Obviously, this is not the AMX AM-8-Track; it is a Ford AM! The AMX radio was already shipped off when we did this article.
Music and cars go together like ice cream and hot fudge! It seems like you have two choices with vintage radios replace them or don’t listen to music! When it comes to restoring your vintage iron 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 easier. For these cars there is no shortage of options for 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 and must work. 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 the AM-8Track unit out of one of our Barn Find Project Car AMX and have shipped it off to Wards Classic Radio Repair for a complete restoration and update. They will not only be making the AM radio and vintage 8-Track work like new they will also be adding a MP3/iPod connection. They can also convert AM radios into AM/FM plus adding a MP3/iPod player or even CD changer! We decided to pass on these additional items because we prefer the iPod hook up to FM or CDs. The exterior appearance of our radio will be completely unchanged. Staying with the vintage look of the car the AM 8-Track will fit right in and we can even play 8-Tracks assuming we can find any. But we will also be able to tune into our big library of digital music on the iPod for our commercial free listening pleasure! This still may not be the perfect solution for some of you who couldn’t get the rear seat speakers in your ride back in the day. Without the benefit of those rear seat speakers 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 original AM or AM/FM style radios work like new again. Of course they can also repair and restore cassettes if you must.