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  • Auto 45RPM Record Players

    Marco's picture of his 45rpm record player in his Tbird got me searching for more information on them. Here is what I have found so far. There were three main record players that I have found so far.

    One was the Highway HI FI, which played single, specially made 16 1/3RPM, not the regular 45rpm ones. They were being marketed in Chrysler, Dodge, Desoto's, etc. from about the mid '50's until about '60, when the 4-track tapes came out. They were short lived and had problems with skipping when hitting bumps, which I think all three of them did to some extent.

    The next one was made by RCA Victor and is the AP-1. It stacked 12-14 records at a time, and played one after another until it ran through the stack. This was probably the best unit of all because they did what they could to eliminate the skipping problem. It played records from the bottom up instead of the top down. You will see one in a Desoto as it is being played... here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0hRzEihsR4

    The third one is the ARC 2500 45rpm unit by M.C. Co. out of Paramount, CA. I understand it is a copy of the RCA Victor AP-1 and looks just like it.

    Now, I have see web pages that have sold these units for $700-$1,000 each! So they are not cheap. I would like to find one like Marco has and just use it when I am at S&S's even if I have to play one record at a time. But a RCA AP-1 or ARC 2500 would be the way to go.

    Here is another web page or so about them.

    http://ookworld.com/hiwayhifi.html

    http://www.classicdreamcars.com/45%2...%20PLAYER.html

    Here is a picture of an RCA Victor AP-1.

    http://www.strangevehicles.com/content/item/165141.html

    http://chrysler300country.com/highway_hi-fi_2.htm

    http://www.roadkillontheweb.com/arp.html

    I am going to see what else I can find.

    Phillips in Holland made a single record player also, but I hear they are hard to find.
    Last edited by YellowRose; January 13th, 2011, 12:05 AM.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
    "It's Hip To Be Square"
    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

  • #2
    Car Record Players

    My (long gone) Parents always bought Imperials. Dad would buy a new one, and Mom would get the old one. Dad would buy every 3 years. We had a 1957, 1960,1963 and so forth, until 1982. 25 years-worth.
    The 1957 and 1960 both had these. As I recall they did absolutely skip, in
    addition to that, the "Special" records were costly (for that timeframe), and listening to 4 or 5 over & over again became boring. After the novelity of it wore off, (mostly showing it to OTHER wide-eyed onlookers)
    the novelity wore thin. I recall Dad saying that he would not buy it again.
    Well.... fast forward to 1960! Dad gives Mom the 1957 and gets a new 1960 Imperial. It was "in-stock" and it had been ordered with the record player, so .... we had it again, but ....Dad never bought any records for it.
    It officially ended with the 1960s, but a few VERY EARLY made 1961s got it, only to SOLD ORDERS, none for unsold inventory.
    If one can find a working example at a car show flea market, they are very costly, and not really worth it. There are no parts to fix it.

    and......... then came the 8-tracks !! They woked well uintil the spindles "lunched" the tape, which then split, and you had to push open the little door, grasp onto the broken end of the tape and s-l-o-w-l-e-y pull the tape out - as it was wraped around the thing that makes it play!
    Tape cassette goes into trash bin.
    Then we got Casettes, a vast improvement !!! Now, it's MP3 players that are way over MY head. My cars all have casettes along with Am-Fm Stereo radios.
    The Imperials after 1960 that my dad bought just had the best radio offered, no more tapes, nor casettes. The last one we had was a 1978, and I personally bought a 1982, a Frank Sinatra Edition.
    It came with some 200 songs by old blue eys, on casette.

    The I.C.P. dealership was a client of Dads, that is why we had 8 Imperials in a row, and he bought them for invoice + $100.

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    • #3
      I saw this one in a ´57 T-bird at a little car show in Huntington Beach. Sorry that the pic is a bit blurry.
      Attached Files
      sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
      http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

      Comment


      • #4
        50 minutes left on Ebay for this one:
        http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=rec...er+cars&_rdc=1
        sigpic..."Lil darling Ruth"
        http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158

        Comment


        • #5
          Auto 45RPM Record Players

          Did anyone here get that ARC 2500 45rpm record player on Ebay? I see it went for $227.50. I was bidding on it, but my confirmation bid, which would have won, did not get in time to confirm the bid, unfortunately. Oh well, I just saved myself some cash! If one of ya'll got it, please let me know and if you did, congratulations! It will be something interesting to play with.

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
          "It's Hip To Be Square"
          Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
            Marco's picture of his 45rpm record player in his Tbird got me searching for more information on them. Phillips in Holland made a single record player also, but I hear they are hard to find.
            The one you refer to is the Mignon, they made a 'normal' portable player (one that you could connect/plug in your radio at home) see picture 1&2
            And they made a player especially for cars (with a little different body to be attached under the dash) called the Car Mignon. see picture 3&4
            Attached Files

            Comment


            • #7
              About the details of the player I have in my Bird I'll let you know soon as promised.
              Writing in English is very time-consuming for me and it's almost midnight here now, so just one more beer to go and then hit the pillow............

              Comment


              • #8
                OK guys, here is the “anticlimax” regarding my record player:

                It's actually not a car player - these were very few in Europe - but a portable 45rpm from the ‘70s.
                It is made of plastic and was actually made for the kids / teens in those years. It is a very simple design but works fine, even while driving it’s doing well and almost never skip (though it is not made for cars in the first place, the soft coil spring suspension on my '58 does a lot of good on this)
                Most of the time I play it at events because while driving it is not a safe option!!!
                Almost all the records I play last for about two minutes, so you have to change far too many '45-s on a ride........but it certainly is possible.
                In Europe appeared many different portable record players in the '60s and '70s - which operate on AC or batteries – so especially the youth at that time could listen to their music everywhere they want to. Today people over here take them to events / record fairs so they can listen to records they want to buy. (Many sellers have them also with them in order to let customers listen)
                Most portable record players are Italian made, and they came in many different designs and colors.
                Here’s a link (unfortunately in Italian, but it gives you an idea of some different players):
                http://digilander.libero.it/mangiadischi//indice.html

                Of course, I was looking for a red player because of my interior.
                The type of what I have now I thought it would be fitting best under my dash.
                It's a Wilco Corallo I bought years ago here at an event. I have it connected to the original speaker in the center console and with a switch in the glove box I can select the record player or the aftermarket radio to listen to.

                So far my update, if you have any questions or comments let me know……...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Auto 45RPM Record Players

                  Kenn Oie ~ KENN, just send me a link regarding the Automoble 45RPM record players that were a bit of a rage back in the 50's & '60's. Even today, if you can find one you can afford and that still works, classic car owners, including some on this Forum, have them in their cars. If you can find a good working RCA AP-1, that is said to be the one to get. It did handle road bumps fairly well, especially if your front end was up to snuff, and it played 12-14 45rpm records one after another automatically. They play best though when you are sitting still, showing off your car at an S&S event! You can still find these units at times, but when you do, expect to pay Hundreds to $1,000 or more, for one in excellent looking and playing condition. Here is a bit of additional history on them that Kenn provided and I added to.

                  https://www.hagerty.com/articles-vid...st=%20HotKey=0

                  RCA Automatic 45 RPM Car Record Player Model AP-1 ~ Holds 14 45 RPM Records

                  There were also versions made by Phillips, the M.C. Co. in Paramount, Ca A.R.C. 2500, (it was said that the RCA AP-1 was the best of them all). There was the Highway Hi FI, single 45rpm record player, and in Europe, Norelco and the Car Mignon, single 45rpm player. Earlier versions only played one record, until RCA figured out how to make it automatically play 14.

                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                  "It's Hip To Be Square"
                  Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                  Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                  http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Auto 45rpm Record Players...

                    I thought I would let you know, in case anyone is interested. There is one for sale on eBay restored like new, and working, a 12Volt RCI Victor AP-1 with a current bid of $699 on it. It is the ONLY one I have found for sale recently... There are 5 days left on this bid...

                    https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-RCA...9aUKLx&vxp=mtr

                    Here is another source, but every one he has listed shows it has SOLD...

                    http://www.classicdreamcars.com/45%2...%20PLAYER.html

                    Here is some additional information on 45rpm auto record players.

                    http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2010...l-vintage.html
                    Last edited by YellowRose; January 11th, 2018, 07:52 AM. Reason: Additional Information

                    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                    "It's Hip To Be Square"
                    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Nice. But I'd prefer a washer/dryer
                      Austin

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