Delco Electronics Corporation was the automotive electronics design and manufacturing subsidiary of General Motors based in Kokomo, Indiana, that manufactured Delco radios and other electric products found in GM cars. In 1972, General Motors merged it with the AC Electronics division and it continued to operate as part of the Delco Electronics division of General Motors. The name Delco came from the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co., founded in Dayton, Ohio, by Charles Kettering and Edward A. Deeds in 1909. Delco was responsible for several innovations in automobile electric systems, including the first reliable battery ignition system and the first practical automobile self-starter.
In 1936, Delco began producing the first dashboard-installed car radios. By the early 1970s, Delco had become a major supplier of automotive electronics equipment. Based in Kokomo, Indiana, Delco Electronics employed more than 30,000 at its peak. In early 1956, Delco produced a transistorized hybrid signal-seeking car radio, which used both vacuum tubes and transistors in its radio’s circuitry. Transistors were used to replace the radio’s audio output vacuum tubes and also the vibrator. This transistorized hybrid radio was available as an option on the 1956 Chevrolet Corvette car modeIn 1957, Delco produced an all-transistor signal-seeking car radio that was available for the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham car models.