Updated: Nov 23, 2019
Many of you will question why I am even talking about a radio when speaking about driving a Classic Porsche. The unique sound of an air-cooled Porsche should be enough.
Why does one need tunes? A Porsche is to drive.
In reality though, music is sometimes necessary to pass the time as you travel to the start of your drive cruising monotonously down the freeway, or during a spirited drive to “drive you” as you attack the twists and turns.
Both of my air-cooled Porsches feature their original Blaupunkt radios. Their antiquated performance offering AM/FM and cassette player has always been sufficient for those moments when I want to supplement the sound of the engine with the Sound of Music. But, the other week all of sudden the push buttons on my 1986 Porsche Carrera’s Blaupunkt went kaput. None of the buttons worked anymore and the radio was stuck on the AM band. Not to worry, I’ll just pop a cassette into the unit and enjoy some 80’s tunes. I had not tried the cassette player in a year or more and had the surprise that it was not working either.
I was at a crossroads: repair the original Blaupunkt or install a new modern radio offering Bluetooth, a USB ports Pandora and operating AM/FM bands and presets.
The first search was for a Blaupunkt repair specialist. An Internet search found several across the country but the idea of pulling the radio, shipping it off and then waiting to see if the radio could even be repaired was not what I really wanted to do.
As I searched for repair options, I started a simultaneous search on the Internet for new “Vintage-look” radios. The first option to appear was the Classic Porsche radio from the factory. As you can imagine, it is a beautiful unit with a classic vintage Porsche look that would fit my Carrera perfectly. The unit offers AM/FM, SD Card slots, phone capability and a navigation system. Perfect, but the price tag of $1200 was typical of Porsche but was not meeting my radio budget.
What about Blaupunkt itself, they must have a current offering. Yes, Blaupunkt just introduced their vintage-look Blaupunkt Bremen model at a price tag of $500. The Blaupunkt Classic Porsche option is still pricey but it is half the price of the Porsche model. So a solution was found until I went to order one. They are only available in Europe and are not yet sold in the US.
While looking at new radios, I continued the search for a Blaupunkt repair shop realizing that it would be necessary to repair the original radio to retain the original aspect of my all original, unmolested 1986 Porsche Carrera. To my surprise I found a local solution in Asheville – StereoMan. StereoMan service is just what you would expect, a mature gentlemen in an off-the-beaten path shop loaded with old stereo units everywhere in his shop. Who cares about the looks of his shop, he said he could fix my original Blaupunkt if I had time to leave it with him. I had my 911 at his shop as soon as he could see me so he could remove the radio for its repair visit.
My journey wasn’t over yet, because I had the Tschüss Rallye coming up that required a two-hour freeway drive to arrive at the starting point. As much as I love the hum of an air-cooled Porsche flat-six, a two-hour freeway drive was one needing a radio to pass the time. I did the unforgivable and went to Best Buy and bought a $100 Sony modern radio to fill the hole in the dashboard and get me through my drive.
It looks terrible in my Classic Porsche Carrera, but it sure performs well. I also just tell myself that it is a temporary solution until my Blaupunkt is repaired or I can justify the $1200 for the Porsche Classic radio or Blaupunkt starts offering their Blaupunkt Bremen in the US.
My drive is complete and the car is tucked away in the garage for the winter so a radio is no longer a need until Spring. Perhaps the Blaupunkt Bremen will be available in the US by then or my Porsche budget will increase so I can justify buying the slick Classic Porsche solution.