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Entries in Radio (3)



Do you remember old school dashboards, with a prominent speed indicator, and perhaps a temperature and oil pressure gauge, a simple sound system, complemented by temperature control knobs.

Those were the days of "idiot lights" that would not forewarn you, but simply turn on when you were in deep yogurt.

They were the days when enthusiasts/gearheads wanted a temperature gauge, oil pressure gauge, ammeter, and obvious a tachometer.

Lets take a look at a few of these gauges...


It was essential to know how fast you were spinning and engine, while staying on the right side of the red line. This often resulted with a "tach" mounted on the steering column. Back then you did not want to over rev a performance engine. Today you want to stay away from the rev limiter.

Temperature Gauge:

It was essential to know the temperature of the engine, and in cold climates at one time there was a summer and winter thermostat. With the onset of pollution controls all engines were running "hotter" to improve emissions. Thermostatic fans, auxiliary electric fans its for another time. On very cold days the gauge will run up to open the thermostat, then the temperature drops once the thermostat opens. You have to wonder who pays attention to temperature variations.

Oil Pressure:

Old school you wanted a mechanical oil pressure gauge with a copper line. Obvious this transferred engine sounds to the interior of the car...but it was fun. The rule of thumb...10 lbs of pressure for 1,000 RPM, you were spinning an engine to 6,000 you wanted to see 60 lbs of pressure. The gauge also indicated when an engine was properly warmed up, that you could start hitting the red line.


Remember the old ammeter (generator) with the + and - on the dial, now replaced by the voltmeter (alternator). You want to be over 14 volts. ideally you need the battery to start a vehicle, then the alternator takes care of all the electrical requirements.

Temperature Controls:

Do you remember the old school temperature controls with levers, cables, valves in the heater lines, and constantly adjusting and fine tuning the interior temperature. To this day these manual controls in various forms are still widespread; with the addition of the air conditioning variable. By now you know that at Strada we have a dislike for these manual controls. We prefer that automatic, set it, and forget is controls.


It all started with the lowly AM radio with knobs, which progressed to push buttons, wonder bar, floor button. The advent of AM-FM with a rear speaker, subsequently stereo with at least 4 speakers. Casettes, CD's, Bluetooth, USB plugs. Aftermarket sound systems were a big business for several years.

Back in the day the sound of a high performance V8 was always more entertaining than a lowly AM radio with a single speaker in the dash.

To this day if you have a "killer" sound system in a vehicle, you will need a CD player/changer to truly experience your sound system. Think about this...

The Same:

For countless years especially with luxury cars manufacturers adherent to a constant dash layout. On the premise that their customers were not expected to acquire a new dash learning curve. Think about this for a moment...




Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation. The "sfogliatelles" from Naples...unfortunately they would not be fresh enough.

By now you know that we are blues fans, especially the older/classic style blues, and obvious that channel 70 Bluesville on XM is one of our favorites.

Here is the deal:

Last week we were in the Ottawa area on one of our road trips, in case you did not know Ottawa a few months ago was voted as the most boring city in Canada. On this trip we discovered Dawg 101.9 FM, give a listen to the player, for a boring city Dawg FM is very cool if you are a contemporary blues fan.

Canadian Sales:

This was the strongest July in recent history, a record month for July. As usual if a few manufacturers relax their incentives others get aggressive...some things never change. Yes...pick ups endure.

As you know we have often mentioned that the Canadian economy is riding on the back of the Canadian CMS (Citizen Main Street) from taking out loans to working for low wages, an informtive article The Pay Is Too Damn Low  with mentions to the days when the auto industry was paying good wages. Agreed we could have a long and animated discussion...but CMS is still enduring the brunt of the recovery.

You have to wonder how the tightening of mortgages will impact auto sales in the coming months an informative article CMHC Moves To Take the Steam Out of the Housing Market.

An interesting and informative article on the history of Monterey and the upcoming Pebble Beach Concour.

Our usual old race cars from Modena Track Days 2013




Entertainment Technology 

For the longest of time the in car entertainment technology was an AM radio with a tuning and volume button, with the advent of push buttons being an appreciable advance. This car comes fully equipped with an AM push button radio and a single speaker in the dash.

Perhaps you also remember the radios with wonder bars, the button on the floor similar to the high beam button to select stations. 

You surely remember the after market industry that endured for many years providing in car entertainment, from record players, tape decks, cassettes, amplifiers, speakers, and so on.

In hindsight, it took decades to evolve from the AM to the AM-FM radio, to the AM-FM Stereo with a few speakers, and so on.

Today the majority of cars have what would have been a very sophisticated sound system from a few decades ago. In addition to accommodating the various new formats of music storage, from CD's to MP3's to USB's while some manufacturers get creative in packaging to various storage systems.

The center of the dash has become the entertainment central of all vehicles, and we expect a touch screen that is appreciably larger than a smart device, in addtion to having enough speakers and wattage to blow out the roof. 

Think about this for a moment...

We expect a touch screen appreciably larger than a smart device.

We expect AM-FM-Satellite as a minimum.

We expect enough speakers and wattage to drive a strong sound.

We expect several options to play our own music from our preferred storage device.

The AM radio has come a long way...

Do we ever stop and consider what trade offs have been made in other areas of the vehicle? Think about it for a moment!