History of obsolete car audio, part 3: Tape players


We’ve discussed attempts by early 1900s car owners to install bulky home radios into their automobiles (MacGyver, anyone?). We’ve also discussed in-car record players, and how, although it’s easy to dismiss them as a novelty item, they were the only game in town if you wanted to play pre-recorded music in the late 1950s and early ’60s.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/12/25/obsolete-car-audio-part-3


In the late 1970s I wandered into LearAvia HQ at Stead Airport north of Reno NV. On a pedestal in the reception area was a gold (solid or plated?) prototype of the first Lear 8-Track player, with an inscribed plaque. At that time they were starting to test the prototype Lear Fan 2100 at the same facility which hosts the annual Reno National Championship Air Races. Bill Lear died in Reno in 1976.


I remember putting a Muntz four track player in my old 1962 Plymouth Valiant ( this would be about 1967 or 8 ) and how jazzed I was to have my “own” music rather than relying on the radio which was crap.
I also worked for a man in Anaheim, CA bootlegging four track, 8 track and then cassettes to sell at the Orange Swap Meet ( and later all over the country ) He made a TON of money but sadly the IRS had issues with his cash deals.
What fun !


Thank you for an interesting series. Looking forward to the next installment.