Popularity of the compact disc as the preferred medium for in-car music fell off a cliff well over a decade ago, but the CD was the future during the middle 1980s. You could get single-disc players in cars in 1986— not cheaply, mind you, and thieves would hack open your dash with a chainsaw to steal any CD player not protected by a phony-AM-radio disguise— but Sony was the first to create a trunk-mounted CD changer with driver-operated remote. Here’s a magazine advertisement for that player, the Sony DiscJockey, paired with a beautiful BMW 633CSi.
Within a decade, remote-mounted CD changers became commonplace, and now you can’t even give one away. Back in 1986, though, the idea seemed radical and Sony was able to charge $1130 (about $2,675 in 2020 dollars) for the privilege of the ten-disc changer with AM/FM radio. I was driving an 18-year-old Mercury Cyclone and listening to my music on cassette mixtapes that year, but I knew that Sony built the most futuristic electronics at that time and I’d have installed a DiskJockey as soon as I bought my first E24.
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