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The factory stereo is long gone in my 1989 Lotus Esprit Turbo, Previous Owner never had it so who know were it is. I have been starting to look at car stereos as part of my interior refurbish. My original  thought was going with a Blaupunkt as not only that was the stereo I had in my 1971 Porsche 911T but Blaupunkt has always seemed to me the epitimey of fine German Engineering and most appropriate for an exotic mid engine exotic car. As I started looking into the Blaupunkt Company today it appears that they are owned by "Shanghai Limited" of China.. Huh? I also looked at there website and the thing that was most notable to me was how they are pushing there Licensing agreements for manufactures to use the Blaupunkt name to sell there goods easier.. Is Blaupunkt just a name now? and literally nothing more? It almost seems to me they don't manufacture anything.. Just sell rights to use there name for factories in China who can't sell there electronic equipment without a recognizable name.. SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME I AM WRONG!? hope i am,, but its looking bleak.. What brand stereo do you have in your Lotus?

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I don' t have particular knowledge of Blaupunkt, but I used to see their stereos as OEM fitment in mundane cars in the '80 and early 90's, over here in Frog land, and "epitome of Engineering"  never came to my mind about these units, to be honest ?! :blush:
Or maybe it's just that Blaupunkt marketing department managed to generate a feeling of an upmarket brand, in the USA ?

But maybe I didn't have the full picture back then, maybe they did make high-end units as well, I wouldn't know.

What they do as of today doesn't look any better than the ordinary "in your face" stereos,  that every manufacturer make these days, I would be hard pressed to tell a Blaupunkt from any of the other brands.

I can think of nice German engineering, though, for car stereos. But that would be Becker-(Harmann). Still made in Germany...
in 2002 when I discovered their existence, their basic CD player cost 1500 Euros... maybe that would have been 2000 USD at the time.

For that price you can afford decent engineering and local manufacturing, I guess. I think they stopped making stereos 10 years ago or so... probably because they refused to cut cost by outsourcing to Asia unlike what Blaupunkt did as I understand you.    I just looked at their website and it seems they decided to make a quick come back to car stereo land, to revive old memories, due to popular demand I feel...

http://www.mybecker.com/enUK/metanavigation/home/

I did eventually buy a (two actually) Becker stereos, last year.. got the 1998 MY model I fancied... cheaper than the original 1500 Euros, but still more expensive than some brand new units. 60 bucks for a  non-working one, and 150 for the working one, but can be twice that depending on your luck.

Some famous/old models from the '60s still cost little fortunes from what I could see. There are "fans" it appears...

Today they are still in business but concentrate on navigation system it appears.. probably because it's the only niche where they can still be profitable.

Nobody wants to pay 1500 Euros for a stereo these days... so they had no choice but abandon that market segment I guess.

Of course if you want a fancy unit with a retractable screen and all the bells and whistles, that won't do it. Becker gave up on stereo before this type of units became trendy, I think.

Anyway, hoping that was maybe remotely useful.

 

Regards,

 

Vince

 

 

Edited by troutrou
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Blaupunkt were made in the far east even in the 1970's and 1980's.

Don't forget that Trio (later Kenwood), Pioneer, and Alpine were made over that way too. Along with Sony of course.

Period stereos are becoming scarce on Ebay (UK). I just sold a 1970's Sony model which I had spare. Though there are 2 nice Blaupunkt MR21 radio/cassette head units available from German and Dutch sellers. About £130-150. I'll be fitting one in my S1, using both the cassette and a line-in device to attach an iPod Shuffle or similar.

Chrome London (UK) sell period in car stereos. Including the Becker ones mentioned by @troutrou and often modified for modern use if that's your thing.

 

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Thanks for everyones input, I completely understand the Purist who wants a period stereo.. I am not that much of a purist.. I was just thinking of going with Blaupunkt as that was what seemed to come in the Porsche's, Lotus and some other High end cars here in the United States.  After doing some more research  on Blaupunkt a.k.a. Shanghai Limited of China.. I have concluded that Blaupunkt is literally just a Licensing company now that will put there name on anything and everything at a cost.  I am not sure which one of you guys said it but I think you are right just about everything is made in China nowadays, However the key is finding a company that takes there name seriously and cares about quality and has the Chinese manufacture there electronics to exact specifications..Unlike Blaupunkt who just Whores out there name to whomever will pay for it.  All that being said I am putting a Pioneer DH80 PRS single DIN in my Esprit. 

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I seem to remember Blaupunkts had a really annoying feature where they would automatically eject the cassette each time you turned them off. It was supposedly to stop the tape stretching although I have never had problems with tapes in any other stereo stretching so it was just a pain in the arse.

I've a feeling it was a Blaunpunkt Cambridge I had, but I could be wrong. Sounded nice though in my Escort RS Turbo with it's Jetsound 300 watt amp and Pioneer 12" subwoofer!!

Edited by Glyn Harper

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