Motorola Model 69L11 "Sporter" Radio (1951)


Have you ever seen a radio with its dial in the handle? The Motorola 69L11 portable has just that. With unusual tweedy fabric cover and dramatic airplane logo in its grille, it's quite an eye catcher.

Here is a closer view of the handle, which is made of heavy Lucite reinforced at the bottom with a metal strap.

Unlike most dials, the pointer does not move. Instead, the dial is a printed piece of fabric which slides back and forth as you move the tuner.

This is a robust, well constructed radio. The case is made of heavy aluminum, covered with a tweed-like fabric. That sort of fabric was very popular in portables from the 1940s and early 1950s.

Here is a view of the radio's interior.

The 69L11 uses five low-voltage tubes, types 1U4, 1R5, 1U4, 1S5, and 3V4. It operates on either AC or battery power. My set still has a vintage battery, which is a heavy as the rest of the radio!

Like many tube portables, this one is in excellent condition. Years ago in Switzerland, I saw another Motorola exactly like this, only with clear plastic over the tweed cover.

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