RCA Highway Hi-Fi Spotter's Guide

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The following images may help you tell if the automotive record-player you are thinking of buying is the authentic, factory-equipped item provided by Chrysler Corporation.

RCA Model AP-1 45-RPM Highway Hi-Fi (1960 through 1961)

Front view, with front door closed.

Underside of unit, with loading-door-flap open. Notice the center spindle, designed to hold 2-1/2 hours of 45-RPM records. The entire spindle and silvery, surrounding sub-chassis are entirely suspended from springs.

Underside view, from different angle. Notice the tone-arm is now visible, angled vertically. When the unit is installed, the tone-arm plays the underside of the lowest record on the stack, upside-down.

Closeup view of the "RCA" emblem in the center of the loading-door-flap. Mine needs to be re-painted so that the letters stand out against a black background again.

Label on the underside, greatly enlarged.

Closeup view of the controller switches. The "OFF - ON" switch controls whether the radio tuner is in control of the amplifier (OFF position) or the record-player is (ON position). The START position causes the first record to be played, and the REJECT position cause the tone-arm to move out of the way, the current record to drop, and the next record to be played.

ARC Model 834 or 2500 45-RPM automotive record-players

These units were IDENTICAL to the RCA AP-1 shown above, in every possible way except for the outer case (rounded corners, and all chrome fronts, rather than chrome and black). All of the inner parts swapped straight across. I don't know the story on these units yet.

For a view of the Allstate clone of the RCA unit, see Allstate Record-Player - It's another copy, as you will easily see.

This page was last updated on September 13, 2010. Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club