Vinyl and Vehicles – Highway HiFi
Sometimes you go to write an article about an idea you had, only to find someone else has written one on the same subject and probably has done a better job, with more research. So what do you do then?
Just kidding of course.
I had wanted to write about records players in cars which made a brief appearance in the 50s and then tried a comeback in the 60s. These records players were mainly known as “Highway HiFi” (via Chrysler) systems and appeared mostly in Chryslers of the day but also some Chevrolets I believe.
A record player in a car you say, is this another one of your silly jokes Lumbersquatch? To which I reply, oh you silly goose, of course not!
These record players were not your standard players of the day just mounted inside of a car. They were special players with special records made specifically for cars and to hopefully take the abuse of the road and everyday travel.
Via Dark Roasted Blend;
It might be good to note that the car record player did not play a standard 45 rpm record. While the 7 inch record looked like a 45, it was actually designed to spin around at 16 and two/thirds rpm, much slower than 45. They also used a new format (ultra-microgroove), which allowed for more grooves per inch.
Together the new format and slower rotation gave a playing length of almost an hour, much more practical than changing the record every song as you were trying to drive. And the records were available in a variety of musical selections, considering the year. From Tchaikovsky to Gene Autry, music lovers could find a favorite for their traveling musical taste.
The concept of a record played never took off and it wasn’t until the mid 60s with the introduction of the 8 track that taking your music along in your automobile was a viable option.
Head on over to Dark Roasted Blend to read a really good article and see some pictures about the Highway HiFi system.
Have you ever owned a car with a Highway HiFi system? Know someone who did? Maybe even saw one at a car show!? We’d love to hear about it. Drop a comment below to let us know.