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.