U.S. Gov. vs. Car industry Auto Factoid

As we all know our government has a fair amount of regulatory control over the auto industry some of it good, some questionable.

One fact that I didn’t know was the in the early eighties the government thought that a good way to have the masses slow down on our nations freeways was to limit the numbers shown on the analog speedometers.  So the decision was made to show only 85 mph.  I’m not sure how many auto makers complied but I know in the Corvette GM did…sort of.

As many Corvette guys know, the 1984 Corvette, the first year of the C4 cars, the dash display was all digital with graphs displaying the RPM’s and the MPH’s.  And sure enough the analog portion of the speedometer topped off at 85 MPH.  The graph would run up to the top the display and stop.  But there was a additional functionality.  There was also a digital component to the RPM and MPH displays.  This functionality would show the actual speed.  That’s how GM got around the government control.   I’ve tested this, of course and I’ve had my 84 Vette up to 174 mph with the number showing up brightly on the dash.

Thanks for reading.

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