(first posted 5/21/2016) Clearly, it’s not a car , but I mean, it is a classic and it’s laying on the curb- well, on the edge of the side walk anyway. Can you not remember how common these were, before the days of flat screen TVs? I can remember almost every self-respecting home adorned its living room with an example.
Of course, the bigger they were, the more respect your home deserved. When my wife’s brother moved to Australia with his family, his GIANT Toshiba Bomba was duly bequeathed to my wife and me. Try hurtling one of these up or down a few floors- you’ll get new appreciation for life. And a painful spinal cord.
This example looks to be in good shape. Obviously, this means nothing until it’s connected to the mains, up and running with a link to an antenna, or some other source of broadcast.
There are some I/O ports, along with buttons to operate it should the remote get lost (which it probably has). Oh wait- what’s that reflection? Told you there was a Corsica in there.
That’s right- just across from the Tosh’ and in true CC style, was this one of (now) a handful Corsicas:
Now, I know the Corsica was reviewed here on CC a number of times, but this post deals with some facts concerning the Corsica in Israel, where these photos were taken.
I’ve slightly addressed the car market in Israel here, but now let me elaborate a little about the position of American cars in Israel. For many years, they were marketed here as some sort of “cheap” alternatives (they weren’t really that cheap) to luxury cars. After all, they had everything which counted towards that: Power steering, A/C, electric windows, they were mostly automatic, and mostly big, certainly compared to the European or Japanese cars. After all, on the Israeli market, even an American compact car such as a Dodge Dart was bigger than most “foreign” cars (and those were imported to Israel bare-bone, with very few options).
This had been going on up until Mitsubishi entered the market in 1989, its importer very cleverly selling the Lancer and Gallant “fully loaded”. Mr. Israeli suddenly got all his creature comforts far cheaper than any American cars present on the market and by the late 1990s, the rest of the Japanese manufacturers where all here, selling their cars along the lines of Mitsubishi’s formula (later the Koreans took over, but that’s firmly into the 2000s).
Returning to the Nighties- back then the import of GM products to Israel was curiously divided between two major importers; One imported Chevrolet, Buick, SAAB and more, and the other imported Pontiac, Oldsmobile, GMC and Opel. I forget which imported Cadillac and Isuzu, but you get the picture- at one time, you could buy either a GMC Safari or a Chevrolet Astro, GMC Sonoma or Chevrolet S-15 and of course, Pontiac Tempest or Chevrolet Corsica, at different selling points with different warranties, serviced at different service garages, with no connection or knowledge share between them (well, not officially anyway). All this changed when GM stepped in (early 2000s) and laid down the law- unite or else! So came to the world the current importer, UMI, which holds the import rights to all of GM brands, including the Korean divisions (but excluding Opel, which in 2011 was taken away from UMI following its neglect of this brand. Since then, the new importer has done wonders for them in Israel, but I digress).
So, what we see here is probably one of the last Corsicas to be imported to Israel, I’m guessing this from the painted grill, which on earlier examples used to be black:
It’s been sitting there for about a month now, and you can tell by the dust and the front tire, slowly losing pressure.
It obviously has seen better days, the clear-coat at the top surfaces has gone and that rust isn’t going to diminish.
Inside? An ode to plastic is how I would describe it. Truly ghastly. But it holds on, somehow.
That right side mirror probably wasn’t there when the car was new. Still, could be worse. It was obviously driven here, so it might have a better future ahead of it.
At this point I’m reminded by the Corsica my brother in law had. It was about seven years old at the time and felt as if it was about to dismantle itself any moment;
The interior rattled vigorously, the seats lost any support they ever had, the ride was insufferable, and the doors closed with the feel of a guillotine. Eventually, it did one decent thing and set itself on fire following a short circuit from the cigarette lighter socket.
Hopefully this posted example brings more joy to its owner. I’ll leave you with one more photo of its rear- just imagine it rolling away from you and towards the sunset…:
I think GM-s two-door versions, with the “beer tap” door handles were better looking.
Referring to the Beretta?
I sure don’t see anything resembling a beer tap handle
on the door of that thing. LOL
Essentially, a Baretta IS a 2 door Corsica.
I know that, Slick. But the beer-tap handle
Beretta door reference eludes me.
I would assume that the “beer tap” reference refers to the vertical-orientation door handle on the Beretta. The 2-door GM10 cars (Cutlass Supreme, Grand Prix etc) also had this style.
I don’t see it. Sorry! Just for reference, here is
a tap handle:
You just pull it toward you to dispense beverage.
I remember them well, I worked at a part time job doing electrical restorations, mostly due to fire/smoke and flood damage. I hated moving all of these flat screen CRT TV’s and Sony’s were about twice as heavy as competing brands…it should not take two 200lb men to move a 27in TV. I swear Sony put lead in them, but I never found any.
Yep,there probably was lead in them! Those old CRTs used leaded glass as shielding.
Western Electric put lead bars in Model 302 telephones to give them weight! They originally had metal housings but switched to plastic in the 1940s. I don’t know if the metal cased 302s have the lead bars.
I still have a soft spot for CRT TVs, I had a 27″ 1989 GE as my main TV that lasted literally until this year when I realized all of my devices only have HDMI outputs, rather than live with adapters and compromised aspect ratios I finally relented and bought some Chinese flatscreen POS I expect to last the 3 or so years it goes kaput like they all do. 1080p from my PS4/blurry doesn’t compare picture wise, but my old GE and CRTs in general had way better picture with digital regular cable.
So yeah, between it and the Corsica to take home, I’ll take the Toshiba.
I’ve still got an old Panosonic TV that we’ve had forever as my main TV. I use it as my main gaming TV, it’s getting on in age a bit as I have to jiggle the video output a bit in order for the picture to come in perfectly, but a small detail. I actually was willing to break down and get some cheap flatscreen when I saw my PS4 only came with an HDMI output, but a quick cheap visit to Amazon and I fixed it all out. If you don’t mind living with compromised aspect ratios, it’s pretty good, and my TV is big enough that the stuff that gets cut off is minor at best. Hell in some cases, some PS4 games actually offered better aspect ratios than they did on my PS3.
Correction, my CRT TV is a Sharp.
Sharp makes a durable TV. I had a 19″ Sharp in my bedroom since 1986 untill 2015. So old the store chain I bought it from: Zayre!
Yeah it was my PS4 that prompted it specifically, I wasn’t sure of the aspect ratio selection when I got it and I was able to get the Vizio dirt cheap so I just took that option in lieu of the adapter. I still have my GE though, and have no intention to throw it out.
It’s in my “take to the electronics recycler” pile, but I still have my fully-functional 13″ CRT television that my grandmother gave me when I was in college. It dates back to the late 1970s. Couldn’t give it away and don’t use it anymore, so off it goes. We don’t watch network or cable TV at all, but will occasionally pop in a movie (VHS, FTW!), and we watch that on our “large” 19″ CRT television (bought used around 1990), which sits inside the cabinet that used to contain my grandparents old B&W television (that probably dates back to the 1950s). It’s getting harder to find VHS tapes, even at Goodwill, though.
I remember converting the cabinet from my parents’ old b&w tv into a cupboard for storing Tonka and other outdoor toys after they had won a new color tv in a raffle, back in the 1970’s. I had that same color tv into the 2000’s when it stopped showing a decent picture.
The whole digital-HD migration was just a money-
grab for the electronics industry and the government.
As my handle indicates, one of my side-lines is
calibrating TVs(tube TVs as well as modern flat
panels) so that what you see is exactly what the
directors, producers, and engineers of movies,
TV shows, and sporting events see during
production and broadcast.
Because just plugging in a TV and watching in
factory mode is “a terrible thing to do”! 🙂
“The whole digital-HD migration was just a money-
grab for the electronics industry and the government.’
Just what I’ve always thought.
Just a money grab? TVs are better and cheaper than ever before. I have no love lost for the old 480i days. Neither do 99.9% of consumers.
My CRT still works as good as it ever did after 27 years, conversely I know several people who have gone through 3-4 different flat panel LCD TVs from various makes since their inception, due to random lines on the screen, or dark spots, or outright not working. Hell the Vizio I got is only a couple years old and it has random vertical lines when I first turn it on.
It’s a good thing they’re cheap, because they’re all throwaways
Do you remember all the CRT repair shops? They were far from trouble free.
They could be fixed is the point, now we have throwaway TVs and blighted empty buildings.
My Sony LCD projection TV was fixed twice (at I don’t what cost) under a 5 year warranty. My current Sony LED TV is good, no obvious flaws. I have had it for a while (nearly 2 years). CRT’s generate X-rays, which is not good.
I had a CRT computer monitor which broke. After tinkering with it a while, the repair shop said it was a throwaway and to buy a new one.
The whole digital-HD migration was just a money-
grab for the electronics industry and the government.
That’s what I might have expected from you.
No, that’s not what it was. Digital HD tv has a vastly improved picture quality; if you can’t see the huge difference of a proper HD picture vs NTSC, you need to see an eye doctor ASAP!
HD existed in analogue form; I saw a demonstration of Sony’s system at the NAB convention back in 1982 or so (I worked in the tv industry). But it would have required enormously more bandwidth (spectrum), as well as new wider tv sets. But the picture quality blew me away (I used to set up and control the video on tv cameras, and stare at a control monitor all day, so I did have a bit of experience with the best possible video output from NTSC Ikegami studio cameras.
But the rapid advancements in digital technology in the mid-late 80s (compression) made HD possible, using the same (or even less) bandwidth/spectrum as analogue NTSC. But it was a huge expense for broadcasters, as they had to completely redo their facilities, including a completely new transmitter, antenna, etc. The smaller tv stations resisted it strongly, and were given a number of delays in the final implementation date.
But in the end, it’s been very successful, and even allows tv stations the option of how to use their spectrum space, for several lower-def digital channels. And overall, it has made the spectrum allocation more efficient, for all of the huge growth in cell phone use.
TVs are dit cheap now, and even the chepaest HD flat screen offers a vastly better picture than the old NTSC. Take it from someone who struggled with the limitations/inconsistencies of the old system. For pro’s, NTSC stood for Never The Same Color. And don’t get me started on registration issues with the old tube cameras… Digital HD was what we all dreamed of in the 70s, and it couldn’t come soon enough. NTSC was like carburetors and points.
“No, that’s not what it was. Digital HD tv has a vastly improved picture quality; if you can’t see the huge difference of a proper HD picture vs NTSC, you need to see an eye doctor ASAP!”
What I’d expect from the forum Admin – a plug
for the “latest and (not always)greatest”.
I bought a LED TV last years because I needed
a TV, not because it was HD or all the other bells
As my handle implies, my business is obtaining
accurate images and long life from displays,
be they CRTs, LEDS, projectors, or plasmas.
It’s a tough sell, mostly because the concept of
‘calibration’ is lost on the vast majority of TV
consumers and watchers. As for me, I won’t
even look at a TV with non- or sub-standard
adjustment of even the basic settings(Brightness,
Contrast, Color, etc.).
I can see the difference. My cable system has 480p sources (BBC America is) and I can see a vast difference. One broadcast station has a channel devoted to old TV shows. Gilligan’s Island is on and while the resolution seems better than when it was on new, it is clearly not a high definition recording.
There are those who think old vinyl records are better than CD’s. While I think they are better than a poorly compressed music file, they are not better than a good quality surround sound CD.
What does my presumed plug for the latest have to do with being the forum admin of a site devoted to old cars??? Would you please apply your thinking power to that accusation?
I drive a ’66 Ford F100, for certain reasons, but if you think I’m going to try to convince anyone that it’s a “better” truck than a new one, I won’t. I drive it because I like the experience of old machinery once in a while, but if you think I’d like to drive it every day as a commuter vehicle, or take it for a long trip, no way.
Same thing with tv. The old NTSC standard was based on 1930s technology. By the 1960s and 70s, it’s limitations and very substantial flaws were all too well know to professionals. The consistency, quality, and reliability, never mind cost-efficiency of modern digital tv is essentially incomparable to the old system.
Do you have any idea how many engineers it took to keep the old 2″ VTRs and all the other complex equipment running right? A lot of had to do with both mechanical issues (VTR heads, tape alignment/pressure) as well as the constant drift of analogue electronics due to heat and such. Instability was everywhere.
It’s an absolutely different world now.
My previous comparison to carbs and points is probably to gentle; it’s more like comparing it to steam engines. I worked in a tv station “machine room” for years running all of the equipment, so I have some basis for my opinion, not just because I’m the admin here.
I see folks shooting, editing and manipulating video now with tiny cameras and PC editors, and it’s straight out of a sci-fi depiction.
So yes, wax nostalgic on the old analogue tv, but don’t expect anyone to actually go back to it.
I obviously dig old stuff, (why I read CC!) but when I shoot 1080 “home movies” on a memory card and “burn” it off to Blu Ray (in minutes!) I definitely DO NOT miss “filming” on Hi8, and copying to VHS (less quality than NTSC). Sometimes the new stuff is better!
I ran my CRT with the digital cable box and compared to the LCD it really isn’t night and day, and dare I say it the picture looks better on the old one. 1080p HD stuff is no comparison, but my basic xfinity cable box isn’t putting that out anyway. My GE on the digital signal I’d compare to an old car upgraded with fuel injection, radials and 4 wheel discs.
Most cable systems “HD” is only 720, Your local TV station is likely transmitted at 1080! Remember when you’d get “cable” for a better picture? Today it’s the other way around. Concast is the “best” at this BTW!
Broadcast is either 720p or 1080i, not 1080p. Cable is either one, mine is 1080i. I assume that everyone knows that the i is interlaced, and so 1080i is roughly equivalent to 720p.
Concast HD is 720 here, so OTA “wins”!
From what I understand, 720p is transmitted @ 60 full screens per second, while 1080i is transmitting 1/2 screen 60 times per second or 30 full screens per second. Dish TV (satellite) claims to offer some 1080p (perhaps movies?), while Direct TV claims to offer one channel of 4K (2160p).
There can be different point of views on this subject. The change required broadcasters to spend money on new equipment. The consumer also had to buy a new TV to take advantage of the new technology or had to get a converter to keep their old technology.
I went with a moderately priced Sony projection TV, which I got with an extended warranty. The LCD projection light engine failed and was replaced (said to be a $1000 repair). Then something went out so that I could not switch between High Def and Standard def on cable programming. Sony did come up with a repair, so the TV seemed good after the warranty ran out. However, googling this problem at the time showed me that many people without a warranty were left with TV’s they could not afford to fix.
At the time that I bought the Sony (42 inches), I considered A DLP (also a problem technology), which was about $3,000 vs $2000 for the Sony. Plasma sets were at least twice as much, but perhaps more reliable. My thinking at the time was that I could upgrade in several years to something much better at a lower cost. I have done this, replacing the 42 inch Sony with an LED Sony with higher resolution (1080p) and a 55 inch screen. BlueRay movies are very nice.
Picture quality is vastly improved. Recorded HD programs took up less space than the analog programs did on my DVR. I am not sure if there are still analog programs left or not, BBC america maybe. Surround sound is also part of HD TV, but not all broadcast stations (ones with multiple towers) have surround sound. I have a surround sound system too, with 5 decent speakers and a woofer.
“There are those who think old vinyl records are better than CD’s. While I think they are better than a poorly compressed music file, they are not better than a good quality surround sound CD.”
In what context are you using the word ‘compressed’?
(Remember the word has two meanings, esp. in the
field of digital audio)
Old records often sound better because they tend to be the original master, listen to any CD equivelant and they’ve probably been re-mastered a couple times resulting in a totally different mix, even with rerecorded parts and even different musicians on instruments in a few rare cases.
Vinyl records may have a higher frequency response than CD’s. CD’s are good over the range 20 to 20,000 hz. Vinyl may go up to 30,000 or more, but your record player will determine how far you can get. There are record players that use lasers to read the record, which eliminated wear. Old record players (or new) with cartridges will wear the record each time it is played.
My speakers handle 30 to 40,000.
Super Audio CD’s go 20 to 50,000 (I have a few).
Actually, Dynamic-Range compression has
more of an audible effect on a song than lossy
perceptual encoding(the core of mp3).
So the biggest difference between different digital
formats and vinyl is the mastering engineer.
You’re right on that count, If comparing a recording as mastered. The problem with recordings originally released on LP, then Re-released on CD (or MP3) comes from the “remastered” (doctored) recording used to master the CD. Then again, It probably happens when new LP pressings are made today. All those who say LP is “better” than CD lose sight of the fact that the “original” LP is a copy of a magnetic tape any how. (unless we’re talking pre-1946)
I’m old enough that I took an industrial arts class in high school, the 2nd year of which was TV repair. We worked on Motorola “works in a drawer” sets, the instructor put bugs somewhere we’d have to figure out where the problem was. Great background for troubleshooting, we also learned how to do an alignment. I never worked on TVs professionally, but have for a hobby, I’ve actually never bought an ATSC TV, the one I have had a bad power supply I replaced probably 10 years ago and has worked fine since. Of course it isn’t 8K nor even 4K but works fine for me. I still have my 1985 Mitsubishi 19″ stereo set I bought kind of out of shame after buying my first VCR (Beta, of course) and my friends couldn’t understand how I could watch it on a 13″ B&W set I had in college.
I used to work on graphics workstations, and have had to haul some 19″ CRT monitors around and remember how hefty they were (seemed much heavier than my 19″ TV). My company got out of the client market and closed the location that used to develop graphics cards, some of the people ended up moving and working with me later on, they had some good stories about them I heard while working with them up the food chain now on servers..the only “graphics” they have are for computation, don’t have any monitor connection that go to them. Probably screwed up my back more than once trying to move one on my own without help.
Back to the Corsica, I remember the first time I ever saw one in 1987, I was on a business trip to Seattle, and one of my co-workers got it as a rental. Mine was a Nissan Stanza (another favorite car of mine). Anyhow, I didn’t care much about the Corsica back then, but they’ve since grown on me, such that I’d consider one if I could find a nice one. This is really stretching it, but if I could find a really rare Corsica hatch, I’d likely buy it right then and there…I’m a big hatchback fan, and really like mid-sized hatchbacks, which are really an endangered species. I guess I didn’t really care for how the Corsica looked, but should have gone beneath the skin, they really were pretty decent cars. I wish something like these were still being made…I’m soon in the market for something with an automatic (have owned manuals since 1981 but getting too old, nobody in my family can drive my car). I prefer cars, don’t want to get a crossover nor SUV, I like smoother ride in cars as I get older. Actually, I kind of crave an “old man’s car” which is appropriate to my age now. A Corsica would work pretty well I think, but they’re going on 30 years old (the newest ones) and aren’t plentiful at least where I live (the sunbelt, but even here older cars aren’t common).
I had a CRT (new about 1987) which worked well into the new millennium. I knew high definition was coming, so I waited until I bought a Sony projection LCD. It was 16 inches deep with a 42 inch screen size. I got a 5 year warranty which paid for a couple of serious defects. I never bought a new projection lamp for it. I replaced it with a 55 inch LED Sony (1080p).
The tv station I recently worked at had a wide screen Panasonic in the basement lock up. Apparently Panasonic had given them out in anticipation of 16×9 standard definition broadcast. That worked out well didn’t it? The larger crt tubes had glass that was an inch thick or more on the flat face of them to ward off spontaneous implosion. Hernia specials.
I haven’t seen a Tempest/Corsica in a very long time. It looks as though you found one of the rare models without the bent hood. Almost all of them had this owner/mechanic installed option from closing the hood while the prop rod was in place.
A coworker drove the carpool in his Tempest with the musty mold smell. There was some debate over the origin of the musty smell. Was it the nasty coffee rag he used to wipe the stains off the dash or was it the stale A/C that never drained properly? He protected that rag like a mother aligator guards her nest. Then one day the rag was gone. The smell however lingered on.
Does Israel have vehicle lighting regulations requiring amber rear turn signals and rear fog lights? Looking at photos taken in the streets of Israel, it seems like all cars imported into Israel are EU spec and I find it strange that the pictured Corsica was imported with red US spec rear light clusters and narrow license plate housings.
Yes – standard are essentially EU for cars and trucks (which more or less killed US-made conventional large trucks over there).
Then I wonder how a US-spec Corsica like the red one in the photos was allowed to be officially imported into Israel. Chevrolet did have a Euro-spec Corsica with amber turn signals and a wider license plate housing that would accommodate the standard issue Israeli license plate.
Well, Israel does have the amber/fog light regulation, however, concessions were made for American cars, so those are allowed to be imported “as is”. Same for the license plate- there are two types (sizes) of plates available for use, one of which is meant for American cars’ housings.
I think the only true demand of the Israeli MOT is that the front headlights should be asymmetrical, i.e. the right headlight’s bean should be “stronger” than the left, to lit the road side better, where as (I think) on the American home market, this is not mandatory and both headlights are symmetrical.
I have a feeling this has been tightened up during the last 15 years; I also believe a lot of the American cars brought by the dealers (not grey imports) are “Euro-spec” (that is, ones built for the EU in the US in the first place). The max length rules which killed the US-made conventional truck in Israel are enforced very strictly.
I’ll give you the amber colored turn-lights (obviously not done because of the small Israeli market but because of the much bigger European one), although they still make concessions- here’s a new Impala, of an official import (I can tell by the license plate). Note the red tail lights and the squarish plate:
Yohai and T.turtle, thank you for elaborating on Israeli vehicle regulations. The topic of vehicle regulations in foreign countries and how exported vehicles differ from the ones in their home market have always fascinated me. I looked at the Israeli chevrolet.co.il site and it looks like all models are sold US-spec. I wonder how US cars were able to obtain concessions from local vehicle regulations in Israel.
Yoshi, the cars themselves are not all that different- and the roots for concessions made go way back, to the strong ties Israel has with the US, mostly military but of course it evolved into the civilian market.
Maybe turtle would care to elaborate, he’s older than me and has better knowledge of the matter.
That isn’t quite how asymmetrical headlamps work. The left and right headlamps produce the same beam; each headlamp produces an asymmetrical low beam with a cutoff line at the top, light below and dark above. From the centre of the beam pattern to the left, the cutoff line is horizontal. From the centre of the beam pattern to the right, the cutoff has an upstep (looks like a stairstep in side profile) or an upsweep (looks like a ramp in side profile). In countries with left-hand traffic, it’s flopped; the cutoff is horizontal toward the right and upstepped or upswept to the left.
I have a 36″ Sony Wega CRT TV! I brought it home in the trunk of a 1989 Cadillac Brougham. I’m pretty sure they shared identical gross curb weight! And keeping with the Chevrolet theme, I believe Sony wants it pronounced “vega”!!!
Great write-up — I’d love to see more CCs from Israel.
I remember GM made a big deal in the US about them selling Corsicas and Berettas in European markets, and there was a long-running ad featuring a Beretta in Switzerland. I didn’t know that they were sold in the Israeli market too, and would be real curious to know how many were sold.
Also, I’m curious, was the Pontiac Tempest actually sold in Israel? I had thought the Tempest was a Canada-only model (the US certainly didn’t get them), but never thought about overseas markets.
Thanks, I’ll try to post more posts concerning the Israeli car market.
Yes, the Tempest was indeed imported and sold here along side the Corsica by a second GM importer, as I wrote in the post. It was different from the Corsica by name and badges only.
Berettas were never sold in Israel officially, but very few examples arrived here through private import, by the owners themselves.
I have always thought of the Corsica as sort of the ebb tide of GM. Utilitarian and homely, made of the cheapest materials assembled in the least expensive way into shapes that were the cheapest to manufacture.
As for the CRT TV, their day is well and truely done; our annual neighborhood garage sale was last weekend – a fairly large event,well advertised, that usually has about 100 homes participate. Someone put out large two flat front CRT TV’s on the sidewalk, each labeled “Free Works Well”. Neither of them was taken and stayed there until the next trash day.
I remember being at a yard sale around 1990, and seeing a Bell and Howell movie projector for sale for one dollar. What was once quite the thing to have was now an obsolete relic. Time marches on.
except of course when you are on the event horizon…(ref- Genius on PBS)
TV looks to be about 10 years newer than the Corsica. I remember in the early 2000s when those “flat screen” (but still big back) TV’s were the poor man (a.k.a. my family’s) way of feeling like we had a plasma TV.
Go Vizio, or go home
$129,999.99 for a 120 inch screen
And here’s where it started, in 1954, when RCA introduced the CT-100 color TV set and NBC began regular color broadcasts.
The problem was, not many people wanted to buy an expensive color TV when there were so few color broadcasts in the mid-’50s, and broadcasters didn’t want to spend the money to shoot and air in color because there were so few color sets out there. This chicken-and-egg situation kept color from becoming popular until a decade later. NBC really got the ball rolling when they went to all-color broadcasts two years before their competitors (hence the peacock logo), and their ratings went through the roof amongst color TV set owners. That finally dragged the other networks into color broadcasting and spurred sales of color sets.
Exactly. My parents didn’t get a color set until 1970.
CBS actually was the first with an FCC-approved color system, in 1951. It was incompatible with existing black-and-white standards, however, and it was gone by the end of the year. I’m sure it rankled with CBS that RCA (and therefore NBC) won the color TV war.
I tried to post a picture of that first RCA color TV yesterday, but couldn’t get it to take. I’ve posted it below.
Not only was the CBS system incompatible with the existing black-and-white standards, it was also mechanical, relying on spinning discs to provide the color. That may have been a second strike against it.
If what I’ve read is correct, one excuse given for the delay in the FCC’s adoption of color standards was the Korean War, and the need to conserve resources for war production. I’m not sure if that was true, or merely a power play dreamed up by David “General” Sarnoff of RCA. Sarnoff is alleged to have played a similar card with the government to crush Edwin Howard Armstrong and his Yankee Network, as its superior FM broadcasts were seen as a threat to NBC’s and RCA’s heavy investment in AM.
When riding in a then new Corsica nearly 25 years ago
with that curved instrument shroud, I thought it was
the best looking most futuristic dash I’d ever seen in
any car up to then! Try to look at that interior through
the eyes of a 22 year old college student in 1992.
I still have a 32″ Sony Wega XBR with a matching stand, it weighs just a bit shy of 200 lbs. I payed close to $3K for it in the late ’90s. Back than Sony used to make plasma TV and it retailed for around $15K in Canada.
When I saw the title, I thought this was going to be a story similar to how every smartphone has a little 1965 Dodge Coronet lightweight factory drag car in it. It seems that back in the day, Chrysler wanted to cut weight everywhere for their latest Super Stock effort to showcase their new Hemi engine (which had just been outlawed for the 1965 NASCAR season. So, they contracted with Corning to come up with a super-thin glass for the side windows.
Fast-forward to Steve Jobs looking for similar special thin (but strong) glass necessary for the screen of his latest game-changer. Corning said they couldn’t do it, and Jobs was about to look elsewhere, when Corning decided to check their vaults and found the glass used in the ’65 Dodge side windows. They renamed it Gorilla Glass and the rest, as they say, is history.
Thanks rudiger, that is an interesting bit of trivia!
Must be the CC effect, as I just saw a white Corsica driving around today. It was in good shape too. My thought was “haven’t seen one of those in a while, especially without the paint peeling off”.
I can’t help but laugh when an old CRT TV gets as many comments as the car…on a site “dedicated” to the mostly mechanical. That’s why I enjoy this site so much.
How true. I never thought the comments’ majority would be about the monitor.
Next week, I’ll do a post on a toaster-oven.
Or about the Israeli office chair, so valuable people lock them up.
Well, this chair clearly belongs to the old folks helping kids cross the streets. I see similar sights in my town.
I mean, they have to rest somewhere, when there’s no (kids) traffic:
Wait a sec – where’s PAUL… or Ringo?
Paul is dead, circa 1966. Don’t you know?
How about an Alfa Sud then?
Wait about an hour, it’ll rust through the chain.
The pic of the Alfa was taken 5 years ago and believe it or not, I saw a recent pic of it and it’s still there tied to the post looking even worse.
> How true. I never thought the comments’ majority would be about the monitor.
> Next week, I’ll do a post on a toaster-oven.
I could do a COAL on my toaster oven! (or is that a TOAL?) I was in my third year of college when I decided I needed a toaster oven in my dorm room, so I went shopping for one at a “catalog showroom” like Best, W. Bell, or Service Merchandise, a type of store that’s completely extinct now. I dressed nicely because I wanted to look good for my then-girlfriend who was with me, which apparently confused a passing shopper into thinking I worked there. Rather than tell this shopper I didn’t work there, I decided it would be more fun to impersonate a salesman. So I proceeded to show this lady this toaster-oven’s features, but of course tried to upsell her to a most expensive model, explaining how that one offered continuous cleaning and a broiler. And it’s on sale but it ends today! It was then that I turned my head and saw my GF literally lying on the floor laughing hysterically at my salesman impression and how completely the shopper was fooled. I still have that toaster oven. I don’t still have the girlfriend….
I could do a TV Set Of A Lifetime too on the last CRT television I bought. I was looking through a 1994 Panasonic brochure I had and was surprised they were still making those huge wooden-furniture console TVs in 1994. Didn’t those vanish after the ’70s? Apparently not, even though they had become very rare by that point. But not only were they still making console TVs, but Panasonic even offered their high-end innards in one console model. So I decided to be different and buy a 31″ console TV in 1994 for my new apartment. Besides looking like an anachronism, it used the extra space in the cabinet for storage behind glass doors as well as a subwoofer. (find me a modern flat-screen TV with a subwoofer in it!). The high-end consoles were discontinued later that year, followed by all remaining consoles the year after. But for many years to come, the console TV was the nicest piece of furniture I had in my home.
This could get out of hand, I have an iron made by Rowenta in the UK by Englishmen or women (yes). It is 26 years old and has followed me to Austria, where it is still in use. Yes, it was the base model even in 1990 (no steam, no nothing to go wrong) and I am not known for compulsive ironing, but still…
Zenith catalogued at least one “wood” (Not sure how much real wood, LOL) console in the early 2000s!
RCA was still making them as late as 2002 as well, my grandparents bought a new console TV from Circuit City in 2002. I was amazed it had all the latest features their regular line had (surround sound, channel guide, S-Video inputs etc.) They’re still using it to this day.
Awesome! good on RCA and Zenith consoles making the millennium! Both of the brands MEANT television to me growing up. I still remember our RCA “New Vista Color” console set from when I was a kid! “effing” with the “Color” and “Tint” controls provided plenty of entertainment, At least ’till my Mum smacked me! LOL!
From what I understand, New Vista Color televisions were RCA’s last-ditch attempt to stem the tide of solid-state transistorized TVs with an improved vacuum tube (valve) called Nuvistor, hence the similar New Vista nomenclature. I think RCA was the last major manufacturer to use vacuum tubes in their TVs (not including the CRT itself which is a vacuum tube of sorts).
Don’t know if it was to stem off solid state TVs (as the name was from early 60s,) But it did refer to the “nuvistor” tube. And CRTs are most definitely vacuum tubes. only larger and more expensive than the average! RCA,Zenith & Magnavox built Solid State, Hybrid (transistor & tube) and tube sets into the ’70s.
Paul, are you taking notes? Apparently the public is crying out for a sub-theme CC, featuring home appliances…
Lots of You Tube videos of old washing machines going through entire cycles, Yohai. There’s an untapped demographic that’s Jones-ing for that sub-theme.
I never knew people were THAT serious about their appliances. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, being that as the man of the house, the laundry fell into my domain… here’s the latest batch of laundry I hang, drying as I write this- reds, of all colors:
I’m not at all surprised by this, This site attracts people who have a mechanical / technical bent, This also happens on a a photography blog I read, It could start with a question about a Pentax K5 and end up with a debate over what WW2 fighter plane was best! If it’s an old firearm,old vehicle, or old electrical device…I’m there!
James, the sad truth is we’re all just weird:)
BTW, Dweezil, I attended your “Zappa plays Zappa” show a few years back, when you came to play in Israel. We even spoke a bit before the show. And I had a great time.
I knew a guy who actually waxed his washing machine on a regular basis. I always wondered if he had some sort of wild paint job (i.e., flames on the side), chrome-plated internal parts (with a hood that opened up to easily see them), and took it to washing-machine shows on nice weekends.
RUSH had washing machines onstage when I saw them. Coloured fabrics rolling around. During the show in the middle of a song a guy came out and swapped the laundry.
Not quite a home appliance, but could I interest you in a Juke Box?
Made by the Melbourne firm of Wilding (my dad) and Porter.
Here’s where color TV started in the U.S. as a viable thing: the RCA CT-100, introduced in 1954 for a whopping $1,000. For that you got a 15-inch CRT with a 12.5-inch picture, something like 36 vacuum tubes, and no doubt a noticeable hit on your electric bill. In 1955, RCA introduced a 21-inch picture tube and a chassis with fewer tubes.
Ironically my dad would have used a similar car to haul an old TV which we still have. Perhaps people underestimate it. My dad used to own a 1990 Pontiac Tempest (Canadian Corsica clone) with the two tone paint job- burgundy (Medium garnet red) with a silver bumper/base. It had a burgundy interior, auto transmission, cruise control, power trunk release, power door locks and a V6 3.1L engine. The dash had the previous older design. The seats were comfortable. It even had three keys- one for the ignition, one for the doors and trunk and one for the locking fuel tank cover.
This is one of those cars that would still haunt my dreams even up until a few years ago. I had logged in many hours behind the wheel to become a descent driver. Many Friday nights were spent piling in the car with some high school friends and cruising around with all the stupid adventures. I had spent countless hours vacuuming the inside, and washing and waxing the exterior by hand till I knew ever inch and every curve. I had spent what little money I had to accessorize it inside and out.
A newspaper review had described it as a grilled cheese sandwich along with the Beretta- which was nothing special but just hits the spot. Sure it was a little bland, but I liked the simplicity in a way. The rear taillight could be removed using thumbscrews and even the front headlight bulbs were easy to change. Parts were usually sourced easily at the junkyard. I had even replaced a rusty gas tank door in the right body color and a power door lock switch.
The car had been damaged during a snow storm spinout in early 2004 and my dad was still able to drive it home. It had to be scrapped but I still have a set of plastic Pontiac wheel covers from this car and perhaps a few other little things such as a repair manual. I would search used car ads online from time to time to see if any were for sale and they have mostly disappeared in recent years. After remembering the headaches associated with driving an old GM vehicle, I probably wouldn’t buy another one even if I had the chance. But pictures like these take me back.
There seems to be some fondness for old tech here. I do have a film camera I would like to sell…
The sad thing is I can imagine getting in the Corisca and driving around and having a good time in it. Even though is a POC.
A quick update: the Corsica’s still there, the monitor has gone…
Somehow it does not surprise me at all.
Good article and I did not know Corsicas were sold in Israel. Maybe I will drive one someday just to see what they are like.
I’ve got a Sony 27″ CRT I bought back in ’99 I’ll gladly give away… please? Someone?
Such a waste to see any electronic items like that just being tossed.
Better late than never; someone mentioned above waxing a washing machine- I found this:
About 25 years ago I was at my gf’s place in Santa Cruz and we had to fix her old washing machine, which was almost exactly the same as the one shown at 2:27-2:50 here. But hers wasn’t a Blackstone like these, it was a Frigidaire, which was owned by General Motors back then (I see GM’s badge-engineering extended to their appliances too). She didn’t have the matching dryer though. It really was an interesting device – I wrote about it in my first response in the GM appliance writeup a few years back ( https://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/tv-ads-and-videos/cc-vintage-video-gm-did-build-an-imperial-the-frigidaire-imperial-line-for-1957/ ) so won’t repeat the same long post here.
I still have the Panasonic 31″ CRT TV I bought in 1994. One of the last “console” models built into a wood cabinet, but it was a nice modern design that had built-in storage behind glass doors beneath the screen and a subwoofer built into the cabinet. It was the most elegant piece of furniture in my living room when it was new.
The Tempest was actually a Canada-only model in North America, though Chevy used its side moldings and taillights to update the U.S. Corsica after a few years to save the cost of having to design new ones. The real rarity amongst Corsicas is that hatchback model they added after a few years that didn’t sell well.
I for one dont miss gigantic CRT television sets I bought a top of the rang Grundic used on trademe for $1.00 and when I turned up to collect it realised the lady was just glad to get it out of her house it barely fitted in the Sentra wagon I turned up in, it did out last the Sentra though which sold a few months later and went to the dump on my trailer behind the 59 Hillman, the digital flat screen that replaced it I could carry under my arm.
We still have all CRT televisions, dating from 1960s through 1990s, using converter boxes for reception. They won’t be replaced until they die off. Picture quality is good enough as far as I’m concerned, it’s the available content that needs to be upgraded. However one good thing about the digital transition is a lot more available channels via antenna, many of them showing old shows and movies. (The bad thing is the digital signal doesn’t degrade gracefully. Conditions that would produce a bit of snow or ghosting with NTSC causes the audio to immediately drop and the image to break into a mess of pixels.)
There was no excuse, or valid reason, to discard a TV broadcast standard that had served us well since after WW2. And I don’t want to hear any excuses about “more bandwidth needed” for cellular, etc.
The whole “digital transition” was just an excuse to get folks to go out and buy TVs to replace the ones they already had that worked!
Plus, one now needs a bigger more sensitive antenna than before to pull in the same channels
Right, then; we’ll just add the demise of the pathetic Never Twice the Same Colour television standard to the heap of dirty deeds…CDs were just an excuse to get folks to go out and replace their cassette tape collections; cassettes were just an excuse to get folks to go out and replace their record collections; DVDs replaced laserdiscs replaced VCRs for absolutely no valid reason; digital photography is a great big ol’ scam to get folks to go out and replace their perfectly good film cameras; smartphones are an obvious ruse to get folks to give up their still-working Western Electric № 500s…hell, the whole, entire new car industry is a giant scam to get people to go out and buy cars to replace the ones they already had that worked!
My parents first television was a 1952 20 inch Philco console that delivered 3, maybe 4 snowy channels on a good day. It cost $499 new, over $5,000 in todays dollars. My father would spend hours it seemed fiddling with the tuner and rotor antenna to get a good picture.
My most recent TV is a 60 inch Samsung that delivers a stunning picture in vivid color on over 200 channels. It also connects to the internet, providing all sorts of streaming content. Of course it’s remote controlled and adjustments are seldom needed. It’s cost.? $499.
Yes, it was a long, ongoing, terrible, communist inspired conspiracy involving the government and television industry to provide a far superior product for a fraction of the cost.
Obviously they’ve got to you, too.
NTSC-based CRT television sets came a long way since the fifties.
By the 1980s, reliability, ease of tuning, and sound and picture quality were lightyears ahead of what they were post-war.
Did you also know that the default, out of the box picture on current flat screen LED/OLEDs is anything but accurate? It’s adjusted that way at the factory to compete with dozens of other screens at the store. And most consumers assume that is what HD should look like.
You actually have to take the set out of ‘Cranked up’ mode to get an accurate picture. Movie mode is a lot closer to intended content than factory mode.
Needs Tube; Same Crap(py image)
I’m probably younger than most of you in this TV conversation, but after what I’ve seem come along tech-wise since 2010, I’ve come to appreciate the technology that served our entertainment and transportation needs up until then.
It’s why, also, I won’t own a car from model year 2015 or later. They removed CD players, and even the Aux. port inside the center console, and replaced all that with a giant tablet on the dash, because: ‘that’s how Millennyoolz are used to interfacing with the world nowadays’!
Cute. You know the difference between those examples.
Changjng the entire TV broadcast system was just greed, pure and simple.
In my college marketing courses one of the topics was ‘creating a need where one did not exist’. That’s exactly what was done in that case.
Need…? Are you sure? I don’t have a television set; haven’t since 1995, I think it was, and I don’t perceive any need for one—no matter whether it’s a CRT, an LED, an OLED, an HD, or an OFW. So where’s this alleged need I’m supposed to be such a slave to?
Well then Daniel, consider yourself lucky to be immune to the pressures of product marketing! If what you are saying, about not having something in your home that the vast majority of people in what ever country you live have in theirs, you are certainly extraordinary.
I took the Marketing course as an elective for my business degree, so that’s how I know about such technique.
I guess marketing courses don’t teach that make-believe needs aren’t fungible with genuine, legitimate ones. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I’ve been a fan of the Corsica since driver’s ed. We had a nearly new Cavalier, which broke down and made us walk. I was next to drive, and we went to an older Corsica.
I really liked how it drove compared to the Cavalier, even though it was just an extended version of that car. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something about a Corsica that I like so much more than the Cavalier or any other compact GM FWD before or since.
Later, when working for a GM dealer as a transfer driver, I was told by the used car manager to take a “program” Cavalier on a trip. I refused and went above his head. “Well, what do you want to take? I don’t think we have a Taurus” Lol yeah they knew me pretty well by then. When I mentioned the 1996 Corsica that had just come in on trade with 64k miles, he agreed.
I drove that car to the north Georgia mountains and back, about a 1500 mile trip. The car performed very well. I had a perfectly good 1994 Ford Tempo that I really liked, so I had no use for the Corsica myself.
However, my brother’s inlaws were in need of a car after their son totaled out their Olds Delta 88 (I think it was a 1993). I drove the Corsica by their house and told them how well it did on the trip, and they loved it. They bought it and had it for many, many years. I think the most significant issue they had was the A/C went out at one point. They sold it to a young girl and I used to see her driving it around, but I haven’t seen it in a couple years. It probably had close to 300k by then.
I wonder how did Europeans feel when they saw the Corsica, except for the front cluster which resemble Opel Rekord E2 and Kadett E, it screams Ford in every corner, even the interior looks so 90’s Fiesta, the whole body looks like a giant Ford Orion, there is nothing from Chevrolet in there, the tail lights looks anything made by Ford in US.
I agree, I can see some Australian EA Ford Falcon from the late 80s , especially from the side view.
There must warehouses full of those digital TV converter boxes somewhere. I never met anyone who was running that set up!
I used those digital converter boxes until I bought some new TVs a few years ago once the prices dropped for digital HD flat screens. For a few years I had an early 50″ Pioneer 720p plasma display I obtained used for almost nothing – not a full TV set mind you, just a display without a tuner, used in professional settings or elaborate home-theatre setups. These were sold to early adopters for $8,000 25 years ago, but they’re now not worth that much with new 4K HDTVs that are bigger being sold for $500. In the U.S., the government effectively gave every household two free converter boxes, but those were intended for people with old analog TVs to still be able to watch them after the government-mandated over-the-air digital switchover and nothing more. I used one digital converter box for my old bedroom set (since replaced), and the other for the tunerless Pioneer display. By law, the free boxes couldn’t output anything with higher resolution than 480i, about the same quality as traditional analog NTSC. You’d think this would look terrible on a modern 50″ set, but it didn’t. The Pioneer displays were renowned for their excellent “scalers” that up-converted low-res signals onto the high-res display. It wasn’t quite as sharp as true HD, but watched from >10 feet away I could barely notice the difference.
Nice to meet you.
Now in 2022 the mass produced TV’s are uncommonly found on the streets, sometimes those are even worth low $tens, while the broadcast studio monitors and the professional graphics monitors are going for several thousand. Someone probably snatched this Toshiba to plug an old games console into.
I got a free 35″ Sony Wega flatscreen ten years ago. Traded it for a half-rack of microbrew. Totally worth the trade.