This variety of speaker was manufactured locally (as in Port Elizabeth) and is made of fibreglass
(although asbestos varieties were popular at one stage). These speakers were introduced in the mid-70s
and continued until the close of our last drive-in in 2002.
The speaker colours served two purposes: (1) they were always brightly coloured so that drive-in staff
could easily identify speakers that had fallen from their junction boxes or that had been accidentally
ripped off of their poles and dumped near the exit, and (2) they dated the speaker: Orange(1975-1979);
Red (1980-1984); Grey (1985-1989); Blue (1990-1994) and Yellow (1995 onwards).
The colour-coding was not strictly adhered to as there is evidence of speakers that were re-painted in
different colours from the original dye in the fibreglass resin.
The earliest models were about 1 inch shorter than the newer ones, the reason being sound quality.
The greater resonance of the larger speaker made a phenomenal difference to the sound quality.
Also, an improved feature was the "canopy" over the potentiometer knob to protect it (and indeed the speaker slits)
from the rain. There is no name on these speakers since they were produced by a small private firm that did
not specialise in the production of drive-in speakers.
The actual speaker is held in place by wedging a piece of polystyrene behind it.
The speaker is further "locked" in place by the position of the potentiometer inside the unit.
These speakers provided a cheaper alternative to the traditional galvanized steel speakers
which went out of fashion in the late 1970s. Theft of the steel speakers was extremely high
due to the resale value from scrap-metal dealers and drive-ins could not cope with the losses.
As such, these metal speakers are extremely rare in South Africa and I am desperately searching for one.