The History of the Car Radio


How the world was forever changed.

One evening in 1929 two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering drove their girlfriends to a lookout point high above the Mississippi River town of Quincy, Illinois, to watch the sunset. It was a romantic night to be sure, but one of the women observed that it would be even nicer if they could listen to radio music in the car.

Lear and Wavering liked the idea. Both men had tinkered with radios – Lear had served as a radio operator in the U. S. Navy during World War I – and it wasn’t long before they were taking apart a home radio and trying to get it to work in a car. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds as automobiles have ignition switches, generators, spark plugs, and other electrical equipment that generate noisy static interference, making it nearly impossible to listen to the car radio when the engine was running.
One by one, Lear and Wavering identified and eliminated each source of electrical interference. When they finally got their radio to work, they took it to a radio convention in Chicago. There they met Paul Galvin, owner of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. He made a product called a “battery eliminator” a device that allowed battery-powered radios to run on household AC current. But as more homes were wired for electricity, more radio manufacturers made AC-powered radios. Galvin needed a new product to manufacture. When he met Lear and Wavering at the radio convention, he found it and believed that mass-produced, affordable “car radios” had the potential to become a huge business.

Lear and Wavering set up shop in Galvin’s factory, and when they perfected their first radio, they installed it in his Studebaker.  Galvin then went to a local banker to apply for a loan. Thinking it might sweeten the deal, he had his men install a radio in the banker’s Packard. Good idea, unfortunatly it didn’t work as half an hour after the installation the banker’s Packard caught on fire. (They didn’t get the loan.)

Galvin didn’t give up. He drove his Studebaker nearly 800 miles to Atlantic City to show off the new car radio at the 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention. Too broke to afford a booth, he parked the car outside the convention hall and cranked up the radio so that all the passing conventioneers could hear it. That idea worked – he got enough orders to put the radio into production.


That first production model was called the 5T71. Galvin decided he needed to come up with something a little catchier. In those days many companies in the phonograph and radio businesses used the suffix “ola” for their names – Radiola, Columbiola, and Victrola were three of the biggest. Galvin decided to do the same thing, and since his radio was intended for use in a motor vehicle, he decided to call it the “Motorola”.

But even with the name change, the radio still had problems:

When the Motorola went on sale in 1930, it cost about $110 uninstalled, at a time when you could buy a brand-new car for $650, and the country was sliding into the Great Depression. (By that measure, a radio for a new car would cost about $3,000 today.)

In 1930 it took two men several days to put in a car radio – the dashboard had to be taken apart so that the receiver and a single speaker could be installed, and the roof had to be cut open to install the antenna. These early radios ran on their own batteries, not on the car battery, so holes had to be cut into the floorboard to accommodate them. The installation manual had eight complete diagrams and 28 pages of instructions.


Selling complicated car radios that cost 20 percent of the price of a brand new car wouldn’t have been easy in the best of times, let alone during the Great Depression – Galvin lost money in 1930 and struggled for a couple of years after that. But things picked up in 1933 when Ford began offering Motorolas pre-installed at the factory. In 1934 they got another boost when Galvin struck a deal with B. F. Goodrich tyre company to sell and install them in its chain of tyre stores. By then the price of the radio, installation included, had dropped to $55. The Motorola car radio was off and running. (The name of the company would be officially changed from Galvin Manufacturing to “Motorola” in 1947.)

In the meantime, Galvin continued to develop new uses for car radios. In 1936, the same year that it introduced push-button tuning, it also introduced the Motorola Police Cruiser, a standard car radio that was factory preset to a single frequency to pick up police broadcasts. In 1940 he developed with the first handheld two-way radio – the Handie-Talkie – for the U. S. Army.

A lot of the communications technologies that we take for granted today were born in Motorola labs in the years that followed World War II. In 1947 they came out with the first television to sell under $200. In 1956 the company introduced the world’s first pager. In 1969 it supplied the radio and television equipment that was used to televise Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon. In 1973 it invented the world’s first handheld cellular phone. Today Motorola is one of the second-largest cell phone manufacturer in the world. And it all started with the car radio.


The two men who installed the first radio in Paul Galvin’s car, Elmer Wavering and William Lear, ended up taking very different paths in life. Wavering stayed with Motorola. In the 1950’s he helped change the automobile experience again when he developed the first automotive alternator, replacing inefficient and unreliable generators. The invention lead to such luxuries as power windows, power seats and eventually air-conditioning.

Lear also continued inventing. He holds more than 150 patents. Remember eight-track tape players? Lear invented that. But what he’s really famous for are his contributions to the field of aviation. He invented radio direction finders for planes and aided in the invention of the autopilot. He designed the first fully automatic aircraft landing system and in 1963 introduced his most famous invention of all, the Lear Jet, the world’s first mass-produced affordable business jet. (Not bad for a guy who dropped out of school after the eighth grade.)

As you can see, great things can happen from small beginings.


Pioneer DEH 2750UI

Pioneer CD Stereo with USB & 3.5mm AUX

Pioneer DEHS2150Ui With USB Plus Aux for iPod / iPhone and memory stick inputs and 3.5mm jack for all Android and other MP3 players.
(Charges your Phone while in use)
MP3 CD Player with AM / FM Stereo Radio.
Playlist, Songs and Artists Displayed and controlled from the stereo.
RDS for radio station ID plus song title and artist are displayed.
Extended NZ 3 years Warranty

High Power. Low Distortion Mosfet Amp
4 x 50 Watts
Detachable Security Front Panel
And Remote Control
CD-R and CD-RW Compatible
Super tuner IIID with Digital Processing
Rotary volume control


MP3 Aux / and USB iPod input (Charges iPod/MP3 Player while in use)
2 x RCA Pre outs


Pioneer CD Player with Bluetooth for hands free phone calls & Audio streaming.

Pioneer DEHS4050BT CD AM/FM Tuner With Bluetooth . (External microphone Included). Wirelessly connect to your phone. Providing Hands Free Phone calls and music streaming.
iPod & MP3 iPhone plus Android Inputs for all music playback and Charging.
CD / CDR and MP3 Playback for Android Phones also.
Built in Parrot Bluetooth® wireless technology for hands free phone calls.
Bluetooth Wireless Audio Streaming for Music from compatible Phones and other devices.
Front USB direct connection for device charging and playback.
Plus 2 x Aux 3.5mm inputs.
RDS for radio station and song title display.
Extended 3 years NZ Warranty!!!

Bright Multi Colour Display
Digital Clock
4 x 50Watts Output
Front AUX input.(for iPod or Android MP3)

Pioneer AVHA205BT

Pioneer Touch screen DVD CD TUNER

PIONEER AVHA205vBT DVD 6.2 inch TOUCH SCREEN AV Multimedia receiver Unit.

This Plays. MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC compressed audio files on CD and USB.
USB Direct Connection made for iPod and iPhone playback and charging.
Bluetooth Hands Free for Phone Calls Built in.

Reversing camera input.
4 x 50Watt low distortion Amp built in.
Extended 3 Years Warranty.

Pioneer Bluetooth DVD with 7″ touch screen. Car Play & Android Auto.

Pioneer AVHZ5150BT
Double Din with 7″ screen,
Plays: DVD-R/-RW / CD-R/-RW and Video CD
MP3, WMA, AAC compressed audio files on CD and USB
DivX film and JPEG on CD, DVD, USB and SD cards

iPod and iPhone music With Apple car play and Android Auto.

Plays from your USB storage device via a front in input USB
Built in Parrot Bluetooth for hands free phone calls.
Reverse camera input.
Gold-plated input/output/composite terminals
High-pass filter



Universal wireless reversing camera for use on vehicles where wiring may be difficult or used on caravan, trailer or horse float.
This unit comes with a 4.5inch colour monitor and all wiring included.

See what is behind you, that you cant see with your mirrors.

Amplifier 2 x 200 WATT


Amplifier 4 x 200 WATT (800Watt)


12″ Sub Box

With external wiring connectors.

15″ Sub Box

With external wiring connectors.

12″ Dual Sub Box

With external wiring connectors.

6 x 9 speaker enclosure

6 x 9 speaker Enclosures

Carpeted 6×9 speaker enclosures.

Dual Sub Boxes

Priced from $99.00 – (10″)

wiring adapter

Wiring Looms & connectors

From existing car wiring to new car stereo . (Plug to Plug) No soldering or connectors required.
Priced from . . . $9.50
Please contact us with the type of stereo and the vehicle model.

Fitting kits

Stereo Fitting Kits & Brackets

Nissan, Honda, Ford, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, VW, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes Benz and AUDI
Priced from . . . $8.00

Adaptor plates and installation kits to enable the stereo replacement of factory fitted stereo and audio systems.
Please contact us with specific requirements for your vehicle type.

FM Band Expander (converters)

10 and 20Mhz shift for all Japanese stereos to convert to NZ FM radio frequencies, (To receive ALL NZ radio stations.)
The cost is from $29.00 dependent on the vehicle type, and aerial fitting connectors, and includes aerial bypass  (for European vehicles) and an aerial booster amplifier built in.
(We also have converters to change USA frequencies to NZ)

To suit Audi, VW, Merc, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, BMW, Honda,Toyota and all others.
Please Email contact us with specific details of the make and model of your vehicle for the correct aerial connection fittings.

plug and play.


manual aerial

Custom Aerials

For Honda, Nissan, Ford, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Toyota, BMW, Mercedes Benz, VW, & Audi

Priced from . . .$25.00
Please contact us with specific requirements for your vehicle make and model.

aerial mast

Automatic Aerial Mast Replacements

for Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Mazda, Subaru, Mitsubishi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, VW, Audi & Honda

Priced from . . . $39.00
Please contact us with specific requirements of your vehicle.

Universal iPod & 3.5mm AUX connector

To connect any stereo head unit to iPod, iPhone or 3.5mm Android Phone or MP3 player.
Direct plug to rear of stereo via aerial Socket.
High quality playback  for your iPod, iPhone or Android music files.
Can connect to any stereo system. (New or Old)
This unit also charges while in use via a USB connection.

Amp wiring kit

Amp Wiring Kit

Full wiring kit from Head unit to run separate amplifier.
2 x RCA leads (6 metres)
6 m Remote power cable
6 m Battery power cable
1 m Earth wire
9 m Speaker wire
1 x 40 amp fuse holder and fuse
Connector and speaker terminals
10 x cable ties

5 volt ipod / iPhone Adaptor

Latest generation iPods and iPhones now require a charging adapter to enable older charge / play leads to work.
This adapter allows charging of new generation iPod and iPhones to work with older leads. No lead replacement is necessary.

Slimline under seat sub.

Compact Nakamichi 8″ Sub Woofer with Amp

8″ Active sub Woofer.
Solid Alloy Construction.
150 Watt RMS Power Amp Built in.
RCA Plus High Level Inputs.
Slim Design 250 x 70 x 295mm.
Great for under seat installation to give that extra Bass Boost.

MP3 player with USB and Aux.

NEW Pioneer stereo radio with USB & AUX.

Made for iPod, iPhone and Android with MP3. 3.5mm and USB Aux inputs. With AM / FM Radio Tuner. Pioneer MVHS105UI
For those who no longer play CD’s but have all their music on Memory stick, iPod, Phone or Android MP3 player.
CD Mechanism Free Audio Player with song title and artists displayed.
With all control from the stereo unit.
This unit has RDS for Radio station ID, song titles and artists are Displayed on the stereo.
Includes Extended 3 years Warranty.
(See More details Below)

Suzuki Swift dash kit

Replacement dash kit for Suzuki Swift (2005 to 2010) including filler pocket.
Allows factory stereo to be replaced with any aftermarket standard Din stereo (double or single din) of your choice.

Pioneer Bluetooth CD with USB for iPhone & Android.

Pioneer DEHS5050BT CD AM/FM Tuner With Bluetooth Hands Free (External microphone Included). Wirelessly connect to your phone.
iPod and iPhone Inputs for all music playback and Charging. Plus Android MP3 Playback also.
Front USB and 3.5mm AUX inputs.
Built in Parrot Bluetooth® wireless technology for hands free phone calls.
Bluetooth Audio Streaming from compatible Phones and other devices allows you to send music wirelessly via Bluetooth to play through this excellent stereo system.
Choose your own display colour to suit your vehicle or taste.
RDS for radio station and song title display.

Features “Mixtrax” for seamless mixing of one song to another, plus multi colour illumination and beat sync EQ.

Extended 3 years NZ Warranty!!!

Bluetooth for audio and hands free.

New Pioneer Stereo with Bluetooth hands free phone calling & audio streaming built in.

Pioneer MVH-S315BT New release built for iPod, iPhone and Android phones. Stereo radio with Bluetooth for hands free phone calling and wireless audio streaming built in.

For those that no longer play CD’s but have all their music on Android Phones, MP3, Apple or Andriod products or memory stick.

Features RDS, USB Aux, 3.5mm Aux, Sub out and Detachable Face for security, with built in 4 x 50 Watt Amp.

Philips Mechless Stereo with USB for MP3 iPod & iPhone

For those who do not use CD’s but play music from only MP3’s and iPods. With two AUX inputs (USB and 3.5mm) This charge and play stereo radio is ideal.

Double Din DVD player with NZ GPS

PHILIPS DVD with Bluetooth Plus NZ GPS Navigation & Reverse Camera Input.

Philips CED1910BT Double Din DVD Player with NZ GPS Navigation built in.
6.2″ Full Colour Touch Screen.
USB and AUX inputs.
Music Control and charging for your iPhone / iPod or Android MP3 players.

Full Audio streaming.

Bluetooth for hands free phone calls.

Reverse camera input.

Toyota Vitz / Echo / Clavia / Platz Dash Kit.

To replace the factory stereo in 1998 to 2005 Toyota Vitz, Echo, Clavia and Platz cars.

Includes cigarette lighter replacement. (May require Toyota pocket for single Din stereo fitment.)

Toyota stereo side trims.

Toyota side trim ears are for the aftermarket replacement and stereo fitting, for double or single din stereo units.

For Toyota vehicles years 2002 on.

Toyota filler pocket

Toyota dash filler pocket

This single din Toyota pocket fills the gap when an original double din stereo is replaced with a single din aftermarket stereo unit.

It creates storage and custom fitting for most Toyota vehicles year 2002 onward.

Toyota complete fitting kit.

For Toyota vehicles after year 2002.

Use this kit to allow  the fitting of any aftermarket stereo unit to your Toyota.

Contains side trims, custom pocket and ISO Din wiring connector to Toyota vehicle wiring loom.

Pioneer to ISO plug wiring loom

Create a direct plug to plug connection from your New Pioneer stereo to most vehicles via this Pioneer to ISO wiring connector.

Mazda 3 / Axela Stereo fit kit

For Mazda 3 and Axela 2004 on.

Replace your factory stereo and upgrade to any aftermarket stereo with this made for Mazda Axela fitting kit, which converts the factory dash to a standard Din fitment retaining the original look.

Pioneer FHS705BT stereo

Double Din Pioneer Bluetooth CD Stereo Radio.

Pioneer FHS705BT Double Din stereo CD radio with USB and 3.5mm AUX inputs.
Bluetooth Audio streaming for wireless music transfer from your phone.
Parrot Bluetooth for hands free phone calls built in (separate Mic included).
Colour customisation to integrate with dash colours or choose your own.
4 x 50watt Low Distortion MosFet amp built in.
Remote control included.

Bluetooth AUX

Bluetooth wireless music streaming for any car stereo.

Wireless Music Streaming from any Bluetooth Device to any Car Stereo


Product Details

  • • Provides Bluetooth (A2DP) audio streaming.
  • • Provides Song, Artist and title information on RDS compatible radios.
  • • Directly connects to the vehicles antenna cable for interference free operation.
  • • Compatible with any stereo and Bluetooth Device.
  • • PROVIDES ADDITIONAL 3.5MM or RCA AUX IN for Android phones, MP3 or iPhone product.
  • With USB socket for phone charging also available.
GPS DVD player with Bluetooth.

Nakamichi Touch Screen DVD with Bluetooth, AUX & GPS.

Nakamichi NA3610 6.8 Touch screen Bluetooth DVD stereo.

Rear camera ready plus video in.

Bluetooth A2DP streaming.

Built in steering wheel control functions.

Hands Free Phone Calls.

GPS Mapping for NZ.

Nakamichi NA1600 stereo

Double Din 6.2″ colour touch screen Player with Bluetooth & AUX.

Nakamichi NA3600S stereo DVD player.

Double Din, 6.2″ touch screen, CD, DVD and AM FM Radio.

Bluetooth for hands free phone calls and wireless music streaming.

1 Amp USB Port and 3.5mm AUX.

Reverse camera input ready.

Philips Bluetooth CD Stereo

Single din Bluetooth stereo CD, radio with USB 1 Amp charging and 3.5mm AUX.

Bluetooth for hands free phone calling and wireless music streaming.

50 Watt x 4 built in power amp.

MP3 CD and rear RCA Pre out.

2 Amp USB Charger

Universal USB charger.

Add this High Powered 2.1 Amp AUX USB charger to any vehicle.

Universal mount or place onto cigarette lighter space.

Ideal to charge all USB devices or while using iPad, Mobile phone or while Bluetooth audio streaming.

Demio dash.

Mazda Demio – Verisa – Mazda 2 – 2007+ Dash Kit

To replace your Japanese stereo with an aftermarket one of your choice.

This Dash Kit allows the fitting of a single or double din stereo to your Mazda Demio, Verisa and Mazda 2 For late 2007 onward.

VW replacement stereo.

NZ VW Replacement CD Stereo with Bluetooth USB and AUX

Replace your Japanese Volkswagen factory stereo with this built for NZ one with CD and Bluetooth for hands free phone calls and music streaming, USB charging and AUX input. All NZ radio stations.

To suit Mk5  VW Golf, Polo, Passat, Jetta, Tiguan and Touran.

Battery back up charger.

Compact car jump starter & Back up phone charger.

This is the perfect gift to yourself, him or her. Great for boaties. Give the gift of safety.

With 600 Amps  cranking power to jump start any car or boat with a flat battery.

A multiple use compact and rechargeable Lithium battery that will recharge any phone, tablet, iPad or laptop many times.

Built in emergency torch.

Fast recharge.

It has 2 x USB for charging ports.

A multi charger Accessory port.

Jump leads for vehicle start are included.

The ultimate travel accessory that can be used and recharged over 1000 times.

Entry level CD stereo radio with AUX

Nakamichi MP3 CD & Radio with USB

The Nakamichi stereo with MP3 CD and USB AUX has a high powered built in amplifier (50watt x 4)

Great for those who still play CD’s but need charging for their phone as well.

The built in AUX input is compatible with all devices so can play stored music direct from your phone.

Bluetooth DVD player with AUX

Android DVD Player with Bluetooth.

·  DMU Android 5.1.1 Quad Core Operating System
·  6.5” Soft Touch Capacitive Screen
·  Download APPS and Navigation directly from the Web
·  Play and watch all Video and Audio Types
·  Control using vehicles factory Steering Wheel Controls
·  Bluetooth Hands Free
·  A2DP Audio Streaming
·  Built-In WIFI
·  RDS Tuner
·  Built-In Steering Wheel Interface
·  Dedicated Back-Up Camera Input
·  Front Video / DVR Input
·  Front and Rear USB/Aux Inputs
·  Dual Video Outputs for Rear Screen Entertainment

Bluetooth stereo with AUX & USB

This CD stereo with radio, AUX and USB system looks and sounds great, at a great price.

Bluetooth for hands free phone calling and audio streaming of all your favourite music.

4 X 50Watt amp built in.

Single Din ready to go replacement upgrade for your old stereo.


Toyota Bluetooth replacement stereo.

This made for Toyota stereo has CD, USB,AUX, and Bluetooth for hands free phone calling and audio streaming built in.

Steering control ready.

Bluetooth with AUX.

Bargain stereo with AUX & Hands Free Phone Calling Built in.

What a Bargain!!
A great replacement stereo that has radio, USB, AUX and Bluetooth for music streaming and hands free phone calling built in.

Easy to use with no CD mechanism.

4 x 50 watt low distortion amp

Standard single Din fitting.

With remote control.

VW Golf dash kit.

Mark 5 VW Golf double din dash kit

To suit Mk5 VW Golf 2005 0nward.

Standard double din, or single din (add Pocket), stereo dash kit to convert the factory stereo fitment to any aftermarket replacement stereo.

Mounting brackets are included.