Retrosound Model One install

The one thing about my E-Type Jaguar that stuck out like a sore thumb after I bought it in 2010 was the 80’s cassette deck that has been installed in place of the original radio.

This looked like an easy thing to update.   I first looked at Ebay to see if I could get an original radio but even broken radios were going for quite silly money (not as silly as what people want for Citroen DS radios as I would find later).   I then looked at some of the radios that are advertised as modern radios that have a classic look, but they all looked a bit cheap, until I found the Retrosound Model One.

The Retrosound unit has a very clever system of a standard chassis that you can purchase in black or chrome and then you get the face plates and knob kits that fit your car, and they have a huge variety of different kits.   One of them looked the same as the radios that were originally installed in USA deliver E-Types (mine being originally from Fayetteville, NC).    I ordered the radio from, as well as a set of new speakers as the speakers in the car were also poor condition 80’s speakers.    I went for the Rockford Fosgate Punch, as they were the only speaker that I could find for a reasonable price that provided to scale diagrams of the speakers and how they mount on their website so I could double check the mounting.

The E-Type radio and speakers are located in removable ‘unit’.   This meant that the installation can be done on a bench.   This until also houses the ashtray, which was the perfect place to put the little box for the SD card reader etc.   The other idiosyncrasy of this car is that the radio ‘unit’ must be removed to get to the fuse box.   Technically the upper part of the dash is supposed to clear this unit when it swivels, but mine does not, and neither did quite a few I looked at before I purchased my car.

With the unit out of the car the installation was rather easy.   I bought a separate set of discreet mesh speaker covers as my unit could no longer use the factory covers without looking bad.   The covers that came with the speakers were very bling, not really the look that I wanted!

Overall I am very happy with the model 1.   I would rate it 8/10.   The only minor annoyances are if you have the unit in shuffle mode and you stop the engine, when you restart you have to put it back onto shuffle – it remembers the track you’re playing though.   Also if you have a battery disconnect switch, the settings are not retained if you disconnect.   While normal radios do not do this, given this unit is sold as a classic car radio, and many classic car owners disconnect their battery, this would be a nice feature, and the SD card could easily be used for this.


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