January 7, 2003

If you're old enough to remember the '60s and '70s, you have some memory of car clocks that actually worked. Seems they worked when these vintage cars were new, but as the years passed, the ticking stopped, and so did the hands. We learned quickly not to depend on these seemingly archaic timepieces.

Why did vintage-car clocks quit, and what can we do to get them ticking again? Vintage tickers from the good old days weren't actually "electric" clocks at all. In most Fords, they were electro-mechanical wind-up clocks with electric solenoid rewind. If you remember their operation, car clocks ticked just like the Big Ben on your nightstand. They ticked away, punctuated by the occasional "click" that most of us never paid attention to. We noticed this mostly while sitting in the car back in the '60s, waiting for the parents to finish a shopping trip. Along with the din of traffic, slamming car doors, spinning starters, and your burping kid brother in the back seat was the sound of a ticking clock, punctuated by the occasional "click." It was subtle, yet certain.

However, if having a ticking clock without the occasional "click" doesn't matter to you, you may opt for a quartz clock movement from Mustangs Etc. The quartz movement uses very little power and is smooth, with no ticking or clicking. It is most certainly silent. When you've had enough maintenance required to achieve the occasional click, slip an affordable quartz movement into your vintage-car clock.

Garrett Marks of Mustangs Etc. shows us how to install a quartz movement in a '65-'66 Mustang Rally-Pac. Although the Rally-Pac differs from Mustang clocks that followed, the basic principles of the swap are the same.