Forums :: Resources :: Features :: Photo Gallery :: Vintage Radio Shows :: Archives
Support This Site: Contributors :: Advertise


It is currently Dec Fri 13, 2019 12:04 pm


All times are UTC [ DST ]





Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 19 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: May Mon 06, 2019 5:08 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Was sure an interesting day yesterday---Here goes that "excited kid" behavior again !

There was a very dirty and a bit rough looking '59 Pontiac Sportable on Ebay awhile back which was listed a long time and never sold. Told Matt about it and he made an offer, but evidently never heard back. I later contacted the seller and asked if I could view it in person since it was in my old home-town of Kokomo not far away and there was only one bad picture in listing. They actually responded and gave me a name and phone number in Ft. Wayne to call to make arrangements. Let it go a few months not knowing if Matt or someone else had bought it. When I called yesterday, the guy told me that the radio (along with many others) was at his late uncle's home in rural Kokomo and that his sister could meet me there that afternoon. He also told me of a one-of-a-kind '59 Sportable prototype with a clear plastic cabinet that his Uncle, who had worked at Delco years ago, had bought from an old engineer. It had not been listed on Ebay, but he'd tried to sell it at a high price within the car hobbyist group. He said the plastic was a bit cloudy from age and that might have been the reason it didn't sell. Out of curiousity, I asked how much he wanted and he said he would now take $150 as they were trying to clean up his uncle's properties. Was pretty excited as I thought it was the same radio that my Dad's wife's boss, who was chief radio engineer at Delco long ago, had in his office when I met him as a kid during an open-house. Of course, was concerned about what he meant by the plastic being cloudy, but definitely wanted to see it regardless ! When I arrived at the house (which I'd been by before), saw a very rough black '59 Bonneville Sport Coupe in front of a large pole building in backyard. When we entered building, there was a beautiful sky blue with white top '66 Catalina convertible which looked familiar. Found out that he (Don Wright) had belonged to the Pontiac-Oakland Club International (POCI) and the Hoosier Pontiac-Oakland Club (HPOC) which I also belonged back in the 1980's when I had a couple old Pontiacs---and am pretty sure that I'd met and talked with him back then ! Also found out that niece & nephew grew up in same area of Kokomo as me and went to same elementary & middle-school---only several years earlier... Was pretty sad that Don had lost his wife a couple years ago and then he died from an auto accident last fall... At the back of his large shop was a huge shelving system with car-radio sized compartments with most being empty---she told me that they had just filled a dumpster with the majority of radios a few days before to get rid of them as no one they had contacted seemed interested in buying them ! They had kept a few earlier & Wonderbar sets for the nephew to try and sell at car shows... But the glass display case in front of shelves had several Trans-Portable and Sportable sets which they also planned to sell. Didn't see a clear '59 Sportable and was disappointed, but she pulled out what looked like a dirty '58 and when she handed it to me, could see components through the yellowed and clouded cabinet---WOW !!! Wasn't aware that one of these even existed !!! The heavy plastic appeared to be the same material as what many clear plastic knobs of the '50's were made of and the residue on "cloudy" areas would scrape off with fingernail. The chrome was also in very good shape probably since radio was never used in a car (docking connector opening "blanked" off), but was scuffed a bit from being handled and slid across a rough surface. Was probably used only to show-off and demonstrate circuit performance as a portable...

Always thought it would be neat to own a prototype of an interesting radio, but never thought it would happen since such items are usually extremely expensive (to me) when they surface. This one needs a lot of attention to the clear cabinet to remove what I call the "acetate fungus", but at least the plastic isn't cracked or chipped after 62 years ! Applied power and only heard a slight "click" in speaker, so imagine electrolytics are bad...

Out of room again on bench and work-table !

Are there any older Delco guys out there who have seen or heard about this radio ???


"As purchased" pic below...

John


Attachments:
ARF SPORTABLE PROTOTYPE BEFORE.jpg
ARF SPORTABLE PROTOTYPE BEFORE.jpg [ 195.9 KiB | Viewed 1427 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: May Tue 07, 2019 1:19 am 
Member

Joined: Aug Sat 16, 2014 2:19 am
Posts: 1389
Location: Palos Verdes, CA
John - Congratulations on your latest Delco find! I'm sure you will be able to restore the Pontiac Sportable back into working condition. Keep us updated on your progress! - Mark


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: May Tue 07, 2019 4:15 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1559
Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
What a great story. Congratulations on your find, I look forward to seeing the restoration.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: May Tue 07, 2019 1:51 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 1533
Location: Earth
What a rare treat! Thanks for sharing these finds.

What is your plan for “clarifying” the plastic case?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: May Tue 07, 2019 4:05 pm 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much Guys !

Colin---wished I'd known about Don's Delco Radio employment and interest in radios while he was living. Between them and the old Pontiacs, there could have been some great conversations...

Joe---the "crud" scrapes off easily with fingernail down to hard surface, so will probably spend hours carefully removing the loose stuff before washing with mild soap & cold water and polishing using Novus-2 inside & out.

John


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: May Tue 07, 2019 6:09 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 33333
Location: SoCal, 91387
Hey John, looks like you are acquiring a collection of some rare items! Here's one of the best plastic cleaning and polishing liquids;
https://www.amazon.com/Brillianize-Plas ... B075M49MGJ

_________________
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins//////////////////


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 11, 2019 1:34 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Sep Sat 29, 2012 6:32 pm
Posts: 921
Location: 13760
What a great find, and a good story too!
Regarding the “acetate fungus”, I have had good luck with soaking the affected parts in soapy water for a day, and then scrubbing them with a toothbrush once it has softened. The plastic always has a bit of residual yellowing though.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Mon 03, 2019 3:40 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks Richard & Matt !

Know it's been awhile, but took some time to "build up" the motivation to clean the clear cabinet !

Spent hours and hours and hours very carefully scraping all the "fungus" off of the inside and outside of clear cabinet using fingernails and "tools" made from trimmed Ty-wrap "tails" to get into all the "nooks & crannies" without scratching. It was a solid, thick "crust" in some areas... Tried undiluted Ajax dishwashing liquid on a small area of bottom to see if it would harm plastic and it didn't, so then vigorously scrubbed entire cabinet with it using soft toothbrush. Then added more and more water while brushing until completely rinsed---still had to scrape in some areas ! Repeated process, thoroughly dried with compressed air, and carefully polished both inside and out with Novus-2---looks MUCH, MUCH better !!! Am very grateful to have gotten this much completed today !

Some "fungus" residue had flaked off internally and was on PCB and chassis, so carefully cleaned off as much as I could. It had actually "bonded" somewhat to bottom of PCB and had to used dry "stubby" toothbrush to remove... Disturbed some of the ferrite-rod antenna wiring during cleaning, so placed it back into original position and reflowed wax carefully using tip of soldering iron.

Still need to remove and detail clean escutcheon as well as battery compartment cover and troubleshoot electrically, but am not in a hurry considering this is a "one of a kind" set...

Pics of the freshly completed cabinet parts below...

John


Attachments:
ARF PROTO-SPORT CVRS CMPLT INS.jpg
ARF PROTO-SPORT CVRS CMPLT INS.jpg [ 333.53 KiB | Viewed 1060 times ]
ARF PROTO-SPORT CVRS CMPLT OUT.jpg
ARF PROTO-SPORT CVRS CMPLT OUT.jpg [ 271.88 KiB | Viewed 1060 times ]
ARF PROTO-SPORT BAT CONTACTS CLN.jpg
ARF PROTO-SPORT BAT CONTACTS CLN.jpg [ 282.46 KiB | Viewed 1060 times ]
ARF PROTO-SPORT CVRS CMPLT TGHTR.jpg
ARF PROTO-SPORT CVRS CMPLT TGHTR.jpg [ 281.56 KiB | Viewed 1060 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2019 2:19 am 
Member

Joined: Mar Tue 12, 2019 6:09 am
Posts: 145
Wonderful find sir! Can't wait to see some guts - er, circuits.
I've got a garden variety GM Trans-portable, never been inside it.
Me thinks that I will live vicariously through your exploits on this one for now.
Again, thanks for all the wonderful pics and narrative!

EDIT: Just saw one of these Sportables in the original leather case on epay. It will cost ya tho!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Wed 05, 2019 4:28 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much and you're welcome, Livewire54 !

The bench and worktable is once again loaded, so hope to get back to it within a reasonable time !

I've refurbished others in the past and posted here if you'd like to see some internals pics sooner---shouldn't be too hard to find with "search" feature.

If you or anyone else would like any of the higher-res original pics from projects, just PM with specific requests and an e-mail address...

John


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 5:47 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Hello All,

Finally completed this unique radio !

Replacing the electrolytics brought it back to life. Carefully removed and saved originals as is usual practice. IFT's and RF trimmer were nearly dead-on as they were, but the ANT trimmer on tuning cap required adjustment to bring performance up to normal level. Radio now works well and sounds as good as other properly functioning '58 Sportable & Trans-Portable sets in collection.

Removed a bit more of the plastic "fungus" residue from chassis. Amazed on how clean the tuning mechanism is after so many years, but it wasn't ever used in a car (no docking connector) and was probably just for show and occasional demonstration as a portable set.

Really looks great back together with clear case clean and polished---very grateful for how well it turned out !

If you'd like to view '58 Pontiac Sportable production model project, please see this thread: https://www.antiqueradios.com/forums/vi ... 4&t=324353

Any comments or other information welcome---would sure be great to hear from someone familiar with this special radio !

Final pics below and in following post...

John


Attachments:
1ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP FRT.jpg
1ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP FRT.jpg [ 392.12 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
2ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP RT.jpg
2ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP RT.jpg [ 262.09 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
3ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP LFT.jpg
3ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP LFT.jpg [ 337.58 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
4ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP BK.jpg
4ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP BK.jpg [ 384.04 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
5ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP TOP.jpg
5ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP TOP.jpg [ 453.76 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
6ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP BOT.jpg
6ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP BOT.jpg [ 447.35 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
7ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP BOT ANG.jpg
7ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN & BEFORE RECAP BOT ANG.jpg [ 319.12 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
7ARF PROTO-SPORT ORIG CAPS.jpg
7ARF PROTO-SPORT ORIG CAPS.jpg [ 232.03 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
8ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN-RECAPPED TOP.jpg
8ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CLEAN-RECAPPED TOP.jpg [ 370.89 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
9ARF PROTO-SPORT ESCUTCHEON INS CLN.jpg
9ARF PROTO-SPORT ESCUTCHEON INS CLN.jpg [ 270.12 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 5:54 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Here are the remainder of final project pics---please see previous post for first group...


Attachments:
10ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CMPLT TOP.jpg
10ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CMPLT TOP.jpg [ 421.1 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
11ARF PROTO-SPORT CAB BOT CONNECTED.jpg
11ARF PROTO-SPORT CAB BOT CONNECTED.jpg [ 457.04 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
12ARF PROTO-SPORT CAB BOT ON BAT CVR OFF.jpg
12ARF PROTO-SPORT CAB BOT ON BAT CVR OFF.jpg [ 305.01 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
13ARF PROTO-SPORT BAT CVR INS.jpg
13ARF PROTO-SPORT BAT CVR INS.jpg [ 378.42 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
14ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT BK.jpg
14ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT BK.jpg [ 326.97 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
15ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CMPLT FRT.jpg
15ARF PROTO-SPORT CHS CMPLT FRT.jpg [ 308.33 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
16ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT RT.jpg
16ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT RT.jpg [ 203.56 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
17ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT LFT.jpg
17ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT LFT.jpg [ 240.95 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
18ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT BOT.jpg
18ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT BOT.jpg [ 255.55 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
19ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT TOP.jpg
19ARF PROTO-SPORT CMPLT TOP.jpg [ 278.77 KiB | Viewed 938 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 5:56 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 33333
Location: SoCal, 91387
Looks terrific John! You have a very unique set there.

_________________
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins//////////////////


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Mon 10, 2019 2:09 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Aug Wed 26, 2009 1:50 am
Posts: 1559
Location: Mesquite NV 89027 (from Coventry, UK)
It looks amazing. I bet there aren’t too many of those around.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Tue 11, 2019 3:45 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much Guys !

Am looking forward to listening to and looking at it more when things settle down a bit here !

Colin---This was owned by a retired Delco Radio employee in Kokomo, IN (who was killed last year in an accident) who bought it from an engineer many years ago. His nephew who was handling sale of estate told me it was a one-of-a-kind.
Need to locate and contact others who were at Delco at that time (and still living) to see if anyone remembers it...

John


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Wed 12, 2019 3:08 am 
Member

Joined: Mar Tue 12, 2019 6:09 am
Posts: 145
Nice job John. Looks like you only replaced a few of the caps. Were they only those that read bad?
Love the Delco Radio script on those pulled caps. Don't see that every day.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Wed 12, 2019 4:17 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much, Livewire54---hope there were enough "guts" pics !

Those are all the electrolytics in the set---the largest is a three-section containing 2-100 uF and 1-60 uF. the other black cap is a two-section containing 1-100 uF and 1-30 uF. The single axial cap is a 10 uF. Basically, six caps total... They are typically bad, so replace automatically if radio not working normally... Still haven't got a capacitance or ESR meter to properly test them...

I also like that Delco Radio script since my Dad started there as an engineer in 1958 and retired in 1994---have a lot of memories of open houses and visiting older friends who also worked there years ago...

John


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Wed 12, 2019 9:11 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Tue 23, 2018 11:53 pm
Posts: 201
Location: Appleton, WI 54914
Stunning work as usual John.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: WOW !!! Prototype 1958 Pontiac Sportable by Delco Radio
PostPosted: Jun Thu 13, 2019 4:46 am 
Member

Joined: Oct Mon 26, 2009 10:02 pm
Posts: 6198
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Thanks much, CJ Design !

John


Top
 Profile  
 
Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 19 posts ]  Moderator: Dave Doughty

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests



Search for:
Jump to:  




























Privacy Policy :: Powered by phpBB