The Rolax Colt was manufactured by Bell Radio-Television Corporation Ltd in 1953, it was in production for 2 years. It's part of the Bell Colt series.

Other radios based on the same chassis:

A re-branded Bell Colt 5-valve broadcast band radio.

Sighted examples have been cream or brown with the original domed knobs and have early serial numbers, the photographed example here being a 1953 original Bell Colt chassis, but some have been seen with 5B4 stamped chassis'.  Effectively a Bell Colt, including the dial (except for the Rolax name in place of Bell - but interestingly even the bells either side of the name are still present).

Possibly a badge-engineering arrangement to boost sales of the new Bell model in the South Island - Bell was an Auckland based company and Rolax was a Christchurch based brand.

This arrangement seems to have been limited to a couple of years right at the start of the Bell Colt era.

The only other known re-branding of the Colt was for Bond and Bond under the Skymaster brand

The Rolax Colt 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): ECH41, EF41, EBC41, EL41, EZ40

Intermediate Frequency: 462kc/s

Frequency Bands: 1

Chassis Notes(most schematics can be clicked to download a full size version) David Clist noted an issue with the tone control circuit producing high harmonic distortion at the full bass position - although as most people never set the tone control here its unlikely anyone would have ever noticed. RJ Hatton notes in his 3-part series on the Colt (October 2004) that 100pF caps in this model could prove to be unreliable and cause a crackling sound (possibly a form of silver mica disease). I.F. transformers are ETA round-cans. These were on early 5B4 models as well.

1951 Bell Colt Original

1951 Bell Colt Original

Other documented models using this chassis (3 in total)

1951 Bell Colt Original
1953 Skymaster Colt