The Pros and Cons of Owning a Vintage Style Car Radio

Thinking about replacing your classic Chevy's original radio? We’ll help you weigh the pros and cons of upgrading your classic Chevy with a vintage style car radio over a modern design.

Vintage style car radios are radios that look original but have some modern features. For example, Custom Auto Sound’s USA-630 AM/FM radio looks almost identical to the stock radio in 1959 and 1960 Impala, Bel-Air, and Biscayne models, but it comes with hidden modern features such as an auxiliary input and a USB port.

If you ask us, vintage style car radios are pretty darn cool because a well-built one does a good job maintaining a classic, stock appearance while offering modern amenities.

The Pros of Buying a Vintage Style Radio

Installing a vintage style radio in your classic Chevy has a lot of pros, including:

  1. Exact Fitment: Many reputable brands build their vintage style radios to the same specs as their stock counterparts, so exact fitment is practically guaranteed.
  2. Ease of Installation/Integration: A lot of modern car radios are built with a “one size fits all” approach, and installing one in a classic car can be especially tricky with the new wires required to hook it up. Vintage style car radios are much easier to install because they’re built specifically for classic cars, so there's no need to fumble around with the wires or buy any adapters.
  3. Preserving the Original Style of Your Vehicle: A vintage style radio spruces up the dashboard and allows you to play your favorite tunes from modern devices.

The Main Con of Buying a Vintage Style Radio

Let’s admit it: vintage style radios are pretty rad. We can’t really think of any cons of owning one except the fact that vintage style radios don’t come with as many whizz-bang features as modern radios. You’d be hard-pressed to find a touchscreen, navigation unit, Apple Car Play, or Android Audio on a vintage style radio, for example.

Some people might not be able to live without a slew of modern technology readily available in new cars, but we'd guess many classic car owners are perfectly happy without these features. We personally think that a touchscreen and other modern features would look out of place in a classic Chevy anyway.

If you're interested in seeing which vintage style radios are available for your classic Chevy year model, check out our catalog.