Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cooking with a LOTTA Flair!

A few weekends ago I made a quick road trip to Pennsylvania Amish country.  My  mission - pick up a vintage dual oven/stove combo and matching cabinet.


Before I started this blog, I had found a vintage blog in Richmond I was following.  It's no longer around as far as I can tell.  Anyway, one of that blog's posts highlighted a very cool vintage oven/stove combo made in the early 1960s by Frigidaire called the Flair.  And there seems to be a lot of Flair devotees.  There's a Google Group, and you can find several other sources for manuals and repair parts. The more I researched the Frigidaire Flair, the more I wanted this item that was about 100 miles away.


It was dirt cheap, I think I gave the seller $50 for it.  But the hard part was wrestling it into my truck, and then getting it out and put away in the basement.  The thing is built like a battleship, REALLY heavy!  The Flair is not your normal oven/stove combo.  The dual ovens are on top at eye level much like a wall oven. The stove top is hidden away like a closed drawer.  You push a button and pull on the drawer pull and you then have the cooktop exposed.  When you're done, you "close the drawer."  Very cool.

Don't you love the great 1960s font and details on this clock?

I ended up delaying my plans to use the Flair in our kitchen, because I subsequently learned that I really needed the metal cabinet that was an option with the oven. I didn't want to try to build a wood cabinet to match our other cabinets, and the Flair isn't built to screw to the wall.  So I've been looking for a cabinet for more than three years!

Recently I did a search of Craigslist in both the DC and Baltimore areas, and I found another oven/stove combo with the cabinet and also with a matching overhead vent.

This is the pic from the craigslist ad - 
the base cabinet is what I've needed

For $100 it looked like a great deal and I figured if I needed parts I could combine the two Flairs to make one good working one, and maybe sell the parts to recoup my money.  Or, if they both work, hopefully I could resell the other one to someone else dying to find a Flair.


This is the first oven, the one in the basement.  The two are identical in size, 40 inches wide (bigger than today's ovens, but perfect for the space in our kitchen, since our house was built in 1958).  The two are not exactly the same, however.  They're slightly different models and may have been produced in different years.  I need to do more research on that.


Here's the base cabinet, which I've already disassembled and given a fresh coat of white appliance paint.
Repainting the cabinet was the easy part.  The Flair attaches to the cabinet with four bolts and nuts.

The hard part is going to be getting the second Flair off the truck, figuring out which one to install in the kitchen, and dealing with the cleaning and testing of the heating elements BEFORE I pay someone to help move it into the kitchen and install it.  I'll keep you posted.

If you want a Flair but don't have an existing 40-inch opening for it, you could look for a narrower, single-oven Flairs.  There's currently one of those listed on the Washington DC craigslist.






30 comments:

  1. Oh my God, I am so jealous! I want a Flair so badly! There is never one near me. If there were a way to get it from you to me, you'd have a buyer!

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  2. Oh, and would you be so kind as to tell me how tall and deep it is?

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  3. Hi Barbara, the double oven version is 40 inches wide, 35 inches tall, and 25 inches deep. Keep watching locally, I hope you can find a Flair.

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  4. SO wicked cool! I cannot wait to see this installed in your kitchen!

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  5. That is SO cool! I love my traditional 1954 Frigidaire stove, I wish I had-had the forsight to hold out for a double oven though. Can't wait to see it installed in your kitchen!

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  6. Oh my God the Flair is absolutely amazing!
    You are gonna have the best kitchen in your town.
    =D

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  7. Thanks for the encouragement everyone, I'll do a post about our kitchen soon. I've got plenty of work to do in that room.

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  8. Fabulous Flair! Can't wait to see it installed.

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  9. You, my sir, are a lucky charm!!

    I just bought my double Flair oven WITH cabinet for $200! It's a later model than yours - has a probe control knob (I'll have to get the probe), and some other knobs, but it's clean and it works. I just have to have a new plug put in. Had I not looked online when you got yours, i would have never found it.

    Now I just have to get it home. I'm so excited I could plotz!!!

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  10. Barbara, Yahooooooooo for you!!! Be sure to show some pictures once you get it home. Woo hoo!

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  11. If only they made the Flair with a gas range and the electric oven...I'd have to get one. That would be the perfect combo. I spotted another combo like this that was pretty cool but the overhead ovens were REAL close to the burners on the range. It looked like you couldn't possibly use a stock pot on it. I don't know what make it was though. These look like you'd have no such problem.

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  12. Thats so fantastic! Love the way everything slides and operates, and the glass pattern is so 60's! Even the details like the clock arms are great!

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  13. Wow! I have never heard of or seen this stove before. I can't wait to see it installed in your home. Keep us posted on the progress.

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  14. I'm really anxious to get one of these installed, but since I don't do most of the cooking, I have to first prove that the finished product will work! More to come....

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  15. Okay, after you're done cannibalizing the second one, can you see if you have a leftover right back burner? And if you don't want the hood, I'll buy that from you too.

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  16. And I'm finding mine might be a 1960s model. No letter or # after the RCI-645, which supposedly means first year, 1960.

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  17. You will be first in line for any leftovers, Barbara

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  18. LOVE these kind of old stoves. Good find!
    -Diane

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  19. I have this same exact model. It's always the conversation piece and the oven cooks an amazing turkey. I bought mine with the cabinet attached, but alot of people think its a lower oven due to the stainless pull out rack shelving system...wouldn't get rid of it for nuttin'!

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  20. Awesome Flair range! These old Frigidaires cook as good as they look too, and are super reliable. We have a 1963 in our home that we have used daily for the past 33 years and are in the process of restoring it, and we are searching for a new cookmaster clock. Do you have a working spare at all that you'd be willing to sell, or have any suggestions where to look? We could really use the whole clock including the three little dials. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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  21. Hi Duty - I haven't been able to test either oven so far, hoping to do that this spring. If I end up parting out one of the ovens I'll keep you in mind. Be sure to watch ebay, I'm seeing Flair parts pop up on there pretty regularly lately.

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  22. I just came from listing a condo here in Phoenix that has a double oven Flair. Complex was built in '65 and the kitchen is all original.
    I'd never seen one before and thought it was a cool concept. And if I hear the buyer plans to demo the kitchen I'll try to post back here.

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  23. I just found one on Craigslist in another town near where my mom lives. Have asked her to go get it for me. $100!!

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  24. I just found one on Craigslist in another town near where my mom lives. Have asked her to go get it for me. $100!!

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  25. You are lucky! I looked at the second one you bought on craigslist several times, but I never called. I live in Delaware. My Mommom had one of these and we both miss it. I recently got her and I both prints of the manual cover and had them framed.

    I'm constantly tempted to pick one up and that was a great deal! She almost cried when she had to get rid of hers, but it was the early 90s and we didn't have internet then to find parts, etc.

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  26. I found myself falling in love with a Flair abandoned by some fool who thought it a piece of junk today. I pick it up tomorrow. Before I do so what do I need to know other than the weight (super heavy)? How easy is it to get parts?

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  27. Many parts are still available. Check out the Frigidaire-Flair Google Group and you can find lots of people who can help. Good luck!

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  28. We bought a new stove & hood-just cancelled the order. I can't part with my Flair!
    Problem-does anyone know of ONE knob? (I'd probably buy the set if need be) My large oven knob broke & I can't find a match...Also- oven strips have never been replaced...any ideas for replacement? (Been on Internet all evening looking )
    Thanks in advance!
    HeyUdebi@aol.com

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  29. We just bought a house with one of these ovens and I am so excited. One burner doesn't work but I'm hoping I can find an appliance repairperson that isn't afraid to work on it.

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  30. We just moved into a home in Florida that has one of these beauties, and it needs full restoration. We are looking to replace this one and have been looking diligently with no sucess. Any idea's on the best area's to look for one at a decent price. We are willing to drive the distance to pick one up. Please respond to: tatersmomma52@yahoo.com
    Thanks, Maryann ( my parents & grandparents had one as well)

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