Car Audio Industry Loses Innovative Retailer

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Larry Perzan

Larry Perzan, owner of Perzan Auto Audio in Upper Darby, PA and an innovator and master car audio integrator, died suddenly this weekend at age 53.

His shop was a fixture in the Northeast, as he was able to integrate devices into the car where other retailers failed.

Perzan Auto Audio
Perzan Auto Audio

Perzan took over the shop from his dad who opened it in the Philadelphia suburbs in 1948.

Perzan, the younger, was a mentor to NAV-TV’s founder Moni Melman.   NAV-TV’s Derek Schmiedl said, “He was probably the first person that would go out of his way to help someone. He had a really infectious laugh…he was very, very intelligent and he recognized trends in technology far ahead of everyone else.”

If a product wasn’t yet on the market and there was a need for it, Perzan imported it, tested it and sold it to other dealers, always staying ahead of the technology curve.

When CEoutlook called Perzan’s shop Monday, Steve Gallagher, from AR Marketing answered the phone, as he took the day off to help out. Gallagher began his career at Perzan Auto Audio 39 years ago at the age of 12. He was a newspaper boy who delivered the paper to the shop until one day, he was asked if he wanted to learn about car radios and he became an installer.

“Larry was an icon…always on the cutting edge; never afraid to jump into anything. He was a pioneer in vehicle integration. Everyone says they are in integration but nobody was in it quite like Larry,” said Gallagher. Perzan once took out a billboard that advertised his shop as “Where the impossible just takes a us a little longer,” he said.

Perzan is survived by his three children Rio, Sam, and Hannah.

Source: CEoutlook

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11 Comments

  1. I just heard. For over 10 years I was his customer and he was my friend, I can not come to grips with the fact that he is gone. I loved him but probably never told him. I even loved his bizzare sense of humor. I only wish this was one of his jokes,

  2. This news is very saddening, the industry has truly lost one of its great innovators. Larry will be dearly missed by many, probably by more than he will ever realize he touched. My husband John and I are forever grateful for his assistance and guidance. He will remain an inspiration to us. Our condolences to his family and staff.

  3. Larry … what you see is always what you got. Not a phony bone in his body. If he liked you you were his friend for life. A true innovator in mobile audio. The stories I could tell and fun that we shared from nights ( and I mean ALL NIGHT ) in Philly to the streets of Paris and beer halls in Berlin … I never had a bad time in his company. A sweetheart of a man and a genuine ” piece of work “. We are all a little less with this loss.

  4. My dear friend Larry, why, oh why. Larry and I became fast friends in the ’80’s when I was his Blaupunkt rep and later other lines as he helped me launch other successful leading edge companies’ products. Tracy and Larry offered me their home and anything to help me be successful when I later started my own company and called on him with other lines. He was generous to a fault. A genius and defined the custom auto installation industry in it’s early days and heyday. An incredible work ethic, fair boss and manager, motivator, teacher, inventor. What an icon and also what a funny and fun-loving guy. I’ll never forget the night I rode to AC with him to bring back a MB 300e (red, stick) he’d purchased and I chased him at 100+ on the AC Expressway all the way home when he swore immediately he’d never buy another Vette after flying in silence and luxury comfort. Larry provided my first Countach experience and going to get something on RT-30 with him in his Vette sticking it in slots in traffic smaller than his car but accelerating through for clearance. He always said that when your time was up, it was up. I don’t know what was wrong but he must have decided his time was up. Many years later without contact I took my step-son to Philly to see A Perfect Circle/Tool at the Tower in the ‘hood and dropped by. Larry welcomed me as if it hadn’t been years and proceeded to tell my kid just how bad I used to be! I’m so ripped right now at an AV meeting in Dallas this week and so far away.

  5. Shocked to hear of Larry’s passing. He always went above and beyond. Dealt with the Perzan family for 50 years. Saw Larry two months ago in West Palm Beach when he brought me a replacement internet radio antenna while on a quick trip to Florida. I will certainly miss him. Condolences to his family as well as Erik, Dave and Joe.

  6. I knew Larry for 25 years. What a loss. My thoughts are with his family and staff. If someone said it couldn’t be done; all you had to do was call Larry. He always had an answer. He was never idle, his mind was always going. Energy, Passion, Focus, I agree. As small as this industry is, it just got even smaller. Larry, you will be missed.

  7. The loss of Larry diminishes us all.

    “Perchance he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.”

    I am mad at you Larry.

  8. This is an unperceivable tragedy. I’ve grown up knowing Larry’s charisma and devotion to his work, knowing that he can balance both being a supportive family man and a hard worker which is a blessing quite frankly… a deep thinker, too, and a genius innovator, we lost a great soul yesterday and I’m sure many in the auto industry are aware and mourning the loss of a great…

  9. Gee Whiz, this was hard to hear. Larry was perhaps the original “specialty retailer” in mobile electronics. There were not too many challenges that Larry bowed to. Energy. Passion. Focus. All of these things and a desire to share information and knowhow were a part of Larry’s every day. A loss for sure. BUT a terrific contributor during his long and colorful tenure…

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