Each month a Team Plastiphile member will write an informative article on a Space Age Design Icon and we look forward to creating an interesting archive
Please enjoy our Inaugural Space Age Design Icon Article on....

 
     
 
The Weltron 2005 / GEC 2007
UFO Stereo System

by Team Plastiphile & Forum Member Plastique
 
 

 

 
 
Magazine Advert from the Mid 70s
 
 
 

The early 1960’s began the race to be the first country to reach the moon. Huge amounts of time, money and attention were poured into the exploration of the Moon, the Planets and other celestial destinations. Outer space had long been thought impossible to reach except in Science Fiction and was a great fascination to people the world around. As the 1960’s progressed designers were becoming greatly influenced by this brave new world of space and began producing a wide range of furniture and decorative items. Electronic companies played it safe, as they were unsure if such items would have a mass audience.

 

One small step for man… one giant leap for mankind’ said Neil Armstrong when he first stepped onto the moon in July 1969 (Written by Norman Mailer). The moment the world had been desperately waiting for. The general public was so excited and fascinated by such an achievement they took to the shops buying everything space related.  Electronic companies quickly released numerous items such as radios, televisions and telephones that were shaped into forms such as flying saucers, planets, rockets, astronaut helmets, spaceships and satellites.

It could be said that few designs since have reflected a more futuristic optimism than these electronic items. Creating what we now term ‘space age design’.

One item that has become an icon of the day is the Weltron (Techwood) Model 2005 stereo released in 1970 with an 8 track player. Model 2007 was released shortly later having a cassette player rather than an 8 track. The 2007 model was released under a couple of different badge names including GEC (General Electric Company) in Australia, all of which were made by Weltron.  At that time Weltron wasn’t known in Australia unlike GEC who had a large share of the market. I've never heard or seen a GEC model 2005 / 2007 with an 8 track.   

The stereo looks very much like a science fiction depiction of a UFO space ship. Some people believe it was inspired by the classic futuristic sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Which might have had some part but I believe man landing on the moon had a lot more influence.

It has a built in AM/FM stereo, automatic record changer turntable with 33 1/3 – 45 – 78 rpm speeds, built in speakers, 8 track player / cassette play & recorder. Tiny round black wheels on the bottom allowed the stereo to be used on a tabletop or moved around the floor with ease. The top of the stereo has a large round smoked perspex lid which looks like a space ship door when opened. Internal green lights and psychedelic turntable display made it easy to operate in the dark. Jacks for microphones and headphones made it functional for all occasions. The AUX jacks allow for additional speakers or to play your TV or CD player via the stereo. Optional extra’s included a spun metal pedestal support stand which screws into the base of the unit. Most commonly finished in black paint, but I've seen some from Germany that have a chrome finish. Another optional extra were the large external speakers named model 2006.

All of the stereo casing was made using ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) which designers were increasingly using for its design flexibility, light weight, high durability and low cost to produce.

The majority of stereos were made in either white or yellow ABS.  I've heard of a few black, red, green and a very rare soft pink existing. Not including any repainted.   Dimensions – Height 27cm, Height with stand 72cm, Diameter 58cm, Weight 13kg.

The only design fault I've found with these units is the perspex lid. It’s attached only at the top by a couple of small screws. Back in the 1970’s they hadn't thought of what 30+ years of sun light would do to the plastic and many a 70’s key party has seen the breaking or cracking of the lids.

But now with an increasing interest in space age and modern design these items are rapidly going up in price and selling for several times their original cost. Stereos with an original lid that is not cracked, broken or missing are rare. But you can always get a reproduction lid that is almost as good.  Expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred up to $2000 depending on condition.  A must have item for any space age fan!

Next months feature item....The JVC Videosphere Television

HELP UPDATE THIS ITEM INFO!

Do you know who designed this stereo for Weltron?
Do you own / have seen a GEC 2005 stereo with an 8 track player?
Do you own a 2005 / 2007 stereo in a colour not pictured? 
Do you know what other badge/brand names this stereo was sold under?

If so, please contact Contact antiqueplastique@aol.com 

 
     
IMAGE GALLERY - Click Thumbnails to View Larger Image
  View Plastiques Weltron/GEC Collection...
A Restored Orange 2007
Nice Yellow 2007
Funky White 2005 with Chrome Base
 
 
FREE DOWNLOADS
  Magazine Advert from the Mid 70's
Sales Brochure Page 1
Sales Brochure Page 2
 
 
SPARE PARTS - Need spares for your Weltron ?
  Click to see the 2007 for sale... Cick for Infomation on Purchasing a replacement Record Stylus... Click for Information on Purchasing Quality Replacement Lids Click for Information on Purchasing a 35 Page Factory Service Manual Complete with schematics Click to view details on purchasing a 2007 Owners Manual