The Italian Job

Delighted to have been tasked to source and modify a radio for a vintage van lover from Italy.  The spec was for  a modified mustard coloured Roberts radio to team up with his 1978 Fiat Pulmino 900T Classic Van.

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So happy that we were able to track down this little beauty, play swapsy for a few parts to get it working and send it on its way.

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What’s made it super special is that the proud new owner has taken the time and trouble to send us photographs showing just how happy he is …

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… and we can see the radio looking right at home.

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Racy Red Roberts

 

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Roberts R600.  Vintage transistor radio manufactured from the late sixties to the early seventies.  This specimen was obviously well loved and looked after but wouldn’t make a sound.  These radios do turn up regularly but rarely in such good condition.  They’re generally minus the silver tops to the caps and with a missing, or at best bent, aerial. Fault-finding was a frustratingly long and tricky process but Wayne got there in the end. Finally fixed, sounds great and ready to be boxed up for its return.

 

Garden Bouquet

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This little square side plate measures 7.5″ and is in very good vintage condition with no chips or cracks.  Beautifully decorated with the GARDEN BOUQUET pattern which was made from an engraving and hand-coloured.  They were Manufactured from 1940-1970 by Johnson Brothers, England as part of their Windsor Ware collection. Each piece has a hand-tinted underglaze making the bright yellows, blues and pinks permanent and acid resisting.

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This design, although quintessentially English, can mostly be found in the United States so possibly made for the export market.

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The rope edging and floral design make it perfect for display or to serve fondant fancies for a forties or fifties tea party.

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Some Things You May Like to Know About Vintage Radios

Working or Non-Working?

Radio Health and Safety Warning – Old radios carry high-voltage current that can cause injury or death.  Unless you know what you’re doing, don’t plug in, switch on or poke about with a vintage radio, especially if it’s been languishing in a shed or attic for decades.

P1070903The design and potential state of the wiring puts you at risk of a serious electric shock. Sorry to start with a downer but we do want you to stay safe.  Whilst a restored radio may cost more than a non-working model, factor in the sourcing and replacing of parts and the time and expertise that’s gone into its restoration. All Wayne’s Radios are safety-tested and sound-checked before they leave the workshop. If you go with a prop, it may look pretty good, but trust me, you’re only getting half the enjoyment.  You want it to be safe and sound good. Only buy a non-working radio if you only want to look at it.


Designed by Robin Day

Designed by Robin Day

How Much Will it Be Worth?  To a serious collector, the value of a vintage radio could be high, depending on the scarcity, age, design, and overall condition. Some sets are sought after because they were the first of their kind, the last ones remaining, manufactured in small numbers or can be identified as designed by specific designers.


To the rest of us?

Although not measured in pounds, the value of a vintage radio can be so much more.

tumblr_my3gy0behe1rgdasjo1_1280Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and if you like the look of it, it sounds good, it’s within budget and it fits in with your style, it’s the radio for you and, to you, will be worth a bomb. People become very emotionally attached to their radios.


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Seriously, which One Should I Choose?

Early radio cabinets were made of wood and relied on the skill and craftsmanship of the cabinet maker to produce a good looking radio.  If you’re after a classic or traditional look from the thirties to the fifties, there’s plenty to choose from. Table top or floor-standing. If you’ve got the room, go the whole hog and get a radiogram.


What about Bakelite?

To some people, a vintage radio can only mean bakelite. The development of polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride, to give it its technical name, made more sophisticated moulded cabinet designs possible and brought some colour to the world of radio. P1070895Bakelite is strong, of its time and has properties well suited to the job of housing hot valves and wiring. The downside is it’s brittle and less likely to survive a knock. Oh and bakelite tends to come in any colour, as long as it’s brown or cream.


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But What if I Need Some Colour in my life?

The brightly-coloured radios in this country tend to be painted. Go for one of our radio rescues. Colourful Catalin or plastic radios exist but suggest an import.


Or If I Want Something A Bit Different?

Radio cabinet designs are distinctly different from country to country. It’s usually easy to spot if a radio isn’t British, particularly if it’s an American or European model. American radios resemble American cars.  Think industrial, chrome and grilles.  Whilst French radios were heavily influenced by art nouveau with colourful curvy lines.

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Not Different Enough?


A Wayne’s Radio Art-attacked radio could be just the thing you’re looking for. Finished with ephemera and vintage images sourced from damaged and distressed books to give you a one-of-a-kind radio and piece of art.P1090036


How much would a vintage radio cost?

All depends on your personal specification and budget.  A high-end brand or model will always cost more. As a rule of thumb, if it cost a lot when new it will sell at a premium today as the electronics and cabinet production were the best available at that time and you will be getting the best-looking and best-sounding machine for that era. Prices for a restored working or modified radio range are based largely on size and era.  The older it is, and the bigger it is, the more it’s likely to cost you. Prices range from as little as £80 to over £300.

P1090138If a good looker is most important to you, you can go for a complete restoration with restored cabinet or, if you prefer you can choose one of our upcycled or paint finished radios. Don’t worry, back in the day, radios were produced in their thousands so there are still plenty out their for the purists to get hold of and, if you’re choosing one of of our funked-up radios, you can rest assured it was so tatty, badly damaged or dangerous when we originally found it, it was destined for landfill.  We love radios.  Any radios of real historical interest are left well alone.  Just take a look at our signature radio before its transformation and you can see exactly what we mean.  We rescue radios.

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Inside and Out

An amazing radio, inside and out.  A last look as one of our first radio restorations finally leaves the workshop for the last time.  Heading off to its new home before we become too attached.  It’s been nice knowing you little 1930s GEC valve radio.  The only good thing is, it gets to make another vintage radio lover very happy and we now get to choose another personal favourite.

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Radio Roundup


387707234A little look back at Wayne’s Radios 2014.  We’ve had the good fortune to hook up with vintage radio lovers who appreciate the style and sound of a vintage radio as much as we do.  We’ve worked on radios in many different shapes and sizes, met some amazing people and travelled the length and breadth of the country.

We’re now looking forward to 2015 and getting started on one or two of these. Just a sample of our extensive radio collection.

2015

Toast

Check out the FB10 made in 1950 by Kolster Brandes.  Originally marketed as The Magic Midget and now more commonly known as The Toaster.

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Moulded in one piece with no cardboard back, it looks good from any angle and the controls cleverly sit, neatly balancing the shape, in the bottom corners like little feet.

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At only 25 x 17 x 16 cm, it is indeed a tiny little thing and a dead ringer for a 1950’s toaster, both a wonderful piece of practical design.