Siata Gran Sport Instruments
You may do as you please. It is your car. Some future owner can always make it "correct" at a later date? Unfortunately some "temporary" solutions can become a bit too "permanent"?
Back in 1982 I did some hasty work on a very special Gran Sport (SL*0280*B) that had just been purchased by my father. One number away from your car and yet, almost everything was different. There was a vintage race coming up and time was a bit short. The body itself was made of the thinnest aluminum I've seen on a car body. The body was so beaten up at the very rear and right-rear that some of the metal was crinkled, cracked and broken. Rather like aluminum foil that had been crumpled into a ball and then flattened out again, perhaps more than once. It was not all salvageable including the edging of the spare tire access hatch. The "door" itself had been replaced with an almost flat piece of heavier gauge aluminum and was not original. I elected to cut out all the bad, formed some new replacement panels and welded in the new metal intending to reconstruct the spare tire access door at a later date.
We didn't have the correct tail light unit so I made up an older style that might seem "original" to a casual inspection, once again intending to fit the correct style unit at a later date ... when it could be found. My father raced the car a few times in various vintage events. It was sold before I had a chance to make it right. The point of this is to acknowledge that it still bothers me quite a lot each time I see a photo of it. It has been repainted red and is in Europe now. I have no idea if the current owner knows that the tail configuration is incorrect. The work seemed to make sense at the time as a temporary solution but I have always wished that we had gotten to spend a bit more time in doing this part of the car.
I should mention that the grille was not with SL*0280*B when we got it and I elected to replicate the eggcrate style grille in SL*0251*B rather than making the typical style grille seen in most photos and on most cars. Although I still like this special grille very much, I have subsequently found a photo of what was probably SL*0280*B in its original guise and, if it is truly the car, the photo shows that the grille was the typical style. The point of this is to remind everyone that not all the cars were the same. Many are certainly not the same as they once were. For those who were not around to know this, I have to say that it didn't used to be that there were any "Originality Police" walking around passing judgement on what you'd just done to make a car ready for a certain event ... or had done simply to make it "your own". It used to be that most people could simply appreciate a cool car.
Returning to SL*0281*B, I seem to recall that you have a speedometer and tachometer that came with the car from Germany? Is there any reason to believe that these instruments are not original? I think it would be far better to be patient and continue your search for the additional instruments that might be correct or which could be modified to appear as if they might be correct, matching the instruments you have. If the instruments that came with the car are not perceived to be "original" then we have to do some studying. There were some variations from car to car and it may be that we cannot know which instruments were actually original to your car? At least, not without finding some early photos (in Italy?) of your specific car ... showing the dash. SL*0280*B has Jaeger competition instruments that are quite different from those that were fitted to most other cars and yet they were clearly original to that car. Other Gran Sport cars also have variations and all of the samples we have seen thus far in photos on this thread are merely possibilities. I have refrained thus far from showing other possibilities, assuming that you already have a style that should be matched, but there are other options.
The earliest Gran Sport cars (pre "B" suffix) have two multi-function instruments but this would be incorrect for your car even though it could be considered generically "correct" for a Gran Sport. Those instruments would not be "correct" for your Gran Sport. If you propose living with fewer instruments, I would suggest maintaining the original dashboard configuration (hole sizes and all) and perhaps fit slightly smaller instruments while you decide what to do and how to do it, presuming that some "original" instruments are not already in hand to show you the way.
I could make more specific suggestions but you've already shown yourself to be quite resourceful and, once again, it is your car.
Last edited by iicarJohn; 12-31-2009 at 03:18 AM.