RCA Model 66X Series "Tuna Boat"

RCA Model 66X8 "Tuna Boat" in Burgundy

Known to collectors as "Tuna Boats", the Catalin-cased members of the 1945 RCA 66X series of radios have the distinction of being the largest of their genre.  They measure about 15 inches wide, 9 high, and 7 deep, and are quite heavy.  They were made in burgundy (66X8) or dark green with white (now yellow) marbleization, or solid black (66X9).  There were also wood and Bakelite versions.  They used high-quality 6-tube chassis, with shortwave and broadcast reception.

Today, Tuna Boats are relatively plentiful.  Their survival rate may have been better because their designers avoided most of the pitfalls to which so many other Catalins fell victim.  They left room to allow the cases to shrink, and their walls were unusually thick, so they rarely cracked.  Tube burns were not a problem, and they avoided the yellowing problem of the lighter colors.  Occasionally, the tops or grill bars warped, but that was fairly rare.

Shunned by some because of their size and relatively low prices, they are actually very beautiful radios, especially in black.  When properly polished, black Catalin has a mirror-like gloss unmatched by any other type of plastic, looking more like glass or glazed ceramic than plastic.

A collector I met once called these radios "Monoliths".  A much more appropriate name, in my opinion.

RCA Model 66X8 "Tuna Boat" in Burgundy

RCA Model 66X9 "Tuna Boat" in Black