DAVE WALLIS CAR AUDIO LTD
42 YEARS FROM THE BEGINNING IN BRIEF
In 1972 only the most expensive cars had any form of radio as standard and I saw a need for a specialist business to supply and install car radios into everyday cars. So Dave Wallis Car Radio was born. This quickly took off and I was soon fitting two to three radios a day, and back then I also had to fit speakers, aerial and interference suppressors. The only form of tape player then was the old 8 track cartridge format which cost around £100, but that was when you could buy a brand new mini for under £1000. The compact cassette stereo was just around the corner and this dominated the market until the arrival of CD many years on.
In 1976 I fitted the first car phone. This was called System 4. You called their base, they dialed the number and put you through – very hit and miss and expensive by today’s standards!
During the late 70’s and early 80’s sunroofs became a popular accessory which also needed specialist fitting, I had taken on a couple of staff by this time and we soon became well known for installing these.
It wasn't’t until the late 80’s that the cellular car phone was launched and we were the first Company in Ipswich to take on a dealership for these. They were the size of a shoebox and weighed a ton! Most were installed in cars but we did actually build a few into hard briefcases with a separate battery pack for portable use, but the battery needed charging every two to three hours.
In 1989 I built the new workshops on the back of our current premises and acquired the land next door to build a car park. My staff had grown to four and business was booming with the explosion of the CD market.
From mid 70’s to mid 90’s my other passion was motorsport and I competed all over the UK and Europe, first in rallying, then rally cross and circuit racing. I become British Rally cross Champion in 1980 and won the Willhire 24 hour Race with Matt Neil in 1990. My involvement in motorsport gave the business lots of useful publicity.
Dave Wallis Car Audio was known as the foremost specialist in the area for supplying and installing, car hi-fi systems featuring multiple amplifiers, custom fit speakers, and sub woofers as well as car security and communication.
The late 90’s saw the first in-car navigation system, costing around £2000 and local businesses were soon taking advantage of this fantastic new product, which was quite mind blowing when tried for the first time. Now a decade on a small portable system can be bought for a few hundred pounds.
In 1997 my son Simon started as a junior and over the next few years became very proficient as an installer, salesman and manager. He is now a Director and runs the company on a day to day basis, allowing me time off to do other things.
In car DVD and Playstation has become very popular in recent years, mainly for entertaining the children on long journeys and we install a range of these with either headrest or flip down roof screens. We have installed these in every conceivable vehicle from Rolls Royce to a Motor Home.
MP3 and other digital formats are currently the flavour of the month and will certainly see the demise of CD in the near future.
We have always carried out work for most of the local motor dealers and in recent years have expanded our business to business side of the company with a diverse range of products including handsfree phone kits, fleet management tracking systems, reverse cameras, navigation and speed camera locaters, reversing aids and taxi meters.
The Nature of our business in 2014 has moved us to a mobile service, due to the demands of the job, long term mobile contracts and from our customers suggestions this has been the next evolution of our business.
Our beloved premisis on Spring Road Ipswich still belongs to the company but is let out to our Tennant RFC Services who specialise in Wood burning stoves, Biofuel Heating and much more. We Wish them every success in their new venture.
The last 42 years certainly haven’t been dull !!