Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Back To The Future (or Ahead To The Past!)

As some of you know, just as Milner's Coupe did, our tribute to the American Graffiti Coupe has a radio in it. Unlike John though, we cannot tune in to find the Wolfman howling as we cruise the mean streets of the Pacific Northwest and all points south. Well, maybe we couldn't, but now we can. Kinda

Unwilling to compromise the period correctness of our build, we decided early on not to install a stereo. But to drive this particular hot rod without music would be out of sync with the film that inspired it. And just listening to oldies compilation CDs in perfect clarity also seemed a cheat. It may be ironic that what we found to help us re-create the past is some of the latest and most popular technology around.

Brew City Engineering sells a device that sits between the antenna and the radio and allows one to listen to any device through a car's stock radio. In essence, you can broadcast your own media. We have made a hobby of collecting old radio shows, and more particularly, creating new shows from pieces of old airchecks. We've made some killer faux Wolfman shows as have others like the Kipster of Kip Pullman's American Graffiti Web Page . We can download these programs onto our ipod and plug it into the RediRad. For all intents and purposes, that mini-computer becomes a mini radio station. Throw the ipod under the seat and turn your radio on. The hum, slight static, or just the general ambience of that old AM radio is left intact. As close to the real McCoy as we could find anyway.

I know, I know, you other coupe builders may be asking "What antenna?!!" "We didn't see no #%@&! antenn-eye on Big John's deuce!". You're right and there are probably several ways to do it, but our antenna will sit unseen diagonally across the insert opening between the headliner and the exterior vinyl. "Not Graffiti correct!" "Un-clean!" Yeah, yeah. We crossed that river a long time ago.

We installed a RediRad today in our '56 F-100. We turned the key, hit the dial on that old stock two-piece AM, the light came on, the low hum increased as the radio warmed up, and suddenly it was 1962 again. Way cool.  Then my Dad said "Enough of this old shit" and tuned in Michael Savage. What are you gonna do?