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Wonderbar radio


Was over at dads tonight and he said our 65 Parisienne had a wonderbar radio...I kinda of recall it,but not really....if that makes any sense? Anyone heard of or have such a thing..thinking rare.rare option! Our Caddy's had them but a Parisienne?



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I knew the 65 US model full size Pontiacs had them but I've never seen one in a Canadian 65 Pontiac.

And for the record, the Pontiac Wonderbar in 65 was AM only.

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This was a 65  Parisienne. I know we have pics in an old photo album...just not sure if we have interior pics. Thing was...mom remembers it having the wonderbar radio...not going to second guess mom and dad!!!



-- Edited by hawkeye5766 on Tuesday 4th of December 2018 01:39:28 AM

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I had a 57 Chev BelAir hardtop that had an original Wonder Bar radio. It had a very large second section to it under the dash that had tubes in it. The bar at the top of the radio actually said Wonder Bar on it and you pushed it in to activate the signal seeking. The only Wonder Bar i have ever owned and i always thought it was really cool for a  fifties car. 



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I kind of think I remember a conversation about my great uncle having a 1960 Parisienne with a wonderbar radio. Car was gone before my time so I cannot confirm

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hawkeye5766 wrote:

This was a 65  Parisienne. !



-- Edited by hawkeye5766 on Tuesday 4th of December 2018 01:39:28 AM



Oh I don't doubt it for a second. I am willing to bet very few people ordered one.

It seems to be that GM had a floor button to search for stations in some of the earlier ones, maybe in the 50's? I think the button looked like a dimmer switch button. Anyone else seen that, or am I dreaming?

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Carl Stevenson wrote:
hawkeye5766 wrote:

 

This was a 65  Parisienne. !



-- Edited by hawkeye5766 on Tuesday 4th of December 2018 01:39:28 AM

 



Oh I don't doubt it for a second. I am willing to bet very few people ordered one.

It seems to be that GM had a floor button to search for stations in some of the earlier ones, maybe in the 50's? I think the button looked like a dimmer switch button. Anyone else seen that, or am I dreaming?


A buddy of mine is into early 50's Buick's, and has a 52 Buick woody wagon in his collection.  It was just featured on a show on the french channel Unis, a show called Histoires de chars.   He has a Wonderbar radio in that car.



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My first 58 Parisienne that I purchased in 1960 had a wonderbar AM radio.  The person l bought it from said she had ordered it along with the rear seat speaker.  It apparently came from the factory that way.  I have since purchased a wonderbar from the states for my current 58 Parisienne since I was trying to duplicate my first car.  It plays sometimes but does needs some repairs. More for just a conversation piece when car is on display. The 58 Cadillac that I sold back in March had a wonderbar radio which was the only radio available and it had a button on the floor like a dimmer switch that you could change stations with. The buyer was really taken by this feature as they both worked.  Bob.



-- Edited by 58 poncho fan on Tuesday 4th of December 2018 09:13:16 AM

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When I sold my 55 Chevy in the mid 70s  I pulled my Wonderbar radio from the car.......

I  still have it. As mentioned there's  a lot of radio there. Most of it is  tubes and has a built in speaker. It's hidden behind 

the passenger side dash area. Strictly AM , today  the search and seek would have

to work real hard to find AM stations on the highways of Alberta.

G



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Season's Greetings to all. A few of my victims:

'55 Buick Century-

https://youtu.be/TxypYu4Rsds

 

'51 Cadillac-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2_oC0C9TLo&feature=youtu.be

 

'60 Bonneville-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7iVDToo68w&feature=youtu.be

 The Buick and Cadillac radios have provisions for a foot activated momentary dimmer switch to activate search tuning.

AM reception in my area is terrible - lots of RF noise in the house too..

 

All the best,

 

Robert

 



-- Edited by -Robert M- on Tuesday 4th of December 2018 10:44:47 AM

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Cool stuff Robert. You need an apprentice. Fixing these radios is a lost art!

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I have heard of the "wonderbar radio" before, but never knew what they were - thank you to Robert for sharing those videos!

The third video shows a radio which has provisions in the form of other buttons to program the preset stations - how do the others work?

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Thanks Todd. Not very financially rewarding. People will spend $10,000 on a paint job but balk at a $300 repair bill on a radio needing $100 worth of parts and a few weekends to repair. Pre 1959 Wonderbars can be quite involved and have multiple faults. I just do it as I love it...

 

Jonny, the Buick and the Cadillac haven't pre-sets. Round and round you go... The oldest wonderbar with pre-sets that I have worked on was for a '54 Fleetwood.

 



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I have an 1937 Floor model Westinghouse radio with a preset feature. I've had 2 antique radio guys get the radio working (one when I bought it over 30 years ago and another a year ago) but neither could figure out how the presets work. Too bad you are so far away. I'm sure you could sort it out.



-- Edited by Canadian Poncho on Tuesday 4th of December 2018 02:52:09 PM

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Canadian Poncho wrote:

I have an 1937 Floor model Westinghouse radio with a preset feature. I've had 2 antique radio guys get the radio working (one when I bought it over 30 years ago and another a year ago) but neither could figure out how the presets work. Too bad you are so far away. I'm sure you could sort it out.



-- Edited by Canadian Poncho on Tuesday 4th of December 2018 02:52:09 PM


Todd,

My sister has a 1939 Zenith floor model radio with presets. It was in the family since the early 60's

I seem to remember reading somewhere that some radios had the mechanical lever style presets.....

set the station you want and pull the preset button and push to activate (like the old car radios.

Here's a link to  The Perpetual Troubleshooters Manual.

published from 1931 - 1954.

Rider worked with many radio manufacturers as possible to get servicing information that was available so the yearly bound

volumes were large,sometimes 2000 pages.

Manufactureres were mainly represented from the United States. http://highgate.comm.sfu.ca/oldradio/

You may find information on the presets here.

-G

 

 



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I should pick up a manual for it. Somehow this vertical circuit board with movable contacts on the back of the radio is used to set up the presets:

20181204_201943.jpg

Both repair guys were veteran radio repairmen (the first having been a radioman in WWII) and neither could figure this out

 

 

 



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I have this one at the shop getting serviced. it is a 65 B-body. wonderbar.jpgI have this one at the shop getting serviced. it is a 65 B-body.



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Be sure to show us the after picture Brad. Thats a cool piece.



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It sure would be cool if that technology could be put into a factory 65-66 AM/FM....

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I know it would not be "correct" but one could potentially swap and cut out the face on the olds radio as well as swapping out the push buttons to make it look closer. Would take a little bit, but I think it could be done w/out cutting the dash.
www.ebay.com/itm/LATE-1960s-1970s-OLDS-WONDER-BAR-AM-FM-RADIO/123518002089

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Ex old Softy's Brian on Wall street Winnipeg has 3 fifties Olds Wonderbar radios for sale on Kijiji Winnipeg.

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-auto-body-parts/winnipeg/nice-used-1954-55-oldsmobile-super-deluxe-wonderbar-radio-200/1181588822?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true



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