29 July 2009

Meet the Frigidaire Flair

This is the focal point of a kitchen I'm about to start renovating.

It's a Frigidaire Flair and unfortunately, the ovens no longer work. Its owners decided to renovate their kitchen based in a large part on their frustration over not being able to find replacements parts and a service guy willing to work on it. *edited to add: the ovens DO work, it's just the springs in the doors are spent and won't stay in the upright position on their own.
It's unfortunate because the thing's in pristine condition. The owners are planning to sell it so if anybody out there's both handy and feeling nostalgic let me know, I think I can hook you up.
The Frigidaire Flair was introduced in 1962 when Frigidaire was a subsidiary of General Motors. The electric burners roll in and out of the appliance on a surface that functions like a drawer. When they're not in use, they just slide out of view. The double ovens (one's a full-size and the other's a Dutch oven) sit right at counter height. The oven doors lift up instead of swinging out. Aside from its unconventional looks, the design of the Flair makes a whole lot of sense and I can imagine that cooking on one is comfortable and efficient.
This is an ad from 1962. Frigidaire promised the Flair was The happiest thing that ever happened to cooking... OR YOU!
In an interesting side not, the Frigidaire Flair was the range in Samantha's kitchen in the TV show Bewitched. Here's a very proud Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha showing of her Frigidaire Flair.
Here's another set photo of actual food being prepared on it. Check out the open tray base to the right of the appliance in this shot.
This shot from the same set shows the oven door flipped up. Pretty slick!
What a cool appliance. I never see actual cool stuff when I'm looking over a room to be renovated and most vintage appliances I see are filthy and broken. This Flair on the other hand is in pristine shape. It's been loved and used by a woman who raised a family with food prepared every day on that range. Cooking appliances made today tend not to last for 40 years. But by the same token, people don't take care of appliances they way they once did either. So which do you think came first? Short-lived appliances or people unwilling to maintain the appliances they already have? Hmmmmm.

27 comments:

  1. This is a pretty big coinkydink. I just met a guy who has one of these in his home in Chico, CA. It still works perfectly. Amazing.

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  2. Who knew Nancie? There's a whole subculture out there of people who are made for these appliances. They are collectible and worth real money. Again, who knew?

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  3. Wow, I am looking at this appliance I am completely seeing it re-tooled for a modern kitchen ... any chance you can get on the horn and tell the guys at G.E. to take another look at this?

    Can you imagine how awesome it would be with an induction cooktop?!? Those swing up doors are really popular in our Italian cabinet line, applying it to an oven today would be awesome!

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  4. Flip up doors on a counter height oven makes so much sense. I remember thinking that Gaggenau's left swing oven doors were inspired when I saw them at a trade show for the first time, but a flip up is even more practical. I'm with you, something like this, only retooled with an induction cooktop and a speed cook oven would be fantastic.

    You over estimate my influence Adrienne. Would that I could call the development team at GE and get them started on this. I do know that they read this blog so maybe that will plant a seed. Right GE people?

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  5. Did you sell this yet, I am just looking for the burners.

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  6. Sold about a week after I posted this. Sorry!

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  7. I had one of these in our kitchen as a kid and always thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was so mad at my mom when she gave it away to my older sister to get a new range. I couldn't remember the name and have been searching for one. Thanks for the memories :)

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  8. Sure thing, I'm glad I could brighten you day!

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  9. Hey my name is Staci I have a 1961 Frigidaire Flair Electric Ranges custom imperial model RCIB-645-2 and everythings works on it and it has the blower/fan on top and the base that stores pots and pans and I am looking to see how much its worth my email is staci_lester_21@yahoo.com please let me know thank you for your time.

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  10. It looks like it just came out of the box.

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  11. Have one of these in my rental that works but want to get rid of it!! Can't cook a turkey or a pizza it's too small.

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  12. Great article on this vintage Frigidaire range it was way a head of its time.

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  13. We have a Flair that has only two of four burners that work. The repair guy says parts have not been available for 15 years. Are there replacement oven/ranges out there that will not require a total kitchen remodel to install?

    Thanks

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  14. I have an oven like this, all works but one burner, maybe the timers too. North of Toronto, I may be willing to part with it. What's it worth?

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  15. I have an over and under Frigidaire Flair, model # RCIH-639V. The upper oven works great; the burners (3 regular and 1 canning burner) work great; just recently the lower oven warms up but not fully. I wonder if I can get a part for the lower oven? I've been married 36 years and bought it used the first year when it was 15 or 20 years old already! The stove looks almost new still! Does anyone know what it's worth?

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  16. I have a Flair, single oven model that sits on a cabinet, with built in exhaust fan that I will be removing. Everything works except one buner. Located in St. Louis MO. $1000.00 or best offer. Doug: zinful@att.net

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  17. I initially hated our Frigidaire which came with the house. Ten years later with two burners that recently stoopped working, I am heart broken to hear we may need to replace. We are checking out new beutiful stoves, but I have fallen in love with our Frigidaire and that there is nothing out there that could even get closer to our Frigidaire. Why did GE stop making it?

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  18. I recently purchased a house that has a Frigidaire Flair model RCIB-635 near as i can tell every thing still works also has a meat probe with it that plugs into the oven wall. Would like to know what it might be worth and if there is a demand for this kind of oven still. Send reply to rick: kamminga1@frontier.com

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  19. Looking for 6" non speed heat elements.
    Gayle.Bridges@cablelynx.com

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  20. I have a Flair that is a single oven---no burner or smaller oven. Several years ago, a repairman broke the glass cover to the knobs/clock/timer, etc. I don't know the model# but love my oven. I just need a new replacement cover. If you know where I can find replacement parts, please send to Sharon at sdelgado@apollos-dev.com

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  21. Hey all, Google has a group, frigidaire-flair, that you can join. People post parts for sale, offer info, etc. I just joined. Bought a Flair off E-bay, waiting for it to come up from Kentucky to Ohio. After my appliance repairman checks it over, it's going into my '60s era kitchen!

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  22. i have working flair for sale jthermann@hotmail.com

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  23. I just saw a gorgeous Flair in a house for sale in Grass Valley, CA. The little sweep hand on the clock is still moving. The whole thing is in amazing shape! I'm sure the house will sell and it will be thrown out.

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  24. Believe it or not, Frigidaire has some of the parts still in stock. Call 800-599-7569, opt 3. You might ask for Jim. He was willing to dig for information in the printed parts catalogs- stuff that wasn’t in the computer

    Also, you can contact http://www.antiquestoves.com/toac/antiquestoveparts.htm and they have all kinds of parts for it.

    Also, the Repair Clinic has parts available at http://www.repairclinic.com/Model-RCIB645-ID-590554-Parts

    Hope that helps! I love my 1960 Custom Imperial and everything works except the clock! Always wanted one since my Mom gave hers away years ago. Found ours on Craigslist for $75 and a good cleaning :)

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  25. I love my flair we had this one since I was a little girl. One of my big burners just quit on me and I am heart broken but in my reading I have found out there are also fuses back there I haven't check mine yet. but for you all that have a burner not working you might want to check the fuse here is where I found the info

    http://obviousdiversion.com/personal/frigidaire-flair/

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  26. Hi you all,
    I have a 1960s FLAIR in awesome condition, all work but one light in the oven (easy fix). Remodeling kitchen and as much as I hate to do it, the FLAIR must go! Live in Denver, CO. Will help with shipping, local pick up if possible. Asking $400 obo.
    Contact me at alohakatarina@aol.com or 303 868 5304. Only serious inquiries please!

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