If you have a custom car, why have stock gauges? That's the question that led to the creation of the Aurora Designer Series Gauges about two years ago. The idea behind the product is to give customers an opportunity to select one of 114 different designs and 22 different colors from 25 different series of Aurora Instruments gauges. Whether you want sophisticated or wild, retro or contemporary, you're bound to find a gauge-face design to match your rod or custom.

But, what really got us interested is the Aurora Instruments "Make Your Own Design" system, available through the company Web site. It allows you to design your own gauges, selecting the gauge-face color, graphic elements (from numerous choices), lettering style from various fonts and sizes, needle style and color, and trim-ring style and color. Since the colors are chosen from an on-screen color palette, you can select gauges the same color as any custom paint. It's as simple as going to the Aurora Web site and using your mouse to select the colors and styles you want.

It doesn't stop there. The Aurora Print Service allows you to create your own custom design, using any of your own digital images, which can be applied to a gauge face through the Aurora Web site. If you have a little talent with computer-graphics editing programs, such as Photoshop, you can create a unique design and have it applied to your Aurora gauges. Pretty much any digital image you can create can be applied to a custom gauge face- whether it's a custom logo, flames, an image downloaded from the Internet, vintage nose art, a photo of your cat, you name it.

Once your custom face is complete, you can print it at home (photographic paper is recommended) or upload a digital PDF file to Aurora (the company's Web site guides you through this process). From there, Aurora's professional printing service uses a digital press to apply your custom image to highquality, antiglare Mylar, die-cut and ready to install. The gauges can be ordered pre-assembled or un-assembled. The face prints can also be ordered by themselves, making it easy and inexpensive to change the look whenever you feel like it.

Installing or removing the gauge face is as simple as unscrewing the trim ring and removing the glass and needle. It's that easy to swap the face or modify it-say, with some pinstriping-without having to remove the gauges from the dash.

Aurora offers the most popular standard gauges- speedometer, tachometer, oil, water, fuel, pressure, voltmeter, and clock. Because the face is easily changeable, all Aurora gauges can be swapped for metric configurations. Another advantage is you can create your own specific tach redline. Or, if you're running additional gauges (differential oil temperature, for example), those faces can be created with ease.

We wanted some one-of-a-kind Rod & Custom gauges, so Art Director Aaron Kahan came up with a custom design based on an old-time R&C cartoon decal. Doing the actual designing was the toughest part of the process. After that, it was just a matter of making the right mouse clicks and waiting a couple of days for our personalized gauges to show up.

Visit the Aurora Web site to create your own unique set of instruments, or to check out a gauge-face gallery of hundreds of instrument faces designed by other customers.

SOURCE
Hoffman Group/ Aurora Instruments