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I've noticed interest lately, on behalf of some forum members, in using period-appropriate Blaupunkt radios. And I personally am curious about being able to date 2002-era Blaupunkts that lack their original paper labels.

 

First, let's note the Blaupunkt system for labelling radios of this era.  A self-adhered paper label, generally placed on the right side of the unit, identified it by model name, model number, serial number, and country of manufacture (first photo).  Let's look at the details.

 

Beginning, it would appear, in 1967, the 4th digit of the model number signified the model year of the radio ("model year" as contrasted to "year of manufacture"). Thus:

 

7637 XXX = 1967

7638 XXX = 1968

7639 XXX = 1969

7630 XXX = 1970

7631 XXX = 1971

7632 XXX = 1972

7633 XXX = 1973

7634 XXX = 1974

7635 XXX = 1975

7636 XXX = 1976

 

Note: the "763" numbers immediately above are illustrative; not all model numbers begin "763." And not every model, e.g., Frankfurt, was available as a new or "refreshed" model each year.  New models were often introduced two or three years apart.

 

Moving on from the model year, a letter prefix for the serial number -- in a manner similar to that for Becker radios -- denotes the year of manufacture. By the dawn of the '02 era, 1966, Blaupunkt was nearing the end of an alphabetical series:

 

X = 1966

Y = 1967

Z = 1968

 

So they started over in 1969:

 

A or B = 1969

B = 1970

C = 1971

D = 1972

E = 1973

F = 1974

G = 1975

H = 1976

J = 1977

K = 1978

 

Therefore, labelled Blaupunkts are easy to date. And labelled 1967-and-later radios actually bear two date indicators: first for the model year; second for the year of manufacture. And as is apparent below from two 1969 model Frankfurt US units, and from two 1975 model Frankfurt Stereo US kits, a model may have been manufactured well beyond its model year.

 

The second and third photos below show two stacked Frankfurt US units.  The top, unlabelled unit, is a 1971 model Frankfurt US (763"1" 627 000, based upon an identically-labelled unit shown by JohnH elsewhere in this thread).  The bottom is a 1969 model Frankfurt US (763"9" 670), manufactured in 1971 ("C" prefix to the serial number).  But if you return to the first photo below, you'll see another 1969 model Frankfurt US (763"9" 670).  But that example was manufactured in 1970 ("B" prefix to the serial number).  The fourth and fifth photos below show two stacked 1975 model Frankfurt Stereo US Kits (763"5" 421 012).  The top unit was manufactured in 1975 ("G" prefix to the serial number) and the bottom unit was manufactured in 1976 ("H" prefix to the serial number).

 

But what might also be helpful is to collect sufficient photos of Blaupunkt radios -- and their associated paper labels -- so that we can reasonably date examples that have lost their labels.

 

Many facets of the faceplates and pushbuttons changed over time. The blue dot or point (as in "blau punkt") appeared and later moved during this period. The "Blaupunkt" name shifted locations. The number of station numbers represented, along with the actual choice of station numbers, transitioned over time. "Stereo" changed from vertical to horizontal. Pushbuttons moved from black with white letters to black with silver and black applied labels. The FM scale went from a reverse orientation -- higher numbers on the left, lower numbers on the right -- to a more expected low-to-high orientation. (FM scales that end at 104 rather than 108 signify European versions: the European countries use a slightly narrower FM range.) And there were more changes, no doubt, such as to the size of the housing.

 

I'm hoping that a few of you have labelled Blaupunkt radios for which you can provide a photo of the faceplate, housing, and label. If you can post those photos on this thread, perhaps we can develop a reasonably reliable method to date un-labelled examples of this era.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

 

 

 

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Edited by Conserv

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On 9/4/2013 at 0:00 AM, tjones02 said:

Subscribed... And I'll have some radio pictures for you when I get some time, or remember. :)

 

Thanks, Tom. I'll gently remind you if I don't see any photos in a few days, or so!

 

Regards,

 

Steve

Edited by Conserv

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Fabulous! Thanks. And I've seen multiple other 1969 examples which exhibit the "model number coding," using the 4th digit as a year indicator. Thus, I've edited my original post to reflect 1969 as the beginning of the model number coding. 1968 anyone?

 

So two '69 units, one monaural and one stereo, exhibit reverse approaches to FM band numbering!

 

Much appreciated!

 

Steve

Edited by Conserv

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U.S. cars did not come from the factory with radios. Thus, the choice of radio was left to the dealer and/or the original purchaser. I originally had a Becker Europa II Stereo installed in my '76 but when that was stolen, I switched to a Blaupunkt AM-FM cassette unit, and continued with another Blaupunkt AM-FM cassette unit when the first Blaupunkt was stolen. It wasn't for nothing that Eddie Murphy's early comedic routines included his famous "BMW -- it stands for Break My Window"!

 

My '67 (6 volt) was originally equipped with a 6-volt AM-only Motorola. And my '70 was originally equipped with a monaural AM-FM Blaupunkt (a Frankfurt US based on the manual, which I still retain). It certainly seemed to me, however, that, 80% of radio-equipped '02's were originally equipped with monaural Blaupunkts, 10% were originally equipped with stereo Blaupunkts, and 10% were "other"! There are a few threads on this forum about the original radios, primarily on Blaupunkts with a little on Beckers. It may be significant that, for the 1974 2002 brochure, a monaural Blaupunkt was shown in the Accessories area (photo below, which actually shows the 1969 model Frankfurt U.S., model 7639 670, available at least through 1971). So although you could ask for anything, it would appear that BMW had forged some form of a relationship with Blaupunkt.

 

Steve

 

 

post-41123-0-50674500-1378380697_thumb.j

Edited by Conserv

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In the factory parts manuals there were official BMW part numbers for Blaupunkt and Becker radios, speakers and antennas. I'll look those up and scan or photograph them. A while ago I picked up a factory accessories manual from '67 that shows many Blaupunkt and Becker options including a really cool Philips cassette recorder. Not 8 track, but cassette tape!

Please note that the pictures are only examples from one of the available fitments, like NK, NK Coupe and the 1600-2. The part numbers show what cars they fit.

My Granada red '67 1600-2 came with a Blaupunkt Frankfurt US mono radio that I still have.

Akkord-Super car radio:

Page2.jpg

Blaupunkt Frankfurt and Köln with fitment kits as well. This lists fitment for 1600-2 as well as the pictured NK fitment. The 1600-2 fitment is in the next picture for the Bremen.

Page4.jpg

Blaupunkt Bremen radio:

Page3.jpg

And now the upscale Becker Grand Prix TR that lists only 2000 Coupe fitments:

Page5.jpg

Finally, here's the Philips cassette tape recorder. It only shows fitment for Neue Klasse sedans. Presumably because the unit is to large to fit anything other than the large NK center console:

Page9.jpg

So, Blaupunkt and Becker radios were available as BMW parts that could be ordered either with the car or over the parts counter later, but they were top of the line expensive options and dealers were not required to sell only them. They could and many times did sell and install US and Japanese sourced radios instead.

I will picture the Blaupunks I have soon...

HTH

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Thank you, Tom.

 

You've got some great historical stuff!

 

Regards,

 

Steve

Edited by Conserv

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Terriific info. A vintage Blaupunkt came with my tii but needs to be refurbed. Any recommended specialists?

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On 9/5/2013 at 8:07 PM, JohnP said:

Terriific info. A vintage Blaupunkt came with my tii but needs to be refurbed. Any recommended specialists?

 

This isn't a recommendation, but sites such as TheSamba, Pelicanparts, and the Early911registry tend to have recommendations. For instance:

 

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/752964-blaupunkt-frankfurt-repair.html

 

There is a German restorer with an excellent reputation, but he is expensive, from what I've read (and you must ship the unit to and from Germany, if you're not in Germany).  Still, the cost of refurbishing a '60s-'70s Blaupunkt may exceed it's market value regardless of where you have it refurbished. So do it because you want a particular period radio in your car, not as an investment. I have also heard that earlier radios of this period are often more "repairable" than later models: miniaturization of circuitry, miniaturization of cabinets, and attempts to reduce labor and materials costs have left many mid-'70s to '80s radios unserviceable and without repair parts.

 

Regards,

 

Steve

 

EDIT: Does that Blaupunkt that came with your tii have a paper label? If so, can you photograph the face and label and post them here?

Edited by Conserv

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I ran across this advertisement looking in the Robert Bosch historical section of their website.

 

3-HK-03856.jpg

 

Were the "BMW" radios made by Blaupunkt?  Here is a Bavaria radio as seen in a European 1502 brochure (loaned to me by a co-worker).

SKMBT_C28010101404321.jpg

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What I believe Jim is asking is: "Were BMW-branded radios made by Blaupunkt, or by someone else?"

I've only seen the BMW-branded radios rarely and, then, in very late '02's or in e21's. The fact that they use the Blaupunkt naming tradition -- "Bavaria" in the above example -- certainly suggests that they may have been manufactured by Blaupunkt, or under some sort of licensing agreement with Blaupunkt. But I suspect we need to know more before we can conclude. For example, do they have identical housings, dimensions, inputs/outputs as contemporary Blaupunkt-branded units? Or, as Blaupunkt did with some of their late ('75-'80) AM-FM cassette players, which were Japanese built, were these BMW-branded radios built in different factories/locations using nothing more than Blaupunkt designs?

Steve

Edited by Conserv

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