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AM/FM Radio Options For 1964 Skylark


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I want to do away with the unsightly FM converter under the dash of my Skylark. I'm familiar with the Retrosound and similar modern radios that will fit the dash cutout but I don't want to go that route because I don't like their looks, and a radio that provides a four speaker stereo setup is overkill for me. All I want is a plain old mono FM radio, but most of all I want the original look, i.e. a factory stock radio. There are shops out there that will convert the innards of a stock AM radio to operate AM/FM, but they're goofy to operate and they charge a king's ransom for the conversion. Did Buick offer an AM/FM radio option for the Skylark in 1964? I've not been able to find one, or any information for that matter.

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Thanx guys for your responses. Now I know why I haven't been able to find any information on a '64 AM/FM for the Skylark. I hadn't thought to check into the '65 radios, it was a good suggestion considering the similarity between the two model years. Based on what I can see from images of the '65 radio, the faceplate is taller on the AM/FM radios so it won't fit into my dash opening. The GM radios of the day had a slide switch above the frequency display for selecting AM and FM, and that seems to be the reason for the taller faceplate.

 

I guess I'll eventually buy one of the modern radios from Custom Autosound or RetroSound. As to which brand to buy, I'll search the forums for opinions and recommendations. I'm sure this topic has been batted around quite a bit, so no need to start a redundant thread.

 

Jim

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2 hours ago, EmTee said:

Why not simply move the converter out of sight (e.g., the glovebox)?  Antenna cable extensions are available.

 

https://www.amazon.com/Car-Antenna-Cable-Extension-Wire/dp/B00K7KB1GU

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Good idea, but then station selection becomes an issue. I often travel outside my local area and have to change stations along the way.

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You are right about the slide switch for AM/FM so if you find something ('65 dash is quite different than '64 BUT the radio appears to be very close in size in both '65 & '66 so if you can find something to look at and measure it might work after a bit of cutting on the dash face. Good luck.

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6 hours ago, Gene Brink said:

You are right about the slide switch for AM/FM so if you find something ('65 dash is quite different than '64 BUT the radio appears to be very close in size in both '65 & '66 so if you can find something to look at and measure it might work after a bit of cutting on the dash face. Good luck.

I'll bet you're right about the radio size. I'm confident that the AM-FM chassis would fit in the available space behind the dash, but there's no way I could bring myself to cut the dash. It's become obvious that there's no single option that will get me everything I want, so I've decided that the best compromise is a modern aftermarket radio that will fit into the dash opening without modification.

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There are folks that can “update” a standard radio by installing modern components and you have AM/FM as well as blue tooth capabilities. I believe the last one I had converted was around $700 and now has all of the modern bells and whistles. Looks like an original radio!

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I'm sure you could find a second dash radio surround for the 1964 Skylark.  Once you have that you can experiment with trimming it to fit a Buick radio.  If it were me, I'd prefer to have a second radio converted to AM/FM as well for internet or cell phone music.  I'd keep the original working radio in case it was important for the next owner to have.

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Guys, thanx for all your suggestions. I've considered each one of them and have decided to go with a modern aftermarket radio. My reasoning:

 

  • Conversion of my AM radio:
    • Goofy operation (no FM display, method of selecting AM-FM, etc.)
    • Requires the destruction of a perfectly good AM radio
    • Very pricey compared to other options
  • Modifying the dash: Not a reversible modification unless I buy a second overlay and destroy it (I hate to destroy original parts).
  • Relocating the FM converter: Puts it out of reach for tuning around.

Yeah, I'm fussy. I've already removed the FM converter and installed a gauge set in its place. I'm going to have only AM radio until I pick up a new radio. I'll most likely do the installation in the Spring. Driving season is coming to an end this year, so no point in rushing to get it done right now. That'll give me time to decide on make, model, and speaker options.

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