Radio Restoration and Conversion

When it comes to restoring our Talladega, Spoiler or other older cars the issue of what to do with the radio is always a challenge. If you are doing a custom, hot rod or resto mod the answer is a little less traumatic. For these cars there is no shortage of options of replacement and upgrades that can be substituted for the old factory AM radio.

However, for those wanting a completely stock, original looking dash some may settle for the modern radios that resemble the old style. Others may ignore the existing radio and simply go for the hidden secret radio under the seat or in the trunk. If you are a fanatic and purist then the original radio must remain. If it doesn’t work or works badly (like all of my radios), then you just drive and listen to the sound of the exhaust.

Well, I am trying something for the first time (for me). I have taken an AM-8Track unit out of one of my other cars (AMC AMX) and have shipped it off to Wards Classic Radio Repair for a complete restoration and update. They will be making the AM radio and vintage 8-Track work like new plus they will add a MP3/iPod player! Although they can also convert the AM to AM/FM we decided the MP3 player better fits our needs. The exterior appearance will be completely unchanged. This still may not be the perfect solution for one of our aero cars since, with the exception of the Spoiler, were not available with optional rear speakers so all of the stereo benefit will be lost in a one speaker sound system.

The cost should be approximately the same as purchasing one of the new radios that does the same thing but with a less than authentic look. As soon as we get the radio back and installed in the AMX we will let you know what we think and recommend.

Wards is also capable of simply making our AM style radios work like new again and if all goes well that will likely be the next step for our Talladega.



Some of my first and strongest memories from my childhood relate to cars. I still remember when things happened based on what car I was driving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then re-discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on unique and rare muscle cars. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and and aerodynamics became an important part of winning races. The only purpose of these limited production cars was to win NASCAR races using the Boss 429 and 427 power plants complimented with a special, wind cheating, aerodynamic body. The Ford Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are terrific and historic cars. This site is devoted to these car and their owners past and present. We provide an Online Registry for recording the long term history and ownership of every remaining Talladega, Spoiler and Spoiler II.

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