QOTD: Did You Used to Carry One of These Around?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Did you, like myself, once carry a stereo faceplate around because you felt like you had to remove it each time you parked or risk theft?

For the youths out there, a lot of us had aftermarket stereos in our cars in the '90s and Aughts, and we took our faceplates off since the head unit wasn't supposed to work without it. Thus discouraging theft.

I had mine stereo swiped from my Mustang once. I was parked on a Chicago street near where I lived -- it was then, and is now, considered a low-crime/safe area -- and I left the faceplate on. Not sure if I forgot to remove it or was being lazy. That was not fun.

So yeah, I often carried my faceplate around -- or put in the center console/glovebox -- to discourage theft. Did you?

Sound off below.

[Image: Alexey Layeroff/Shutterstock.com]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by  subscribing to our newsletter.

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

More by Tim Healey

Join the conversation
4 of 48 comments
  • Ollicat Ollicat on Mar 14, 2024

    Man, I totally forgot doing this with my stereo faceplate. Kids today will never know what it was like to replace the radio in your mom or dad's car to make it thump.

    • Jeff Jeff on Mar 14, 2024

      Don't feel bad I have had several stereos with the removable face plate and never remembered to remove the face plate. I did have an aftermarket stereo with a booster in my 77 Monte Carlo that would make the car vibrate.

  • Slavuta Slavuta on Mar 14, 2024

    Removed when in the city. Placed under seat

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Mar 14, 2024

    I knew a fellow who had a stereo stolen from his vehicle. He was the sort of fellow that knew everyone. He found out who stole it, some punks a block over.

    He made a bunch of phone calls (no cells back then). A collection of hardcase types who loved to fight wandered over and had a chat with the punks.

    He told them they had 24 hours to return his stereo or he'd unleash the knuckle-draggers. He had his stereo back the next day.

    They went to the next town were they sold it and stole it back.

  • THX1136 THX1136 on Mar 14, 2024

    Never had an aftermarket that had the removable faceplate. Started installing aftermarket stuff back in early HS days in 67 or so. Started with a simple underdash 8-track. Way better than listening to the radio. I did have a quad 8-track that was lockable and removable. It was a Clarion/Muntz unit. That was in my 72 Charger. Upgraded the 6X9s in the rear deck along with backboxes added. Put some Jensen coax's in the kick panels. It sounded great! (In fact, nearly every new to me car got a speaker upgrade.) The Doobies' Stampede and The Capt. & Me in quad along with DSOTM, Tomita, Iguana, Zappa and others made being on the road fun. Only took the unit out once. It was during winter and I was in MN where the temps were in the single digits and lower in the evening. Wanted to make sure the player was warm when I got back in so I could listen immediately instead of waiting for the car to warm up. The last install I did was difficult as I was not as agile as I had been in my teens/20s. Still behind the times now using my iPod connected via USB to the cars system. Sounds just fine and, again, way better than the radio.