1971 Mach 1, Grabber Blue w/Argent stripes. Original 2V 351C Auto, Tilt, rear defog, Black Comfortweave Interior. Under restoration. Original colors, 4V 351C, 4-Speed, Spoilers, Magnums, Ram Air. All Ford parts.
It does NOT look correct, but I think it is an easy fix.
Considering that the cluster. Will go in and then you will have a plastic bezel on the top, you will not have visibility of the. repair area. The most concerning part of this is getting that bent section straight enough to allow the air vent assembly to properly seat in its opening. So I would use that vent as your guide to straightening the bent portion.
In those days it was "Hammer to fit and paint to match". You can "fix it" but don't be surprised if you have to " unfix it" or hammer another portion of the dash to get everything to go back together. I have been there more than a few times over the years. If it doesn't cause a problem and is not visible, I'd leave it alone. That is just one guys opinion. Keep up the good work, you will get to the finish. Chuck
The picture of yours is how they all were. When you have a flange on a bend it has to stretch and will split unless you go to the trouble of putting in metal gainers. Since this is not a structrual part they did not bother. Mine is just like yours.Here are pics of a one owner.
Today they spend thousands of dollars to eliminate the tiny split and to no benifit. Just jacks the price of the car up. That split has been there 50 years and did not harm. There is no common sense in cars today just make it perfect and it will never last 50 years.