Youtuber Techmoan often looks at musical devices and what could be a better place to start than the worlds most complicated and intricate tape mechanism? Akai's impressive CS-55D from 1972 features an "Invert-O-Matic" cassette auto-reverse feature which operated completely electro-mechanically with no silicon chips in sight.
He's recently looked at a later model, the Phillips N 2408 cassette machine which features a plastic chute to spin the tapes round, akin to a play park for cassettes. There's also a sleek Nakamichi RX 505 tape machine mechanism in action on another channel here.
Deep look at the new generation interface