Early Ford auto demonstration tapes like this one below from RCA Victor came in a plastic container wrapped in cellophane to safeguard the cartridge. The container with a clear plastic slide and lined in light brown felt provided safe storage with protection against dust. It included a one year red warranty seal guaranteeing replacement on the slide for any apparent manufacturing defect in normal use, operating manual, warranty card, and an illustrated RCA Stereo 8 tapes brochure offer.
8-track stereo tape players and auto demonstration tapes were first introduced to automobiles by The Ford Motor Company on September 15, 1965 for the 1966 model year and changed car audio forever. Thunderbird, Mustang and Lincoln models offered an integral or console Stereosonic 8-Track player with AM radio and as many as 4 ultra-high-fidelity speakers as an optional entertainment-center-on-wheels. The price ranged from $128 to $245 depending on the model and if it was packaged with a power antenna. An auto demonstration 8-track tape with 4 selections of concert hall realism sound was provided free with the purchase of a car with this option. The tape players could also be mounted beneath the instrument panel for other Ford and Mercury models. These were known as "hang-ons" with a mounting bracket.
The Ford salesman demonstrator tape RCA PC8S-186 was used during the test drive and in the showroom to demonstrate the tape deck features. Early auto demonstration 8-track tapes included a variety of artists and had up to 70 minutes of music on a Victor-8 Lear Jet Pak designed cartridge. The sealed tapes were initially placed in the glove box or console. This allowed new car buyers to enjoy their favorite stereo music on their drive home from the dealer with easy-loading snap-in, snap-out cartridges. For many buyer's the auto demo was their first 8-track tape as the Stereo-8 cartridge was a new and exciting mobile media format.
The variety of musical selections on the auto demonstration 8-track tapes, some with over 30 popular selections, ranged from classical to big band and later to pop. The objective was to appeal to a large audience and influence consumers to purchase additional 8-track tapes made by the recording company and available at music stores or their related stereo tape clubs.
The 1984 model year was the last year for auto demonstration 8-track tapes for Fords and Lincolns. These tapes had a manufacture date of 1983 on their rear labels. Cassettes had by then long replaced 8-tracks as the preferred mobile media format.
Today, 48 years later, some of the first auto demonstration 8-tracks are considered collectors' items to a small segment of auto restoration enthusiasts and others. They are a "must have" to complete the restoration and score additional car show points.
A lot of factors play a role in matching the correct auto demonstration 8-track tape to a car's model year. The general rule is that the recording companies made the tapes available to the automotive manufacturers at the beginning of their new model year. Cars for the new model year were generally introduced in the fall of the previous year.
For example, the 1967 Ford model year demonstration 8-track tape titled "Ford Family of Fine Music" (shown at right) with RCA Victor catalog number PC8S-500 would have been first manufactured by RCA sometime during 1966. The tape would have 1966 printed on its plastic container label, tape label, front or rear sleeve, or included in its top rear case ink stamp. RCA would also manufacture additional tapes during the first few months of 1967 based on Ford's sales of their Stereosonic tape systems.
There are exceptions to this rule and that makes it a challenge to match auto demonstration tapes to some cars. The exceptions include two tapes manufactured for the same model year; one tape manufactured for two model years; mid-year model releases and dealerships providing incorrect tapes.
In the case of an exception, a best practice may be to own three auto demonstration 8-track tapes for the car. They would include the one you feel is correct for your model year; the one for the model year before; and the one for the model year after. At a car show or on the internet at a later date you may discover the exact auto demonstration tape for your car. The other two complimentary tapes can then be used for listening pleasure and collecting.
It is critical to repair all auto demonstration 8-tracks before playing them even if they are sealed as they can have a variety of defects. At a minimum the sensing foil splice and pad should be replaced. Additional items the Auto 8-Track Shack repairs on tapes for sale are included on the shop page.
'66 Thunderbird With 4 Fidelity Speakers and Stereosonic 8-Track Player
'66 Thunderbird With Stereosonic 8-Track Player
The Auto 8-Track Shack identifies auto demonstration 8-track stereo and quad tapes and matches them to a classic car's model year. The site includes detailed demonstration listings with photos, model years, auto part numbers, recording company names and catalog numbers, tape titles and sub-titles, first songs and artists, and other identifying notes.
The listings include early RCA Victor, Columbia Special Products and Capitol Records 8-track tapes made for many auto and some non-auto manufacturers. The manufacturers include Ford, Chevrolet, General Motors (GM), Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Pontiac, Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth/Mopar, American Motors (AMC), International Harvester (IH), Philco Ford, John Deere, foreign cars and others.
Auto demo 8-track tapes are referred to by many names. They include auto demonstration 8-tracks, complimentary 8-tracks, promotional 8-tracks, introductory 8-track tapes, dealer promo 8-track tapes, car 8-track tapes, car demo 8-track tapes, parts department 8-track tapes, salesman and showroom 8-track tapes, free car 8-track tapes and variety of artists 8-track tapes. No matter the name, they were all designed for the new car buyer's listening, personal pleasure, motoring and riding enjoyment.
In addition to the home and this detailed 8-track tapes demonstration lists page, the site includes a featured item only shopping page and a link to Auto 8-Track Tapes.com at https://auto-8-track-tapes.com. Auto 8-Track Tapes.com is our 8-track demonstration tapes and more shopping site. This site is rounded out with repair, collect, contact and images pages.
Enjoy the site and its detailed desktop and mobile friendly designs. Images with white borders have links to related products for sale at Auto 8-Track Tapes.com, or music related sites. The mobile user experience includes some "image and text deletes for credit" for faster speed and performance while keeping the basic theme of the site. There is no need for power windows, AC and non-functional hood scoops on the mobile front.