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Smiths Gauges
Smiths Gauges

Repairs

Restoration

Road Speed Limit

Calibration

Chronometric

Dials

Halda

  • Halda Overview
    • Speedpilot
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    • Cables
    • X and Y Gears

HI Specials

VDO

Smiths

FW Murphy

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Gauge Accesories

Gauges

Sensors

On Board Scales

 

 

ProViu ASL360

360 Degree 4 Camera System

PROVIU ASL360

 

We now have a complete set of truck gauges available in Cobra and HIWHITE styling.

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If you need an alternate speed input we have a GPS speed sensor available.

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Chronometric DialsChronometric Dials.

 

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We now have metric dials and odometer gears for most Porsche Speedo's up to the late 1980's.

 

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Newly released Dual Fuel and Dual Voltage Gauges.

 

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We can restore your Halda to as new condition.

 

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The best stock of Smiths gauges and accessories in Australia.

 

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We fill Capillary Temperature gauges every friday.

 

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We have a wide range of bezels in stock to give your gauges a lift.

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Changed your 60-70's car to electronic ignition?

We can help make your tacho work again.

 

Smiths Logo

 

Smiths style is timeless.

We have the best range of new Smiths Instruments in stock in Australia.

We restore many Smiths and Jaeger Instruments going back to Edwardian Vehicles.

 

CLASSIC BLACK

Smiths Classic

Classic Black

range

CLASSIC mAGNOLIA

Smiths Classic Magnolia

Classic Magnolia

range

 

chronoelectric

Smiths Chronoelectric

For those of you that cannot apply an original chronometric to your application these Chronoelectric Tachometers offer an affordable alternative with maximum recall option available in 8, 10 or 12000rpm.

range

custom

Smiths Custom Variations

Custom

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clocks

Smiths Clock

Clocks

range

cobra

Smiths Cobra

Cobra

range

eclipse

Smiths Eclipse

Eclipse

range

Flight

Smiths Flight

Flight

range

mini classic

Smiths Mini Temperature

Mini Classic

range

mINI MAGNOLIA

Smiths Motorsport

Mini Magnolia

range

mOTORSPORT

Smiths Mini Temperature

Motorsport

range

motorsport PROSPORT F1

Smiths Motorsport

Motorsport Prosport F1

range

prism

Smiths Prism

Prism

range

telemetrix

Smiths Telemetrix

Telemetrix

range

 

GT40

Smiths Jaeger Restoration

GT40

range

SENDERS & ACCESSORIES

Smiths Senders & Accessories

Smiths Senders & Accessories

range

 

 

RESTORATION

Smiths  Restoration

Restoration

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other ACCESSORIES

Other Accessories

 

 

Other Accessories

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If you've ever driven a British car made before the 1970s, there's a good chance that you've stared at a set of Smiths gauges. The U.K.-based company supplied speedometers, tachometers and various other gauges for the instrument panels of Austin Healey, MG, Jaguar, Rolls-Royce and just about every other British-based automobile manufacturer.

Founded in London in 1851 by Samuel Smith as S. Smith and Son, the concern got its start making watches and clocks as well as selling jewellery and precious stones. Success allowed them to expand to a larger location and open additional shops in the 1870s when Samuel Smith, Jr. took over. Their reputation had grown near the end of the 19th century such that they advertised as "Watchmakers to the Admiralty and the Royal Observatories." But it was with the dawn of the automobile that Smiths really came into their own.

Although some sources indicate that Smiths built the first odometer in the U.K. in 1900, known as a "mileometer," they didn't start into speedometers until a few years later. This part of the business rapidly grew to become the primary concern and a new publicly traded company was established in 1914: S. Smith and Sons (Motor Accessories) Ltd, with the third generation Allan Gordon Smith as its director and also a patent holder of an early speedometer. As the automotive business took off, so, too, did the aviation business with World War I, a time when the firm supplied aircraft instrumentation, in addition to other products essential to the first mechanized war.

Throughout the decade following the war, Smiths' gauge business flourished, as did other facets of their automobile supply business. They purchased M.L. Magneto in 1919 and K.L.G. Sparking Plugs in 1927, the same year they acquired the rights to produce Jaeger instrumentation for the British market under license. British Jaeger gauges are essentially re-branded Smiths gauges. But in 1930, Smiths sold off all of their businesses related to lighting, starting and ignition, including M.L. Magneto, to Lucas, and the two companies agreed not to manufacture products that the other already had an established foothold in. It's hard to believe such a deal would pass antitrust muster today. If you've ever wondered why a car full of Smiths gauges typically had a Lucas ammeter, it's because Smiths left that business to Lucas.

With the Second World War, Smiths continued to prosper. In 1939, the fourth generation director, Ralph Gordon Smith, presciently opened a factory in Cheltenham, some 100 miles west of London, fearing exposure to bombing at their main plant, which was partially damaged during the Battle of Britain in 1940. During the war, Smiths re-organized once again, this time changing the company name to S. Smith and Sons (England) Ltd, with four divisions: Motor Accessories, Industrial Instruments, Aircraft Instruments and English Clocks. By the 1960s, with an additional marine division, Smiths automotive division was making spark plugs, car radios and entire instrument panels, and the name changed to Smiths Industries.

As with many facets of British industry in the 1970s, the automobile business took a beating, and by 1984, Smiths sold off the motoring division to Lucas, who in turn flipped it to another company before VDO acquired it some years later. The German gauge maker, having acquired a rival, decided to do away with the wholly owned division and shut down the Welsh factory. The local management team acquired the operations and formed Caerbont Automotive Instruments which continues to engineer and manufacture Smiths gauges in Wales. 

Feature Article from Hemming’s Sports & Exotic Car

June, 2012 - Terry Shea