Monday, November 2, 2020

1959 Olds Delta 88 Speedometer



Youtube video, 31 second run-time. Turn off sound before watching. The hurts the ears.

My mother drove a 1959 Olds Delta 88.

Instead of the classic dial-and-hand arrangement, the stylists demanded the equivalent of an LED light-bar.

The engineers executed the demand by wrapping a long, slender cylinder with a decal similar to the one shown.

The idea never caught on. Probable reasons include people did not like the implied judgement (i.e. Big Brother) of the green-orange-red colors and the lack of precision. Because the bar ramps, does the driver go by the top of the color bar or the bottom?

There was also the issue of the needle or hand of the traditional dial arrangement being easier to mentally calculate when an accelerating vehicle would hit a certain speed. The greater mass of the rotating cylinder undoubtedly lagged the actual speed by a larger amount than the lower-mass needle.

AND as long as we are talking about style and design

A graphic showing French military headwear.

I did a tiny bit of research. Those large, sail-like hats were wide-brimmed hats with the brim pinned up. The common soldier un-pinned the brim when it was raining. The hat would be spun around based on what the soldier was carrying so it would not get bumped off.

Officers, on the other hand, pinned insignia on their pinned-up brims. Given the clouds of smoke given off by black powder cannon, that may have been a functional way of identifying officers. Pretty handy for snipers, too.



  2. I had a 56 Buick Special with one of these abominations on it. Great old car, but hated the speedometer.

  3. Yep, those speedos had a 'habit' of breaking after about a year if they were driven over bumpy roads a lot... Re the French, they're 'French' nuff said.

  4. Another thing about military hats.

    They denote position and rank. Especially on sailing ships.

    Ordinary sailors wore one type of hat, bosuns wore another, various levels of command wore different hats and different decorations. Gunners wore different hats than sail-masters wore different hats than...

    Which makes it very confusing.

    And you see the same thing amongst infantry, cavalry and artillery.

    Curiously, this goes way back before the Roman Empire, though they (the Romans) really went all out in using the same helm but having different decorations on it to mark who did what and who led whom.

  5. I can't believe I got no comments about the "455 Rocket" video...