A compact, inexpensive and mass-producible optical display system for an automobile creates a dramatic and highly stylistic, sharp, high contrast and pleasing, multi-color or monochromatic 3-D magnified image of an instrument cluster, at least a portion of the 3-D image being located at a viewing distance greater than the actual optical distance between the dashboard and the driver's eyes. A non-pupil forming display system uses an off-axis aspherical narrow-band reflecting mirror with power to create a magnified virtual image of a miniaturized passive image source, such as a segmented LCD panel, which is backlighted by a small filament incandescent light bulb. A single mirror produces a single monochromatic virtual image, whereas a plurality of stacked and differently curved mirrors, each tuned to different wavelength bandwidth, produces a plurality of spatially separated virtual images of differing colors. The mirrors are holographic optical elements or graded index optical elements. A backlit panel display positioned behind the mirror produces an image with colors outside the bandwidth of that mirror and thereby creates a secondary image of oversized warning indicators or the like visible in front of the virtual image which includes a display of other instruments. A non-planar image source used with the mirror produces a non-planar monochromatic virtual image.