aside postWhere’s the zero?

I was going how fast?

All vehicle instruments are, to a degree, inaccurate. Some more obviously than others. To illustrate my point, here’s the rather spartan instrument panel of a 1995 Buick LeSabre. In live time, the driver is informed as to the transmission’s setting, total and intermediate miles traveled, fuel level, and speed. Not too much help to an enthusiast but it certainly mitigated sensory overload.

However, despite the speedometer’s 100 mph range splayed across a broad area, there’s a curiosity to the chosen layout. See if you can tell how fast this vehicle was traveling when the picture was taken.

1995 Buick LeSabre instrument panel drive

This is the instrument panel of a 1995 Buick LeSabre. According to the speedometer, how fast was the vehicle traveling when the picture was taken?

If you answered 10 mph, not bad, you were only off by 10 mph.

You read that right, 10 mph is not the speed the LeSabre was traveling when the picture, shown above, was taken. In fact, it wasn’t moving at all. It was stopped with the brake pedal applied. Don’t believe me? Here’s a follow-up picture.

1995 Buick LeSabre instrument panel park

This is the same Buick LeSabre pictured previously, however, this time in park and with the parking brake applied. Yet, the speedometer still reads 10 mph.

I’d immediately wondered if the shorter tick marks could point to the indicated speed but that theory fell apart half way across the range. No, it just happens to be arranged in a way that implies the car never stops moving.

For the record, this particular LeSabre is well-maintained and driven daily.