Author Topic: 1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler  (Read 218 times)

Offline USNTar

  • Posts: 28
  • Name: J. Isaacson
1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler
« on: January 05, 2018, 12:31:39 PM »
As I begin my journey to bringing my new 1939 5019 back to life, I'm having a lot of time to study things since it's way too cold out to do much work on it. I've got the shop manual, Fisher body manual, authenticity manual, as well as having the Master Parts List, and assembly manuals on order.

Today's inquiry is mainly about the radio. Searching through all of my resources (including here), I can't find any information on radios such as the one I have. It is a Motorola, and I assume it is original, or at least original to the period by the way it fits into the dash perfectly. Even more curious is the fact that I have no antenna, nor even evidence of where there was a hole for one, or switching mechanism for the vacuum system. The trim along the lower edge of the car door indicates that it never had running boards, so no antenna there either? It also appears to have had an external speaker mounted into the floor area. Any thoughts?

Also, any ideas where I might find a new plastic bezel for the buttons? I have Dan Whalen's parts list and don't see anything that matches. Boy, the plastic in these cars weren't worth a crap. Many parts I have seen look like high heat has been applied to them and melted everything.

Jon Isaacson
CLC #31060
1939 LaSalle 50-19

Offline bcroe

  • Posts: 2096
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #14630
1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 12:45:36 PM »
I don't know if it is original, but there must be an antenna for
it to work.  Pulled out, you should find an antenna input, and
if there is a lead plugged in, follow it. 

If the identification numbers are still on a label, the drawings
can likely be found.  These radios can be repaired, if in decent
condition mechanically. 

Bruce Roe

Offline Steve Passmore

  • Posts: 5089
  • Name: Steve Passmore
Re: 1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 01:44:03 PM »
You think that plastic is bad? you should see what it's like in the 38 models.
Steve

Offline jclasalle

  • Posts: 11
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #18687
Re: 1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 02:55:40 PM »
Your radio is not a '39 laSalle factory radio... I don't know what it's from.

I can post a photo of mine tomorrow if you want.

Jack Carroll CLC 318687


Offline pmhowe

  • Posts: 6
  • Name: Philip M Howe
Re: 1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 06:12:38 AM »
I had a 1938 LaSalle years ago.  It had a radio  antenna under the running boards. Yours may be the same.

Offline USNTar

  • Posts: 28
  • Name: J. Isaacson
Re: 1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 10:31:54 AM »
You think that plastic is bad? you should see what it's like in the 38 models.


I can only imagine. These pre-war plastics didn't seem to fare well with the ravages of time.

I had a 1938 LaSalle years ago.  It had a radio  antenna under the running boards. Yours may be the same.

No, mine never had running boards.


I don't know if it is original, but there must be an antenna for
it to work.  Pulled out, you should find an antenna input, and
if there is a lead plugged in, follow it. 

If the identification numbers are still on a label, the drawings
can likely be found.  These radios can be repaired, if in decent
condition mechanically. 

Bruce Roe


When I get under there and start seriously investigating, I'll certainly do that. Honestly though, I probably won't have it restored to working order. Not a big modern radio guy, but I will likely rig it to play MP3s via my phone somehow. That way I can listen to music and radio shows from the era.



Your radio is not a '39 laSalle factory radio... I don't know what it's from.

I can post a photo of mine tomorrow if you want.

Jack Carroll CLC 318687





Perhaps not "factory" but from the era. From a posting here on this forum back in 2005, CLC member Doug Houston comments:

"There were aftermarket sets made for Cadilac and LaSalle, particulary by Motorola. They were cable controlled radios, with the radio mounted to the firewall, and the flexible cables operating the tuning and on-off volume from two knobs in place of the thumbwheel controls in the middle of the speaker grille. The speaker may have been mounted to the dash grille, or could have been contained in the radio box. With the Motorola sets, I seem to recall that Motorolas name was on the dial scale."

The thumbwheel type seems to be the most common to be sure and I'm familiar with what they look like, but I have no intention of replacing what's there with something else. It is interesting that my body is in the 14,000 range so is late production, and another 39 LaSalle I almost bought last spring with an 11,000 range body has the same type of radio. Is it possible that late in the production year that they shifted to the knob type radio? Perhaps the dealers themselves were installing these? Attached are pics from the one I almost bought last spring.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 10:34:11 AM by USNTar »
Jon Isaacson
CLC #31060
1939 LaSalle 50-19

Offline camelot

  • Posts: 166
    • CLC Member
      CLC Member #28772
  • Name: Alex Cisero
Re: 1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 03:44:34 PM »
USNTAR I have the same radio in my 39-7519.My factory invoice does not show a radio was purchased, so dealer installed might be a good guess. The dial assembly is separate from the tube box assembly and I haven't been able to find anything about it. The model label is on the tube box. I googled it and found zip so far. Its on my back burner for wiring harness and headlight work now. Good luck.
1939 Cadillac 7519
1940 Lasalle 5019
1962 Cadillac 6339 4w

Offline J. Gomez

  • Posts: 1493
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      CLC Member #23082
  • Name: J. Gomez
J. Gomez
CLC #23082

Time is irrelevant when you work on your classic car, eventually you will enjoy it..!

Offline USNTar

  • Posts: 28
  • Name: J. Isaacson
Re: 1939 LaSalle Radio Puzzler
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 08:32:49 AM »
USNTAR I have the same radio in my 39-7519.My factory invoice does not show a radio was purchased, so dealer installed might be a good guess. The dial assembly is separate from the tube box assembly and I haven't been able to find anything about it. The model label is on the tube box. I googled it and found zip so far. Its on my back burner for wiring harness and headlight work now. Good luck.

Spent some time studying under the dash yesterday, and I think we're on the same page here as far as the electronics being separated from the dial assembly. I couldn't see any anyway. They might be stuffed in the speaker which is attached to to the toe board. Time will tell when I get in there to pull the dash.

A couple of sources of old car radios just for reference  ;)

http://antique-autoradio-madness.org/first_radio_usa/first-radio-us-fr-choisir-annees.htm

https://sites.google.com/site/identifyingcarradios/home/numbers/motorola-2

Thank you sir, I will investigate further and see what I find :)
Jon Isaacson
CLC #31060
1939 LaSalle 50-19