The Bell Explorer was manufactured by Bell Radio-Television Corporation Ltd in 1957. It's part of the Bell Colt series.

The Bell Explorer is a dual-wave (described in sales literature as 'world wave') version of the Colt.

This was the only dual-wave Bell Colt made, although they did make at least one chassis for Electronic Navigation Ltd in Auckland with a marine SW band (The dial has 'Skipper 10' on it) - and there was a Fountain dual wave radio that appears to have used a dual-wave Colt chassis with a marine band.  The chassis has also been seen in the Oak cabinet, but they are predominantly found in the standard Colt plastic case.

Bell Explorer 'Colt'
Auckland Star 16 July 1959

The Bell Explorer is part of the 'Bell Colt' series.

There is considerable information on the main Bell Colt page about this long-running Kiwi icon.


Bell Colts ran from 1951 through until 1980 - the longest running model of NZ built domestic radio.  It saw many different engineering changes over the years, and the last few models dropped valves in favour of new transistor technology.

Please note that not all radios shown in this series were known as Colt's - the Planet, the Mercury etc were models in their own right - but they have a Colt chassis in them and so are included here as part of the wider Bell Colt dynasty.

The items in this series are

Technical Information

Valves (5): ECH81, EF89, EBC81, EL84, EZ80

Intermediate Frequency: 455kc/s

Frequency Bands: 2

Chassis Notes(most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version) 5W7 Chassis, tone control on rear, center front control used as band switch.