I receive a few every week or two . . .
. . . questions about my Frigidaire Flair Stove, that is.
I think it’s time to brush the dust off this topic and answer these questions. To wit: would I install it if I had it all (“it all” being a kitchen remodel) to do over again? What do I like most about it? Is there anything I wish was different about my Flair? Did Reubsy and Bryan ever reconcile to having to install it into my brand new kitchen? Did anybody ever get bored with the Cowboy Coffee Cake? Etc., etc. So many questions, so little time.
I will do my level best to entertain these questions and more. Starting . . . now!
(Let the entertaining begin!)
But first! a quick recap
For those of you who have been following my blog for awhile, you’ll remember that we did a major kitchen remodel a few years back. I chronicled the story–wins and fails, all–in this space. I held nothing back.
One of the highlights of that period–it spanned several years–several–YEARS–(yes)–was the day that my daughter Amalia and I practically fell over a used Frigidaire Flair stove in a junk shop, whilst sent on errands for the guys (our contractor, Reuben, and my hubs Bryan).
I was well acquainted with the charms of the Flair, since my sister at the time had one in her 60s-era kitchen and LOVED. IT.
So I snatched that baby right up, and only paid $200 for it. Read the riveting tale here, if you want the details. I happy-danced all the way to the trailer, counting my blessings that there were a few burly fellows there to load it for me. (They weren’t happy-dancing.)
It wasn’t until we were well on our way home that Amalia and I started to wonder what Reuben and Bryan might think of our nearly 60 year old, 350-pound treasure.
Turns out, neither was too keen on it, and I spill that entire story here.
In fact, they both tried to talk me into turning around THAT DAY and driving back to the city. They actually suggested that I go to the REAL appliance store and buy a new stove. What. Cheek.
However. If you know me at all, you’ll know that once I get my back up, I can be quite stubborn indeed. I refused to budge. I had bonded with my beautiful new/old vintage stove and I would have it, dang it.
Nothing else would do. I held my ground.
Now, before I spill the rest of the story, I’ll remind you to read the first two installments . . .
. . . Done? Perfect. Now we’ll get to the riveting subject of this essay.
FAQs about my Frigidaire Flair
Q: It has been over 7 years now since you installed the Flair into your kitchen. So it’s over 60 years old now. Does it still work?
A: First of all: random note–being over 60 does NOT automatically relegate you, er, I mean an appliance–to the junk heap. Just sayin’. Yes, my Flair works great and I cook and bake with it every day. There is one thing that has broken and I haven’t figured out how to fix it yet. The switch that works the lights broke, and I haven’t fiddled around with it enough yet to know how to fix it. I know I need to find a couple of used parts.
Q: Is there anything you would change about it?
A: Yes. I would convert it from electric to gas. In fact I rarely use the electric stove top, because we installed a gas stove top in our new kitchen, too. I use the two ovens daily, but only pull out the drawer that has the stove burners in it occasionally, when we have a large event that requires a lot of burners!
Q: What do you like best about your Flair stove?
A: Oh boy. I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one thing. I’ll make a list.
- I love the design of the ovens, because of the safety issue. The lower end of the ovens is about waist-high, and the doors swing up. We have littles running through our kitchen all the time, and I can pull open the ovens without worrying about a precious little reaching out a hand and getting burned.
- Flairs were designed and built at a time when appliances were made to last, unlike the appliances that are built today (sadly). My Flair weighs 350 pounds and is sturdy as an old truck. I would be very very surprised if it ever stopped working, and I couldn’t say that about other appliances I have purchased in the past few years.
- It was easy for Bryan and Reuben to repair a couple of things that didn’t work (I think one burner was not working when we bought it) and neither of them are
particularly bright(haha! just kidding, guys!) . . . appliance repairman.
- I am constantly bedazzled by the gorgeous chrome interior, especially when the lights are on. It’s just spectacular! The aesthetics of the Flair please me. It has (may I say it?) real flair.
Q: Did your Flair come with a cabinet?
A: Nope. It was just the stove, sitting on the dirty floor of the junk shop. We hired our contractor to design and build a cabinet to place it on.
Q: How often do you use both the ovens at the same time?
A: All the time! Of course they each have their own controls, so you can bake a cake at 375° in the larger oven, while you bake a few potatoes at 450° in the smaller one. And whatnot.
Q: What’s the history of the Flair stove, anyway?
A: Gosh, I’m glad you asked!
From this website (which is well worth visiting if you want to learn more about the Flair and a couple other similar ovens that were developed in the 1960s as well):
The Flair would become the poster-appliance for 1960s innovation, and got its biggest boost from the TV sitcom “Bewitched,” where it held a central place in Elizabeth Montgomery’s kitchen. It earned an encore 30 years later in the period series “Mad Men,” appearing in the home of characters Pete and Trudy Campbell.
Here’s a cool little history of the Flair Custom Imperial wall oven and countertop stove and its inclusion in the t.v. show “Bewitched,” a contribution of gentle reader Brad.
There were three different models of the Flair used on Bewitched… Since they were supplied by the sponsor, GM, they updated all the appliances a few times to show off the latest ones (Stove, Fridge, Washer Dryer). Your Flair is the first one (1964 model RCIH-645) used in Season 1 and half of Season 2. The second half of Season 2 featured the 1965 model (RCI-645J), and Season 3 thru 6 featured the 1966 model (RCI-645K) in Yellow. (The colorized episodes of Season 1 and 2 took some liberty with the color on the panel of the 1964, which was grey and not tan. The cabinet color was made up as well, as they kinda made it avocado, which was not an available color (Yellow, Mayfair Pink, Turquoise, Aztec Copper or White.). There was a fire on the set of Bewitched between Season 6 and 7 which destroyed the kitchen, so when they rebuilt the sets, they “remodeled” and went with different appliances (don’t think they were Frigidaire, as GM was no longer a sponsor at this point). Fun!
Q: I have a Flair stove also but I need to repair/clean/find parts for it. Any favorite resources?
A: Oh yes. Here’s a quick list for you.
- Parts: If you check ebay regularly, you’ll see that there are plenty of parts for sale there. It takes patience, but there are treasures to be had if you persist.
- Repair/cleaning: Recently I stumbled upon a new Youtube channel entitled “The Flair Affair.” Started by a man named Jason, the videos cover basic maintenance and repair, as well as some not-so-basic repairs. I love this channel! I hope Jason continues to make these videos, for us Flair devotees.
- Basic inspiration: I belong to a group on Facebook called “Fans of the Frigidaire Flair,” otherwise known as “the nicest people on Facebook.” Folks who want Flairs, and folks who own them share just about everything including where to find appliance repairmen to work on theirs, where to find parts, how to care for and enjoy Flairs. I know there are other groups, too.
Yesss, I do still use and love my Frigidaire Flair stove, even after all these years. It hasn’t broken down or disappointed me in any way.
Finally: Viva la Frigidaire Flair!
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