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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Don't know where to put this other than perhaps Miscellaneous Electric, but the boy wanted tunes and so I purchased a radio from Retro Manufacturing to replace the broken unit that came with the car. I kept the speakers. Anyone thinking of buying a radio may find the information on this particular unit useful.

First, admittedly I went lowball, purchasing the cheapest model on the company's shelf, the Laguna unit, am-fm only, with the chrome face. Perhaps chrome is not the best choice -- a black unit is available. This cost $150. I added $13 for a packet of overlays to protect the faceplate. Not sure if these were really necessary. I passed on the metal knobs that would have added $20 to the price, selecting instead the base chromed plastic knobs. The knobs are about as cheesy looking as you can get and I will be ordering better knobs this week. With S&H and taxes, the cost came to $185.

The radio is not a replica of the original Opel unit, although you might think this is what you are getting when you use the dropdown menu to find the year, make and model of car. The radio comes as a kit that must be assembled, the key feature being that the controls' positions can be adjusted to accommodate holes of a wide variety of distances apart. The radio comes wired for two front and two rear speakers and has a separate jack for an external input device, and it is also wired for an automatic raise/lower antenna the company sells as an accessory. Obviously, unless you have added speakers to the front or the door panels, some of the wiring is redundant.

The radio requires one additional piece of wiring, a hot wire from an un-switched source. I found an open tab on the #4 fuse and used that. I will add that this lead comes from the factory with a 15-amp spade fuse, but if that fuse ever blows, you are in the position of having to pull the instrument panel to get at it -- better to eliminate this fuse and instead install an in-line fuse at the fuse block connection.

The big downside is that, unless you can train one of your garage mice to get in behind the dash and do some work, you will probably lose your warranty on the radio. Retro provides a metal brace that is to be attached to the rear of the radio and then fixed to someplace, anyplace, to hold the radio in place, and states that failure to provide this support (as in relaying on the two nuts threaded on the control shafts to hold it in place) will void the warranty. The radio is actually quite light and I am reasonably confident that it will hold up without the brace.

In summary, I think the Retro product is decent enough value, despite the warranty issue. I would like something that looks a bit more original to the car, but that's just my opinion.
 

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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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Michael, I recently purchased the retro sound product that I believe is the same as yours. Some comments/replys to your post, or my 2 cents worth.....
  • Like you I did not use the bracket to hold the unit in place as I could not find the trained mouse as Mr Jingles was not available. I also like you believe that the unit is so light that the lack of the bracket will not result in a problem as compared to the original radio it weighs nothing
  • I have enclosed a picture of the one that I installed and think that the look is similar to the original - similar, not exactly but who really cares as long as it is close to the period piece and to me it does blend right in
  • I like the fact that the unit has both an auxiliary plug and USB plug so that I can plug in my phone to charge while using both navigation and the radio
  • I like the fact that the unit has the blue tooth function so that I can play Spotfiy over the radio
  • The unit also has a microphone for use for incoming/outgoing calls that you can use with the blue tooth function but have my doubts on how well you would be able to hear in a GT at over 35 miles per hour with the windows down
  • I added an internal antenna that stretched from the radio to the back of the car along the rear wire bundle and attached the end of it to the metal panel over the gas tank near where the original speaker was placed, to get as much height as possible. The antenna workes really well picking up a lot of stations
  • The fact that it is a digital read out kind of blows the, looks like original equipment, but under normal circustances like coffee and cars or a car show - who is going to know except another person that had the good fortune of purchasing an Opel early on when everything was original. Or in other words, most people will never know that it is not original if the car/radio is not turned on.
  • This radio also negates the need to fix your original clock as it has that function as well.
  • The other plus is that it fits perfectly - not cutting or modifications required
So for the money, general looks, advanced functions compared to the original, I think it is a good way to go for the non-purist.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You got a much better one than I did, more expensive, Looks terrific. I did not get the bells and whistles that came with yours.
 

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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I also bought a Retro Sound unit. I went for their best unit, the Long Beach. It has Bluetooth, iPhone ready, and SiriusXM if you buy the tuner for it which is free after the rebate. I don’t plan on adding satellite radio but it’s nice to have that option. I didn’t like the idea of putting a modern single DIN unit in and I also don’t like the universal look of Retro Sound’s units. The company’s radios really are designed for application specific installs.

The face plate can be replaced with a bespoke unit so that’s exactly what I’m working on. I’ve shared this in the past but I’m still making progress on the R&D side. The 3D printed parts have to be perfect before I move on to lost wax casting with either zamak or aluminum. The screens are made from Gorilla glass so no worrying about scratching acrylic. I have 9 of the glass screen protectors, so I plan to eventually make 9 of these radios. 2 or 3 will be for me. This will fit perfectly in the dash and have some support brackets the are secured by the screws that hold the the switches right below. Latest progress and concept photos are below. Total price would be somewhat expensive, I'd say at least $700 if the radio unit being used is the Long Beach.

I forgot to add that I'm also working on a media replacement for the ash tray. So the ash tray would house the hands free mic, a USB input, and an AUX input. Close the lid and no one would see it.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is a U-shaped bracket mounted to the firewall that the original radio slid into (my bracket still has its original padding. However, the Retro radio is much smaller and does not make it that far back. In addition, Retro demands that the bracket they supply be fixed (by a screw) to the back of their radio and then attached firmly to something on the car such as pinning it to the body, in order to hold it firmly in place.

I appreciate the comments and responses to my OP. My intention was simply to alert anyone thinking of going the Retro route to some of the issues they may see. Clearly, there are some that, as I, chose to overlook this bracket issue, and I have hopes that it does not become an issue for any of us. But I will offer this piece of advice (having thought of it only after I turned in the last screw holding the instrument panel in place): jumper that 15-amp fuse on the yellow wire of the radio's harness (the un-switched hot wire) and install an in-line fuse where you can access it.
 

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Opeler
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Good, basic radio information. From 3-ft. viewing (picture), RetroSound radio looks good. Interesting cast faceplate modifications in progress by Autoholic.

Thinking of different radio options vs what I would use / need:
Do I need CD player? Would have to store a few CDs' in the GT.
Need to investigate ripping MP3 files from my home CD collection.
Know that I can download MP3 files, but cost starts adding up.
Never purchased an I-Pod, but it is not expensive.
Bluetooth® ?

For now, I will continue to settle for original AM factory radio with one (1) improved rear speaker. Uploaded 2014 file with RetroSound dimensions.

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Pedal Smasher
1973 Opel GT
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The Long Beach and the model just below it come with Bluetooth. The Long Beach allows you to connect a satellite radio tuner so you can add SiriusXM to the car, without using an app on your phone. The tuner is free after the rebate.

With my mods to the radio, it only makes sense to use the best radio they make. That’s why I went with the Long Beach. It will be an expensive radio no matter what, might as well buy the best.
 
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