Yes, there's a better way...
Yes, there's a better way to get some tunes in your classic Ford than this. Read on to see how you can enjoy your music with today's technology and not hack your ride up.
One truly useful accessory to have in any classic Ford is a great stereo. But let's face it: if you've got a '67 Fairlane like we do, it's a sure thing that it didn't come from the factory. Our car has the OE AM radio. It still plays music through its one tiny dash top speaker, and it's OK for listening to the ball game-barely. And despite the limited usefulness of our stock radio, we'd like to keep it in place to preserve the original appearance of our Fairlane's interior. We'd love to have a good stereo in our car but we don't want to modify the face of our dashboard in any substantial way. The first people we think of when this is a major requirement are the folks at Custom Autosound. They have been specializing in modern car stereos that fit into the original dash openings on classic cars for more than 30 years.
Custom Autosound has just released its newest Secretaudio SST stereo system. The Secretaudio SST is a hidden audio system that offers great flexibility for mounting in any type of vehicle. The main receiver/amplifier unit is usually hidden under the seat or behind the dash. A 10-foot cord from the receiver/amplifier plugs into an LCD display. The system can be operated from up to 40 feet away with the included RF, or radio-frequency, remote. Included with the system is a flush-mount bezel for console or dash mounting of the LCD display and the small dimensions of the flush-mount system allow you to install the LCD display almost anywhere; great for drop-in consoles or other custom interior areas. The LCD also comes with a bracket mount for easy installation in the glovebox, under the dash, inside the console, or wherever you choose. Since it's only 1-inch deep it's especially handy for custom applications.
Here's our Custom Autosound...
Here's our Custom Autosound Secretaudio system fresh out of the shipping box. The main unit has no faceplate, simply the input and output leads and a heat sink. To the left of it is the 10-foot cable, which allows the LCD display to be placed anywhere within the car. The small rectangular unit is the LCD display while the round remote control is shown directly beneath it. The RF receiver is shown at the upper left, and it simply plugs into the master unit as well and has its own antenna. The swivel mounting bracket is shown attached to the LCD unit while the flush-mount bezel is shown at the top of the photo.
But the real lowdown on the new system is the power and performance that it offers. The amplifier has 200 watts of power available at 50 watts to each of up to four speakers. This is enough power to play your tunes over engine or road noise with the windows open and still hear clearly. We were excited to have the opportunity to check out this new system using a pair of Custom Autosound 6x9 speakers for mounting in the rear package tray. We found the system for $279.95 and the speakers for $79.95. Before we show you how easy it was to install the system into our Fairlane let's look at a complete list of features of the system.
Secretaudio SST Specs
1. The system includes a hideaway 200-watt AM/FM CD controller with USB, MP3/WMA, flash drive and iPod interface built into receiver/amplifier unit, including the iPod docking cable. An iPod is not included of course (see Custom Autosound's website for iPod compatibility).
2. Because the RF remote uses radio frequency for command, no line of sight is required. As mentioned the remote is good for up to 40-feet in range.
3. The alphanumeric LCD display shows the artist and song titles for USB, iPod, and satellite.
4. The radio has a satellite radio input for an optionally available Sirius satellite-radio tuner.
5. There's a direct CD changer controller to run an optional CD changer and an auxiliary audio input.
6. The unit has four-channel three-volt RCA pre-outs allowing for optional amplifiers, and a subwoofer pre-out for an optional subwoofer amplifier.
7. Controls are available for volume, bass, treble, balance, and fader. There are five selectable iEQ curves for pop, jazz, classical, beat, and rock.
8. The unit features zero memory current draw so it won't drain your car's battery when not in use.
There are 24 station pre-sets, 18 for the FM band and six for the AM.
9. To operate your car's power antenna (if equipped) there is a 12-volt trigger lead.
10. From a visual standpoint the system features blue LED illumination on the buttons and the LCD display has contrast control.
11. To mount the display you've got a choice: flush-mount bezel or swivel mount bracket.
We began our installation...
We began our installation project by removing the front bucket seat on our Fairlane. Given the depth of the pocket under the seat we felt confident that we would have no interference with the seat movement and the stereo unit once it was installed under the front passenger seat, our first location of choice.
We crawled into the trunk...
We crawled into the trunk before starting this job and marked the location of the speaker holes on the underside of the package tray with a laundry marker. We're going to have to remove the package tray to cut our speaker holes, so here we begin the process by pulling out the lower rear seat cushion.
With the seat bottom pulled...
With the seat bottom pulled forward it's easy to access the retaining bolts for the rear seat back. Once these fasteners are removed it's a simple matter to lift the seat back up off its mounting hooks to pull it forward.