Heinkel Instrumentation

One of my blog readers asked a question about what was a “correct” dashboard for a Heinkel. The answer is that no one really seems to know. I do have a bunch of photos that I’ve collected over time, so I thought it would be worthwhile to try to piece some things together.
Dashboard Color: 
Every original dashboard I’ve seen has a hammered silver finish, with one exception:
Hammered Silver Finish on a Heinkel Dashboard
The one exception was the Argentine Heinkel formerly at the Bruce Weiner Museum, which was painted black (see below). I don’t know how the Argentinian dashboards were originally finished.
Speedometers:
This is pretty simple. There appear to be Miles per hour and Kilometers per hour. Both optimistically read unattainable top speeds (at least with the stock engines). I can’t imagine going 80 miles per hour in one of these cars.
Clocks:
There were at least 5 options here; Clock, fake clock, clock placeholder (2 types) , no clock or placeholder.

Clock: 
The clocks were an option. There was a winding mechanism accessible underneath the dash to wind the clock. Most of the clocks I’ve seen do not work, and I know that some people have attempted to fix them or brought them to professionals for repair with no luck.
Heinkel Cars and Cabin Scooters
Heinkel Clocks are Quite Collectible, but Who Has Time to Wind Them?
Heinkel Cars and Cabin Scooters
Dashboard with clock (and MPH speedo)
The Fake Clock:
This one is my favorite. If you needed proof that Heinkels were economy cars look no further. It is a clock that reads 11:43 
Heinkel Cars and Cabin Scooters
“Official” Heinkel Time: 11:43
The Orange Clock Placeholder:  
I’ve only seen these on Irish cars. It’s just another reminder that you are driving a Heinkel-I. (as if you didn’t know from the steering wheel center) Check out the chrome ring on this dash. My friend John Ferguson pried the bezel off and had it rechromed. Very nice.
Heinkel Cars and Cabin Scooters
Orange Heinkel Clock Placeholder

The “When to Shift” Clock Placeholder: 
Heinkels, Trojans, and Kabines
Argentinian Heinkel Dashboard with Shifting Instructions

This placeholder has shifting instructions (abbreviated in Spanish)?


The Bare Bones option:
There’s no clock or place holder, just an empty spot begging to be filled with something useful.
It appears to be a standard opening (60mm +/-) so I think it would be a perfect place to fit a tachometer.
Everything I’ve mentioned so far concerns left hand drive Heinkels. How about Trojans and right hand drive cars?
Right Hand drive cars had their aluminum dashboard housings turned upside down and an insert mounted to support the controls. The dashboard on late Trojans was different too. 
Heinkels, Trojans, and Cabin Scooters
On Right Hand Drive Cars, the Aluminum Housing was Turned Upside Down
Heinkels, Trojans, and Cabin Scooters
An Insert was Placed In the RHD Dashboards to Receive the Instruments

Some Trojans had one insert: check it out.
Heinkels, Trojans, and Cabin Scooters
Late Trojan Dash (photo M. O’Ballance)
Can you draw any conclusions from these photos about what is “correct”?
This Article is © 2012-2014 Heinkel Cars, Kabines, and Cabin Scooters. All Rights Reserved.

3 comments

  1. I have a Heinkel Ireland in the UK [Yorkshire] it had the orange H/I logo in the right hand side, so assume they imported them from Ireland in to the UK with this already fitted .. mines late 1959……

  2. Shawn, This is Chuck here in Maine, just a quick note to tell you that I completely restored my 1957 dash and I have a perfectly working original clock. A little lube and cleaning and it started right up.

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