Chrysler’s under the dash-mounted hi-fidelity record players

On October 12, 1955, Chrysler introduced hi-fidelity record players, mounted under the dashboard in their 1956 model cars. Their seven-inch vinyl discs spun at 16 2/3 RPM. Sets of 35 classical recordings were available that provided 45-60 minutes of uninterrupted music for Chrysler drivers. The players were discontinued in 1961.
From Chrysler Press Release — for use October 12, 1955:

For 1956 Imperial introduces the high fidelity record player. Small, neat and compact, the unit measures only slightly more than four inches high and less than a foot wide. It is mounted under the instrument panel, and plays through the radio speaker.

Each side of the 7-inch records is good for between 45 minutes and a full hour of uninterrupted play. A choice of popular and classical recordings, as well as recorded readings, is available. A storage space at the bottom of the unit holds five records. These are held flat by light spring pressure which prevents them from warping.

The records are of true high fidelity quality and the frequency range of the record player reaches 10,000 cycles per second. The door of the player opens downward and the turntable chassis can then be pulled out for easy record changing. The records are centered over the spindle by stops at the rear of the turntable.

An elastic three-point suspension cushions the turntable against road shock, and is designed to pivot about a point on the arc swept by the stylus as it traverses the record. This reduces turntable motion to a minimum in the vicinity of the stylus.

The pickup arm, though conventional in appearance, moves only in a horizontal plane. Hence, there is no problem of the arm itself bouncing when the car travels a rough road. Only the stylus can move vertically, and this is spring-loaded to hold the point against the record with a pressure of two grams.

The pickup arm is also counterweighted, so that its center-of-mass is at the pivot point. This offsets the tendency of the arm to swing in response to fast acceleration, heavy braking and hard turning. In repeated tests of the record player, mounted in a car and driven over various kinds of road surfaces, it has proved extremely difficult to jar the arm off the record or even make the stylus jump a groove.
From Car Life — January 1956 issue, pg. 50-51:
HI-FI ON HIGHWAY: Owners of ’56 DeSotos will be able to listen to a full hour of uninterrupted high-fidelity music right in their cars, the company announced recently.
DeSoto is introducing Highway Hi-Fi, a record player which operates through the car radio as another Chrysler Corporation “first” in automotive luxury.
Forty-five minutes to one full hour of continuous play are featured on each side of the 7-inch records. A choice of classical and popular recordings, and even reading of selected subjects, are available for listening pleasure. A set of 35 recordings will be available with the optional record player.
The exceptional fidelity was designed to compensate for the normal traffic sounds of the road. The Highway Hi-Fi turntable is mounted just below the right center of the instrument panel. It is isolated from all shock by a three point suspension of soft sponge rubber.
Highway Hi-Fi was especially developed over a period of years for Chrysler Corp., by the Columbia Broadcasting System Laboratories. The player is built by CBS-Columbia and the special records are pressed by Columbia Records.
Those who invest in one of the Highway Hi-Fi players might give a thought to improving their auto radio for hi-fi reception.
A few inexpensive changes can extend the audible range of reception considerably on most sets. The most common change over is replacing the coupling condensers to the audio output tubes with larger sizes to extend bass response.
Most good radio service technicians can take care of this for you.
Listing of available records
The complete listing of records available by mail order from Columbia for Chrysler’s Highway Hi-Fi in-car phonograph — direct from original owner’s brochures.  
MR 1° SIDE 1: Tchaikovsky: SYMPHONY NO. 6 IN B MINOR (Pathetique) — Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor.
SIDE 2: Borodin: Polovtsian Dances 1, 2, 3, 4 (from Prince Igor) — Ippolitov-Ivanov: Procession of the Sardar (from Caucasian Sketches) — Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York — Dimitri Mitropoulos, conductor. $4.25

MR 2° THE PAJAMA GAME — The last word in Broadway entertainment, this original cast version features fifteen full-length production numbers from the famous show starring John Raitt, Janis Paige, Eddie Foy, Jr. and Carol Haney. $4.95

JR 3° WALT DISNEY’S DAVY CROCKETT — KING OF THE WILD FRONTIER — featuring Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen, orchestra conducted by George Bruno: Davy Crockett — Indian Fighter; Davy Crockett Goes to Congress; Davy Crockett At The Alamo. CHAMPION (The Horse No Man Could Ride) — Gene Autry, with supporting cast. $3.25

CR 4° SIDE 1: ROMANTIC MOODS — Percy Faith and His Orchestra: I’ll Take Romance, The Girl That I Marry, Carousel Waltz, The Nearness Of You, plus six other mood favorites.
SIDE 2: QUIET JAZZ — Paul Weston and His Orchestra: My Funny Valentine, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, Skylark, Georgia On My Mind, with six more quiet jazz gems. $4.25

CR 5° SIDE 1: MUSIC OF COLE PORTER — André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra: Begin The Beguine, In The Still Of The Night, Night And Day, and five more Porter favorites.
SIDE 2: MUSIC OF VICTOR HERBERT — André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra: Ah! Sweet Mystery Of Life, March Of The Toys, Kiss Me Again, Indian Summer, plus fifteen other Victor Herbert melodies that will live forever. $4.95

MR 6° PAUL GREGORY PRESENTS THE FIRST DRAMA QUARTETTE — starring Charles Boyer, Cedric Hardwicke, Charles Laughton, Agnes Moorehead in Bernard Shaw’s DON JUAN IN HELL — directed by Charles Laughton. $3.95

CR 7 SIDE 1: MUSIC UNTIL MIDNIGHT — Percy Faith and Mitch Miller: Nocturne, Elaine, The River, Music Until Midnight, Contrasts, and seven other delightful melodies.
SIDE 2: MUSIC FROM HOLLYWOOD — Percy Faith and His Orchestra: The Song From Moulin Rouge, The Bad And The Beautiful, Return To Paradise, Ruby, and other hits from Hollywood. $4.25

CR 8 SIDE 1: I LOVE PARIS — Michel Legrand and His Orchestra: I Love Paris, Autumn Leaves, Under The Bridges of Paris, Paris In The Spring, April In Paris, La Vie En Rose, The Last Time I Saw Paris, and nine other Parisian favorites.
SIDE 2: HOLIDAY IN ROME — Michel Legrand and His Orchestra: Torna A Surriento; Vieni, Vieni; O Sole Mio; Funiculi Funicula; and thirteen other famous Italian melodies. $3.95

CR 9 SIDE 1: SOUNDSTAGE (Hi Fi From Hollywood) — Paul Weston and His Orchestra: Gone With The Wind, Love Letters, Duel In The Sun, The Song Of Bernadette, A Streetcar Named Desire, For Whom The Bell Tolls, and six more movie-made hits.
SIDE 2: MUSIC FOR A RAINY NIGHT — Paul Weston and His Orchestra: I’ll Remember April, Soon, Fools Rush In, I Can’t Get Started, plus eight more great musical moods. $4.25

CR 10* SIDE 1: ANNIVERSARY SONGS — Ken Griffin at the Wurlitzer Organ: The Anniversary Waltz, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Remember, Anniversary Song, I Love You Truly, and seven other sentimental favorites.
SIDE 2: 67 MELODY LANE — Ken Griffin at the Wurlitzer Organ: My Old Kentucky Home, Humoresque, Londonderry Air, Put Your Arms Around Me Honey, with fourteen more melodic pop-classics. $2.95

CR 11 SIDE 1: COLUMBIA HALL OF FAME — Percy Faith, Doris Day, Mitch Miller, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Les Elgart, Woody Herman, Jo Stafford & Paul Weston, Harry James — Swedish Rhapsody, Percy Faith — Hey There, Rosemary Clooney — Make Love To Me, Jo Stafford & Paul Weston — The Yellow Rose of Texas, Mitch Miller — Secret Love, Doris Day — Stranger In Paradise, Tony Bennett and seven more all-time hits made famous by Columbia stars.
SIDE 2: THE DANCING SOUND — Les Elgart and His Orchestra: I Hadn’t Anyone Till You, Love Is Just Around The Corner, Chicago, Girl Of My Dreams, plus eight other items of listening pleasure. $4.25

CR 12 SIDE 1: FAMOUS OPERETTAS — Morton Gould and His Orchestra: Lehar, The Merry Widow — Friml, The Vagabond King — Kern, The Cat and The Fiddle — Oscar Strauss, A Waltz Dream — Kalman, Sari.
SIDE 2: SYMPHONIC SERENADE — Morton Gould and the Rochester “Pops” Orchestra: VICTOR HERBERT — SUITE OF SERENADES, ALBERT KETELBEY: In A Monastery Garden, In A Persian Market, In A Chinese Temple-Garden. $3.25

CR 13* SIDE 1: SWING AND SWAY with SAMMY KAYE: Yes Sir, That’s My Baby; Daddy; Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone; Sweet Sue, Just You; and eight more Swing and Sway selections.
SIDE 2: DREAMY MOODS — Sammy Kaye and His Swing and Sway Strings: Do You Ever Think Of Me, Sweet and Lovely, Remember, Josephine, Girl Of My Dreams, and four other Kaye favorites. $3.25

CR 14* SIDE 1: BLACK MAGIC — André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra: That Old Black Magic, Our Waltz, Limehouse Blues, Easy To Love, with four other famous Kosty arrangements.
SIDE 2: MUSIC OF IRVING BERLIN — André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra: Say It With Music, Blue Skies, Always, Cheek to Cheek, Say It Isn’t So, plus fourteen more Berlin classics. $4.95

CR 15 SIDE 1: HOW HI THE FI — A Buck Clayton Jam Session Featuring Woody Herman: How Hi The Fi, Blue Moon.
SIDE 2: A Buck Clayton Jam Session Featuring Woody Herman: Sentimental Journey, Moten Swing. $3.95

MR 16 KISMET: The famous original cast Broadway musical starring Alfred Drake with Doretta Morrow, in a full-length recording of the scintillating score full of all the hit songs loved by millions. $4.95

MR 17 HOUSE OF FLOWERS: The original cast version of the Broadway hit show, with music by Harold Arlen and book by Truman Capote. You will enjoy fifteen top numbers performed exactly as they were in the theater when this long-run hit was the talk of The Great White Way. $4.95

MR 18* KISS ME, KATE: Still another gem from Columbia’s fabulous catalog of original cast Broadway musicals, this one from the pen of Cole Porter. Seventeen selections sung by an all-star cast led by Alfred Drake, Patricia Morison, Lisa Kirk and Harold Lang. $4.95

MR 19* Beethoven: SYMPHONY NO. 5 IN C MINOR, SYMPHONY NO. 1 IN C MAJOR, Bruno Walter conducting the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York. $3.95

MR 20 SIDE 1: Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade.
SIDE 2: Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol, Flight Of The Bumble Bee, Dance Of The Tumblers; Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, Andante Cantabile; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor. $4.95

MR 21 SIDE 1: Offenbach: Gaité Parisienne Ballet — (Arranged by Manuel Rosenthal – complete version). The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor.
SIDE 2: Chopin: Les Sylphides Ballet. The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor. $4.95

MR 22 SIDE 1: PORTS OF CALL: Ravel: Bolero, La Valse.
SIDE 2: PORTS OF CALL: Ibert-Escales, Ravel – Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte, Debussy – Clair De Lune — Chabrier-España – Rhapsody. The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor. $3.95

MR 23 SIDE 1: Bizet: Carmen, Opera For Orchestra. André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra.
SIDE 2: Bravo: André Kostelanetz conducting the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York: Prokofiev, The Love For Three Oranges March — Tchaikovsky, None But The Lonely Heart — Toch, Circus Overture — Boccherini, Menuet Du Quintette — Tchaikovsky, March Miniature — Rachmaninoff, Vocalise. $3.95

MR 24 SIDE 1: I CAN HEAR IT NOW — Vol. I. Edward R. Murrow, Fred W. Friendly — Edward R. Murrow, Narrator. Featuring the voices of Will Rogers, Duke of Windsor, Huey Long, La Guardia, Roosevelt, Chamberlain, Hitler, Lindbergh, Al Smith, Mussolini, Churchill, Wendell Wilkie, Eisenhower, Stalin, Thomas E. Dewey, Truman, MacArthur.
SIDE 2: I CAN HEAR IT NOW — Vol. II, featuring voices of Baruch, Babe Ruth, Tito, Vishinsky and countless other historic figures as well as on-the-spot recordings of the epoch-making events that have shaped our times. $3.95

MR 25 THE GREATEST MOMENTS IN SPORTS. A priceless recording of actual sporting events and the voices of the star athletes who participated. You will hear such greats as Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Joe Louis and many others. $2.95

MR 26* SIDE 1: YOU ARE THERE. (Produced and directed by Robert Lewis Shayon) THE SIGNING OF THE MAGNA CHARTA — June 19, 1215 (Script by Henry Walsh and Robert Lewis Shayon) as reported by C.B.S. Correspondents in the Columbia Broadcasting System’s radio programs with John Daly, Ken Roberts, Don Hollenbeck and Quincy Howe.
SIDE 2: YOU ARE THERE (Produced and directed by Robert Lewis Shayon) THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG — July 3, 1863 (Script by Micajah Wren and Robert Lewis Shayon) as reported by C.B.S. Correspondents in the Columbia Broadcasting System’s radio programs with Don Hollenbeck, Richard C. Hottelet, John Daly, Ken Roberts and Ned Calmer. Not licensed for radio broadcast. $2.95

JR 27 SIDE 1: NOW WE KNOW Series (Songs To Learn By). Tom Glazer with Orchestra and Chorus: What Makes The Weather?, Why Does A Bee Buzz?, Why Do Stars Twinkle?, Why Can’t I See In The Dark?, Why Are Bananas Picked Green?, How Do Seeds Of Plants Travel?, What Foods Should We Eat Every Day? — PAUL TRIPP (Mr. I. Magination) with Orchestra and Chorus: We Know The World Is Round, What’s Inside Our Earth?, How Many Colors Are In The Rainbow?, Do Animals Talk To One Another?
SIDE 2: NOW WE KNOW Series (Songs To Learn By). Hy Zaret-Lou Singer. PAUL TRIPP (Mr. I. Magination) with Orchestra and Chorus: Where Does The Sun Go At Night?, How Does A Cow Make Milk?, Why Is The Sky Blue?, Why Are Stars Of Different Colors?, Why Do Leaves Change Their Color?, What Is An Atom?, Molecules-Molecules, How Does Radar Work?, How Does Television Work? $2.25

JR 28 SIDE 1: THE STORY OF LITTLE CHAMP. Gene Autry with cast, Carl Cotner Orchestra. Parts 1 and 2; GENE AUTRY AT THE RODEO. Gene Autry with Supporting cast, Cass County Boys, Carl Cotner Orchestra. (Parts 1 and 2)
SIDE 2: HEROES OF THE WEST — Volume I. KIT CARSON — Gene Autry with supporting cast and Carl Cotner’s Orchestra — JOHNNY APPLESEED. Gene Autry with supporting cast. Orchestra under the direction of Carl Cotner. (Parts 1 and 2) $2.25

JR 29 SIDE 1: GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS; THE GINGERBREAD BOY. David Allen, Narrator with Orchestra.
SIDE 2: PETER RABBIT. Gene Kelly with Orchestra conducted by Paul Affelder — SONGS FROM “WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG”. Poems by A.A. Milne; Music by H. Fraser-Simson. Gene Kelly with Orchestra conducted by Paul Affelder. $2.25

JR 30* SIDE 1: TIGER (Bring ‘Em Back Alive) (Story adapted by Peter Steele and Hecky Krasno from Frank Buck’s “Bring ‘Em Back Alive”); FRANK BUCK — Merrill E. Joels, narrator, with supporting cast. Vocals by the Southernaires. Orchestra conducted by Spencer Odom — RHUMPY THE RHINO. Craig McDonnell as Rhumpy, Karl Weber, narrator, with supporting cast and orchestra.
SIDE 2: SLUGGER AT THE BAT (Story by Peter Lyon and Peter Steele) (Music by Morris Surdin) with Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese with supporting cast. Carl Frank, narrator — HOOK AND LADDER NO. 99: Authentic fire engine sounds and story — ALL ABOARD A COVERED WAGON with Mr. I. Magination, musical story. Paul Tripp as Mr. I. Magination. Orchestra conducted by Ray Carter. Children: Judith Gail Krasno, Karen Eisenberg. $2.25

JR 31* SIDE 1: ROCKY JONES AND THE SPACE PIRATES: Story with Sound Effects — SHIPWRECKED ON PLANET X: Rocky Jones with Supporting Cast — SPACE SHIP TO MARS: Paul Tripp as Mr. I. Magination.
SIDE 2: SKYLINER 35: Authentic sounds. $2.25

JR 32* SIDE 1: TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. Jules Verne. Adaptation, Charles Dexter — Narration, Raymond Edward Johnson (Beginning).
SIDE 2: TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. Jules Verne. Adaptation, Charles Dexter — Narration, Raymond Edward Johnson. $1.95

JR 33* SIDE 1: FAMOUS FAIRY TALES OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN. Adaptation, Charles Dexter — Narration, Raymond Edward Johnson: The Emperor’s New Clothes, Red Shoes.
SIDE 2: FAMOUS FAIRY TALES OF HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN. Adaptation, Charles Dexter — Narration, Raymond Edward Johnson: The Ugly Duckling, Princess and the Pea, Tin Soldier. $1.95

CR 34 SIDE 1: MELODIES FROM BROADWAY — Lee Raine and His Orchestra. Sixteen great hits from famous Broadway musicals. Such as Summertime (from Porgy and Bess), You’ll Never Walk Alone (Carousel) and The Girl That I Marry (Annie Get Your Gun).
SIDE 2: MELODIES FROM HOLLYWOOD — Lee Raine and His Orchestra. Fourteen movieland greats including such masterpieces as Cheek To Cheek, Pennies From Heaven, Let’s Fall In Love and Over The Rainbow. $1.95

CR 35* SIDE 1: CONTINENTAL FAVORITES — Lee Raine and His Orchestra: Vienna, City of My Dreams; Parlez-Moi D’Amour; Loch Lomond; Barcarolle; and eleven more charming selections make up this melodic collection designed for reminiscent listening.
SIDE 2: AMERICAN FAVORITES — Lee Raine and His Orchestra: Deep River, Home On The Range, Three O’Clock In The Morning, Tennessee Waltz, Goodnight Sweetheart, plus ten more of these immortal favorites of millions. $1.95

CR 36 FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE — Lee Raine and His Orchestra: Dancing In The Dark, Love Is The Sweetest Thing, Flamingo, I’ll Remember April, Stormy Weather, Smoke Gets In You Eyes and twenty-five other top melodies for your listening pleasure. $1.95

CR 37 THE COLUMBIA ALBUM OF GEORGE GERSHWIN — Percy Faith and His Orchestra. SIDE 1: Fascinatin’ Rhythm, A Foggy Day, Soon, Clap Yo’ Hands, Embraceable You, Mine, Somebody Loves Me, I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’, Summertime, Bess, You Is My Woman Now, My Man’s Gone Now, Nice Work If You Can Get It, For You, For Me, For Everyone, Liza.
SIDE 2: ‘S Wonderful, Love Is Here To Stay, They Can’t Take That Away From Me, That Man I Love, Love Walked In, Oh, Lady Be Good, Preludes Nos. 2 and 3, Maybe, Someone To Watch Over Me, They All Laughed, Bidin’ My Time, I Got Rhythm.

CR 38 THE COLUMBIA ALBUM OF JEROME KERN — Paul Weston and His Music From Hollywood SIDE 1: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, You Are Love, She Didn’t Say Yes, They Didn’t Believe Me, Why Was I Born?, Who?, Yesterdays, All The Things You Are, Why Do I Love You, The Touch Of Your Hand, Look For The Silver Lining, The Song Is You.
SIDE 2: Can I Forget You, Just Let Me Look At You, Lovely To Look At, In Love In Vain, I Dream Too Much, Long Ago And Far Away, The Folks Who Live On The Hill, All Through The Day, The Way You Look Tonight, Dearly Beloved, I’m Old Fashioned, A Fine Romance.

CR 39 THE COLUMBIA ALBUM OF RICHARD RODGERS — André Kostelanetz and His Orchestra SIDE 1: How Was I To Know?, A Ship Without A Sail, You Took Advantage Of Me, Soliloquy, Waltzes: Wait ‘Till You See Her, The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, Lover, Carousel Waltz, Do I Love You, Ev’ry Sunday Afternoon, Have You Met Miss Jones?, Over And Over Again, Little Girl Blue, Thou Sweet, I Could Write A Book, It’s A Grand Night For Singing.
SIDE 2: Loneliness Of Evening, Oklahoma Medley: Oklahoma, Out Of My Dreams, The Surry With The Fringe On Top, Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’, Where’s That Rainbow They Talk About?, My Funny Valentine, Mimi, My Romance, You Have Cast Your Shadow On The Sea, South Pacific Medley: Some Enchanted Evening, Wonderful Guy, Younger Than Springtime, Happy Talk, Quiet Night, Dancing On The Ceiling, With A Song In My Heart.

CR 40 COLUMBIA ALBUM OF COLE PORTER — Michel Legrand and His Orchestra SIDE 1: Begin The Beguine, In The Still Of The Night, Just One Of Those Things, Ev’rytime We Say Goodbye, What Is This Thing Called Love, True Love, Ridin’ High, Love Of My Life, Too Darn Hot, So In Love, Don’t Fence Me In, Anything Goes.
SIDE 2: Love For Sale, Close, I Got A Kick Out Of You, I Love You, It’s Alright With Me, I Am In Love, Night And Day, You Do Something To Me, From This Moment On, All Through The Night, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Blow, Gabriel, Blow.

MR 41 MY FAIR LADY — SIDE 1: Overture, Why Can’t The English?, Wouldn’t It Be Loverly, With A Little Bit Of Luck, I’m An Ordinary Man, Just You Wait, The Rain In Spain, I Could Have Danced All Night.
SIDE 2: Ascot Gavotte, On The Street Where You Live, You Did It, Show Me, Get Me To The Church On Time, A Hymn To Him, Without You, I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face.

CR 42 COLUMBIA HALL OF FAME, VOLUME II — SIDE 1: Johnny Mathis, Ray Ellis, Tony Bennett, Percy Faith, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Norman Petty Trio, Les Elgart, Vic Damone.
SIDE 2: Johnny Mathis, Ray Ellis, Marty Robbins, Les Elgart, Jerry Vale, Ray Conniff, The Four Lads, Jimmy Dean, Mitch Miller, The Easy Riders, Percy Faith.


° These records comprised the library which you receive with the machine.
* Material available November 15, 1955. 

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