1966 “new” radio options?

Discussion in 'Wrenchin' Secrets' started by Bygblok, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Bygblok

    Bygblok Well-Known Member

    my 66 Special has an old sparkomatic radio in it and I’m looking to swap it out. I prefer a single DIN style radio due to the limitations of a shaft-style but would like to see some options that other guys might have tried. Mounting depth seems to be a challenge but willing to give things a try. Pics of what you have would be great! Thanks
  2. gs66

    gs66 Well-Known Member

    There was a factory AM/FM option in 1966.
  3. wkillgs

    wkillgs Gold Level Contributor

    It's tough finding something that will fit the stock knob placement, the knobs need to be moved downward on the radio.
    Keeping a stock AM in the dash and remote mounting a new unit with remote control are a great option.
  4. 1968_Skylark

    1968_Skylark Member

    I have a '68 Skylark, and I ended up installing a Retrosound 2 deck in mine (a similar model, might just be newer: https://www.retromanufacturing.com/products/1968-72-buick-skylark-laguna-radio?variant=32862855950) . The car didn't have the original radio when I got it anyways, so I was starting from scratch. Luckily someone had installed a windshield with a built in FM antenna, so I was set there. I heard so-so reviews about these Retrosound radios, but I've had it about 4 or 5 years now and it's still going strong. I can't say much for the stock sound quality of the deck, as I installed a Sony amp under the passenger seat at the same time. The one I have does AM/FM and Aux Input. I hid the Aux cord inside the ash tray just below the deck so you can barely tell it's a new deck. The deck has RCA audio outs, so I ran those to the amp, and speaker wire from the amp to the new speakers in the doors.

    Bygblok likes this.
  5. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    Many of the older retrofit radios (think cassette deck...) had adjustable knobs - you could change the distance between them. Find them on ebay for not much money. I got one and I had to open the slots a little and it fit fine. I added a filler piece because it was a little small for the center opening. You can find them with RCA out so you can add an amp if you want.
  6. FJM568

    FJM568 Well-Known Member

    The problem with the 66 radio is not the distance between the knobs, it's that the knobs are offset below the centerline of the radio top to bottom. And not a little below, it's quite a bit.

    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  7. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    I think 66 and 67 are the same. The knobs center on the lower face plate. You have to add a filler at the top. Depending on the radio, the slots may have to be modified. The important feature is that the volume pot and the station gear are free floating and can be adjusted.
  8. marxjunk

    marxjunk Well-Known Member

    find a stock AM and send it off and have it converted, in todays world you can have anything done to it, it fits the dash and i have done 3..they are amazing..i listen to satellite through my phone on it etc ..bluetooth or MP3..80 to 300 watts..very cool
  9. FJM568

    FJM568 Well-Known Member

    Mark, where did you send them to have them converted? And about how much was it to have it done?
  10. gs66

    gs66 Well-Known Member

    j69shep on here does them, so do some others but Jim’s the only one I’ve used.
  11. Steven A

    Steven A Active Member

  12. yachtsmanbill

    yachtsmanbill Well-Known Member

    What should be done with this... I had a '62 Impala with TUBES still. Is this one transistorized? 1964, 33K original miles. Is it worth more to sell and replace or just to get it set-up for sirius radio? I just realized at the bottom of the face it says Delco All Transistor. The BUICK pushbuttons are all perfect, and mechanically it functions 100%. The chrome is perfect as well. Hmmm... ws

  13. gs66

    gs66 Well-Known Member

    Send it in for the upgrading. Not worth selling most AM radios.
  14. dynaflow

    dynaflow shiftless...

    ...depends on how you'll use your radio. Options range from leaving it as is for correctness to having every latest sound option. Most of us pick a point somewhere between. That's a fine looking radio, if you decide to update, you'll have no problem selling it to a "correctness" Buick owner...

    IMO overall best option is a Retrosound/Custom Autosound. Don't have to alter dash and can return to original when/if you have change of heart. My only gripe is Autosound's stick-on brand label says "Buick" not "Sonomatic"...
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  15. gs66

    gs66 Well-Known Member

    Since yours looks nice yet I would send it out for the upgrade. Keeps the stock radio in place but actually can play music decently.
  16. Brett Slater

    Brett Slater Super Moderator Staff Member


    What other modifications did you have to make, if any?

    Different speakers? Did you have to use different fuses? The idea of retaining the original, correct radio with all the technology of today is very intriguing.
  17. 1adam12

    1adam12 Well-Known Member

    I made a radio delete plate for the hole in the dash. Then I took the glove box liner out. Unstapled it and made it out of metal. I then mounted a single din pioneer in the glove box. I mounted it to the driver side and the remote works with the glove box door closed. Now with bluetooth it think you could control it with your phone.
    Quick Buick likes this.
  18. 12lives

    12lives Engage! - Jean-Luc Picard

    Adam - like to see a picture of your mounting in the glove box!
  19. 1adam12

    1adam12 Well-Known Member

    Sure thing I will get over to my dads this weekend and get into the garage and get some pics for ya. I keep the remote in the ash tray so nobody knows it's in there and I dont lose it.
    Quick Buick likes this.
  20. riv2x4

    riv2x4 Well-Known Member

    What's the best way to get a hold of him, I need my 64 am/fm done?

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