I have been buying and listening to 8-track cartridges since 1973. Indeed still own the majority of tapes I purchased back then till today and thought this a good subject thread for restoration. My current daily driver, a 1958 Ford wagon, has a great working tape player that I found at the Goodwill! (How cool is that?) It is a Kraco brand made in Japan sometime back in the early 70's. It also includes an FM receiver which leaves the stock AM radio unmolested, thank goodness. (subject for future restoration) Very simple to install with only 4 wires to hook up and a piece of mild steel for the bracket. Tapes should be stored in a proper storage device and not the glove box! Because not only do they take up a lot of space but the jocky box needs to be kept free for passenger registration, insurance cards, business cards and old parking tickets. Beside... you might need to swap tapes and that requires something to CARRY them around in. So keep your eyes open at garage sales and flea markets for good quality storage devices. (I have 300+ tapes... you think I carry all of them in the car at the same time?) Of course appropriate foot wear should always be worn when driving a vintage wagon... Anyway, back to the 8-track. It's a pretty good bet that most of the members of this forum own a vehicle made from 1965 to 1979. It was during those years that our blessed long roof wagons had the option of the 8-track installed and many of us owners probably poked a fat finger under the spring loaded door wondering what all the fuss was about. Right? It's not rocket science. The 8-track tape was invented by a consortium led by Bill Lear of Lear Jet Corporation, developed from the previous 4-track tape device invented by Earl Muntz in 1956. Earl felt that the standard 1/4" reel to reel tape, then the pinnacle of high definition sound systems, could be packaged in a more versatile and transportable package. The 8-track cassette inside looks like this: The 8-track cartridge contains a length of 1/4 inch tape which runs in a continuous loop at 3 and 3/4 inches per second (ips). The tape is wound around a hub in the middle of the cartridge. It pulls out from the center and follows a path which brings it across the front edge of the cartridge where it makes contact with the playback head. A pressure pad helps to bring the tape into proper contact with the head. The pinch roller, which is inside the cartridge, presses against the capstan, which is part of the player. The tape, pinched between the roller and the capstan (which is spun by the player's motor), is thus moved across the head. The tape itself is divided along its length into 8 channels or tracks (hence the name "8-track"). The tape head plays two tracks at a time--stereo! A metal sensing strip connects the ends of the strip of tape, forming the loop. Here's where the real 8-track magic happens. When the tape reaches the end of a program, the metal sensing strip connects with a solenoid coil in the player. This coil causes the playback head to shift along the width of the tape. This is the loud "click' or "clunk" sound you hear between 8-track programs. The playback head, shifted to it's new position, begins to play the next program in the sequence. This process can go on indefinitely, running through each of the four programs in sequence, until the world ends, or your batteries wear out, or the tape breaks. Tapes do break and fail and the repairing will be explained in a later post... Feel free to post your own stories, questions and or antidotes about 8-track players you know and love.