Jul
25
President brand CG base station

President CB-Radio ad

The Citizens’ Band (CB) Radio goes back further than most people probably realize. In the late Forties, the U.S. government made space in the 27 MHz range available for radio enthusiasts and businesses to use, generally without a license. That frequency literally became the “citizens’ band.” By law, CB radios are limited to four watts of transmitter power, and thus have a useful range of about five miles. Many countries have allocated the 27 MHz range for similar purposes, so CB enthusiasm goes well beyond U.S. shores.

Were it not for the CB radio’s popularity with truckers, many Americans may never have learned of its existence. Then came the 1975 hit single “Convoy.” The country twanger of a song chronicled the formation of, and subsequent bad behavior of, a band of truckers traveling East through the U.S. The song’s lyrics—which are mostly spoken, not sung—are full of CB radio exchanges rich with the colorful lingo of the medium.

Shortly after the song was released, CB radio sales in the U.S. hit a brisk 7-million-unit annual pace. This, from a sales volume of just 10,000-15,000 units only a few months prior. Companies including Cobra, Midland, and Royce were cranking out CB radios as quickly as they could make them. By 1976, General Motors was offering a factory CB-radio option–usually listing for a cool $750, including an integrated tape deck.

The 1977 release of “Smokey and the Bandit” and the 1978 release of “Convoy” packed movie theaters and helped to fan the CB radio flames for a couple more years.

Like all fads, the CB radio craze has mostly come and gone. Today, the CB radio is mainly a tool of over-the-road truckers.

Here, we have amassed a collection of 12 CB radio ads, most of which were seen first during the heart of the Citizens’ Band craze. Included below are a few of our favorite bits of CB radio lingo—let us know how many of these vocabulary words and phrases you remember.

More classic ads

 

Aircommand

Aircommand CB Radio Ad

Aircommand CB-Radio ad

Mama Bear: Female law-enforcement officer

 

Browning CB-Radio ad

Browning CB-Radio ad

Bear in the Air: Law-enforcement helicopter or plane

 

Citi-fone

Citi-fone CB-Radio ad

Citi-fone CB-Radio ad

Polar Bear: Unmarked white law-enforcement vehicle

 

Cobra

Cobra CB-Radio ad

Cobra CB-Radio ad

Bed Bugger: Moving-company truck

Cool Trucks From Lame Movies

 

Delco

Delco CB-Radio ad

Delco CB-Radio ad

Black Eye: Broken headlamp

 

Messenger

Messenger CB-Radio ad

Messenger CB-Radio ad

Reefer: Truck with refrigerator unit

 

Pace

Pace CB-Radio ad

Pace CB-Radio ad

Salt Shaker: Truck that spreads road salt

 

President

President CB-Radio ad

President CB-Radio ad

Road Pizza: Roadside animal carnage

 

Radio Shack

Radio Shack CB-Radio ad

Radio Shack CB-Radio ad

Skins: Tires

 

Radio Shack

Radio Shack CB-Radio ad

Radio Shack CB-Radio ad

K-Whopper: Kenworth tractor

 

Vexilar

Vexilar CB-Radio ad

Vexilar CB-Radio ad

Home 20: A driver’s hometown

Why this 50-Year-Old German Radio is the Ultimate Automotive Accessory

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