The Gramocar or Record Runner

The Gramocar has gone under a variety of different names: Chorocco, Record Runner, Soundwagon, and Vinyl Killer. But I like Gramocar the best.

It was invented in the 1970s by a team at Sony who had the idea that instead of playing a vinyl record by spinning the disc and keeping the needle stationary, it would be possible to keep the disc stationary and move the needle. They designed the moving needle as a miniature VW van, with built-in speakers, that drove in circles around the surface of a record.

Sony got a patent on the invention (US4232202) but was initially reluctant to manufacture it, saying, "We are a hi-fi company, not a toy company." But they changed their mind, and some were sold in Japan. In that way, the Gramocar gained enough of a following that other manufacturers eventually began making them. And you can still buy one today at

More info: New Scientist - Feb 5, 1981

     Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 08, 2021
     Category: Music | Technology | Patents | 1970s | Cars

This was featured on the tonight show when Johnny Caron was the host.
Posted by David Higgs on 11/08/21 at 11:45 AM
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