was subsequently used in crash testing for the production models (that did not use digital instrumentation).

Lancia Dedra (1992-1995)

Video of working cluster (startup).
Video of working cluster (driving).
Video of warning screen and cluster closeups.

Lancia Orca (Italdesign prototype, 1982)

Lancia (Autobianchi) Y10 Turbo (1985-1988)

Video of working cluster.

Lincoln Town Car (1981-1989, 1990-1994, 1995-1997, 1998-1999)

The first (1981-1989) and second (1990-1994) generation dashboards look very similar to that of the first generation Chrysler New Yorker, but are different. The fourth generation dashboard (1998-1999) was the same as the Ford Crown Victoria (1998-1999) and Mercury Grand Marquis (1995-2004), and is little different from the second generation.

Video of working cluster (first generation).
Video of working cluster (second generation).

Mercury Grand Marquis (1992-1994, 1995-2004), Ford Crown Victoria (1998-1999)

The first generation dashboard (1990-1994) looks very similar to that of the third generation Lincoln Town Car, but is different. The second generation dashboard (1995-1999) was the same as the Ford Crown Victoria (1998-1999) and Lincoln Town Car (1998-1999).

Video of working cluster (MPG display, first generation).
Video of working cluster (speeding, second generation).

Maserati Quattroporte II (1974-1978)

Only 13 cars were made, and all had digital elements in its dashboard (speed and RPM). Pictures of the dashboard are extremely rare.

Mazda 323 (1985-1989, 1989-1994)

Two different types of Mazda 323 received two different dashboards. Both dashboards are very rare.

Video of working cluster (revving, first generation).

Mazda 626 (1982-1984, 1985-1987, 1988-1989)

The Mazda 626 had the option of a digital dashboard, but they were very rare. The second generation (1985-1987) dashboard was the most common of the three types. Note that the first two generation dashboards were found in the Mazda 626 GC Turbo, while the third generation (1988-1989) was found in the Mazda 626 GD.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the first generation dashboard. If you have, please share!

Video of working cluster (second generation). The dashboard in this video has been installed in a Ford Festiva as a modification.
Video of working cluster (third generation).

Mazda 929 (1982-1986, 1986-1991)

Video of working cluster (first generation). The only video of this dash available, the guy explains he has an issue with the rev counter in that it pulses even though the engine is idling.
Video of working cluster (second generation).

Mercury Villager (1992-1999)

While the design of the digital dashboard remained the same, the colour changed from bluish to green in the 1994-1995 refresh of the Mercury Villager.

Video of working cluster.

MG Maestro, Vanden Plas Maestro (1983-1991)

While Austin produced the same car, only the MG and Vanden Plas versions offered a digital dashboard.

Video of working and talking cluster.

MG Montego (1984-1988)

Video of talking board computer.

Mitsubishi Cordia (1982-1983, 1984-1990)

A digital dashboard was an option only for the top range, and most commonly only in Japan. Therefore, any Mitsubishi digital dashboard is very rare.

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the second generation dashboard. If you have, please share!

Video of working cluster (second generation).

Mitsubishi Magna (1987-1988, 1989-1991)

A digital dashboard was an option only for the top range, and most commonly only in Japan. Therefore, any Mitsubishi digital dashboard is very rare.

Mitsubishi Sigma, Mitsubishi Galant (1982-1984)

A digital dashboard was an option only for the top range, and most commonly only in Japan. Therefore, any Mitsubishi digital dashboard is very rare.

Mitsubishi Starion (1982-1986)

While the Mitsubishi Starion was marketed in the USA as the Conquest (from either Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth), the digital dashboard was only an option on the Japanese GSR-III.

Nissan 200SX (1984-1989)

Nissan 280ZX, Datsun 280ZX (1982-1983)

Video of working cluster.

Nissan 300ZX (1984-1989)

Video of working cluster (standstill revving).
Video of working cluster (driving).

Nissan Bluebird (1984-1986)

Only the Japanese delivered Turbo ZX versions had the option of a digital dashboard. As such, they are so rare I could not find an actual photo of it, and I only have the Japanese brochure.

Nissan CUE-X Concept (1985)

Nissan Laurel (1984-1989)

Nissan Maxima (1987-1988, 1989-1994)

For the first generation (1987-1988), only the GXE sedan had an optional ‘Electronics Pkg’, which included the digital dashboard. The dashboard of the second generation (1989-1994) was significantly different, and again only an option for the high-level models.

Nissan NX (1990-1996)

When you search for this dashboard, it is often named the NX1600 digital cluster. However, it is unlikely the dashboard was only an option for the NX1600, which was the Nissan NX’s name for the North-American market. The 1.5 DOHC Nissan NX Coupe as delivered in Japan was certain to have the digital dashboard. It is uncertain if the 100NX (the car’s name used in Europe) had the option.

Video of working cluster.
Video of working cluster in demo mode.

Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme (1988-1992)

Video of working cluster (startup).
Video of working cluster (driving).

Oldsmobile Incas (Italdesign prototype, 1986)

Oldsmobile Toronado (1984-1985, 1986-1992)

Video of working cluster (first generation).
Video of LCD computer (second generation).

Opel (various types)

Due to the different naming in different markets, there is significant confusion which digital dashboard was delivered for which car, and for which years (except for the Senator). In addition, many fans have been discussing the installation of a certain digital dashboard in a different Opel car. Opel used the following names for their different cars (the first name being the main name as from Wikipedia):

  • Opel Kadett, Opel Astra, Chevrolet Kadett, Daewoo LeMans, Daewoo Cielo, Daewoo Nexia, Opel Monza, Vauxhall Astra (1984-1991)
  • Opel Vectra, Chevrolet Vectra, Vauxhall Cavalier (1988-1995)
  • Opel Astra, Chevrolet Astra, Holden Astra, Opel Optima, Opel Kadett, Vauxhall Astra (1991-2002)

The following specific types return: Opel Monza GSE, Opel Kadett GSi, Opel Vectra 2000.

The description of the images below are the most commonly found car types if one were to search for these dashboards. They could have been options on other types too, and if so, please let me know. Also, if years are known, let me know as well. Remember, to distinguish the different versions, the type numbers are my own!

Video of working cluster (type 1 in Daewoo Nexia).
Video of working cluster (type 3 in Opel Vectra).

Installation manual for digital cluster (in German).
Table for schematic type 2b.

Opel Senator, Chevrolet Senator, Vauxhall Senator (1987-1993)

Video of working cluster.

Pontiac 6000 (1983-1989)

A digital dashboard was only delivered for the STE (Special Touring Edition).

Pontiac Firebird (1982-1992)

A digital dashboard was only delivered for the Trans Am, and the car was sometimes simply known as the Pontiac Trans Am. The digital cluster of the GTA (1987-1992) had a different shape of the rev counter (quarter circle), but was the same otherwise.

Of course, the car was made famous by the Knight Rider tv series, in which the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am was named KITT, and was fitted with a completely unique digital dash. The dashboard received an overhaul in 1985 for the third and fourth season of the Knight Rider series.

Video of KITT startup sequence (replica of second series).

Renault 11 (1983-1985, 1986-1989)

A digital dashboard was only delivered for the Renault 11 TXE Electronic.

Video of car with working cluster (first generation) and German voice.

Brochure of Renault 11 TXE (first generation).

Renault 21 (1986-1994)

A digital dashboard was only delivered for the Renault 21 TXE Electronic.

Subaru Leone (1979-1983, 1984-1994)

The Subaru Leone was also known as the Subaru DL/GL, Subaru Loyale or Subaru Omega, depending on the region sold. Especially the first generation (1979-1983) and 4WD digital dashboard (1988-1994) are very rare.

Subaru XT (1985-1991)

Only the turbocharged models received the digital dashboard.

Toyota 4Runner (1986-1989)

The dashboard of the Toyota 4Runner (1986-1989) looks similar to that of the Toyota Corolla (1983-1986), but had extra gauges. In particular, it has a Turbo pressure indicator, as this digital dashboard was only an option on the Turbo models.

Toyota Camry (1986-1990)

This dashboard seemed to only be available on the LE editions.

Toyota Celica (1985-1989)

Only the Japanese Celica (ST16) GT and GT-R had the option of a digital dashboard. As such, they are very rare.

Toyota Corolla (1983-1986, 1987-1992)

Both the AE86 and AE92 had the option of a digital dashboard.

The first generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Cressida first generation (1980-1984), Toyota Soarer first generation (1981-1985), Toyota Supra first generation (1981-1986).

Video of working cluster (first generation, AE86).
Video of working cluster (second generation, AE92).

Toyota Cressida (1980-1984, 1984-1988)

The first generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Corolla AE86 (1983-1986), Toyota Soarer first generation (1981-1985), Toyota Supra first generation (1981-1986).

Video of working cluster.

Toyota Crown (1983-1987, 1987-1991, 1991-1997)

This car was mainly sold in Japan, and some Asian markets. Of course, the digital dashboard was optional, for the most luxurious models (Toyota Crown Royal Saloon).

  • The second generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Soarer second generation (1986-1991), Toyota Supra second generation (1986-1993).
  • The third generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Soarer third generation (1991-2000).
    However, in all cases some instruments are slightly different, and there is a different organisation.

Toyota Soarer (1981-1985, 1986-1991, 1991-2000)

  • The first generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Corolla AE86 (1983-1986), Toyota Cressida first generation (1980-1984), Toyota Supra first generation (1981-1986).
  • The second generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Crown second generation (1987-1991).
  • The third generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Crown third generation (1991-1997).
    However, in all cases some instruments are slightly different, and there is a different organisation.

Video of working cluster (second generation). And another video.
Video of working cluster (third generation).

Toyota Supra (1981-1986, 1986-1993)

  • The first generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Corolla AE86 (1983-1986), Toyota Cressida first generation (1980-1984), Toyota Soarer first generation (1981-1985).
  • The second generation dashboard was similar to: Toyota Crown second generation (1987-1991), Toyota Soarer second generation (1986-1991).

Video of working cluster (first generation).
Video of working cluster (second generation).

Vector W2 (prototype, 1980)

Only one car was built, and has been the base for the Vector W8.

Vector W8 (1990-1992)

Volkswagen Golf (prototype 1982, 1988-1992)

In 1982 Volkswagen did a study on how to implement digital instruments in the Volkswagen Golf. Based on the images, this was done in cooperation with the ‘bb’ company, by Rainer Buchmann. However, the optional digital dashboard of the Volkswagen Golf GTi (1988-1992) was made by VDO, and is for the Volkswagen referred to as the DigiFiz.

Video of working cluster (1983-1992).

Volkswagen Polo (Buchmann modifications, 1986)

The ‘bb’ company (by Rainer Buchmann) modified a 1986 Volkswagen Polo to be called the “Polo Carat” or “Polo Paris”. While the dashboard in the brochure looked similar to the Volkswagen Golf prototype, the actual car that eventually was sold showed a more simple digital dashboard with no buttons (as shown in the images below).

 

Volvo 700 series (unknown type, 1982-1992)

Details of this trip computer are unknown, even from which particular type of Volvo 700 it comes. However, based on the imperial measures being used it most likely comes from an American Volvo, and the 700 series was produced from 1982 to 1992.