Let’s face it, vintage cars are much cooler than new ones. The styling, history, and pop culture significance of a 1968 Ford Mustang GT fastback or Series I Jaguar E-Type cannot be denied. New cars do have one thing old ones don’t, though: tech. Stepping into a car from the 1960s means leaving all of your 2013 gadgets behind. Luckily for the classic car enthusiast who’s never heard of AM radio, a company called RetroSound is bridging the gap.
RetroSound adapts modern audio tech for these classics. It’s newly released Model Two in-dash system includes Bluetooth (and with it, Pandora and iHeart Radio), auxiliary, and USB connections. The system also includes a 25×4-watt amplifier onboard amplifier, and all of the connections necessary for speakers and subwoofers.
The Model Two also looks like a vintage piece, so it won’t clutter the dashboard of an older car with buttons. Instead, what look like volume control knobs can also control change the input, and switch between songs and playlists on a connected MP3 player.
RetroSound also offers custom enclosures to help the Model Two blend in better. The knobs can also be rearranged to match a specific car’s stock layout.
The Model Two sells for $399; RetroSound has cheaper systems, but none of them offer Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
Updating a vintage car with modern tech isn’t new. It’s called “resto-modding” in the car hobby, and it makes sense. Older cars tend to be unreliable, and even the most dedicated classic car enthusiast should think twice about taking to the highway with period brakes and tires.
Those mechanical foibles make vintage cars harder to drive, meaning many spend most of their time in storage. Bringing one’s digital music library everywhere isn’t the life and death matter that good brakes are, but it is another way to combine modern convenience with classic style. Talk about a “best of both worlds” scenario.