Thread Number: 71781  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Frigidaire High Fashion Washer & Dryer
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Post# 949546   7/23/2017 at 01:19 by stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

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Does anyone here have a set?
Did they even exist?

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Post# 949548 , Reply# 1   7/23/2017 at 02:02 by Mrsalvo (New Braunfels Texas)        

Now that's interesting, never heard of anything like it. I do remember the Maytag dryer cabinets that you could hand up laundry to dry. They came on strong then dissapeared fairly quickly, but never for washers.

Post# 949549 , Reply# 2   7/23/2017 at 02:43 by appnut (TX)        

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I saw this exact set, in the same color, at the Texas State Fair GM Pavilion in 1968 or 1969 in Dallas.  I was fascinated because the wash & spin speeds were variable. 

Post# 949581 , Reply# 3   7/23/2017 at 08:42 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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A dryer was on eBay near San Antonio in March 2014.  There was no follow-up that anyone in the group had gotten it.

Post# 949589 , Reply# 4   7/23/2017 at 09:37 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
I think they also

made a range with a glass electric warming shelf, as did Tappan, and Magic Chef also. I remember one also in Sears about 1972-73. Likely made by Roper.

Post# 949592 , Reply# 5   7/23/2017 at 09:43 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

The presence of clocks on both units makes me wonder if the machines had delay wash and/or delay dry features. Sort of reminds me of todays FL pedestals, except they are above the washer. Controls up front and raised, as in today's FLs.

Post# 949598 , Reply# 6   7/23/2017 at 09:50 by appnut (TX)        
The presence of clocks on both units

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Jim, those are the timer dial displays, not clocks.  I personally found this style/design difficult to read. 

Post# 949600 , Reply# 7   7/23/2017 at 09:57 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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These were two steps up from the set that I had. Mine was a WCIL AND DCIL. There was a washing machine a step up from the WCIL, which I think was a WXN or WXL. I have forgotten which model number it was, but it had an actual variable speed control that would adjust from super slow to fast. I never actually saw one of these other than in the parts book at the parts supplier. Then these models pictured were the very top models and also have the variable speed control also. The others were just your basic washer body design.

Post# 949633 , Reply# 8   7/23/2017 at 12:50 by realvanman (Southern California)        
Variable speed

How did they accomplish that?


Post# 949650 , Reply# 9   7/23/2017 at 15:28 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
Yep, I remember these...

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...and the standard console washer & dryer. I thought the variable speed control was totally cool. The red vertical speed indicator that moved up and down the window was so much more "high-tech" than a plain old knob. The store I worked at while in school was San Jose's Frigidaire headquarters so I'm sure they sold a number of the variable-speed laundry appliances. I saw what came in for servicing, which were most of these. The electronic module on the motor that allowed the machine to operate at the correct torque at very low speeds was a complex thing that often failed. If you're a light-up nut like me both of the variable speed models were spectacular to see.


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Post# 949654 , Reply# 10   7/23/2017 at 15:53 by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
Don't it always seem to go...

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Here was an ad that showed some of what y'all are talking about.


I believe the Rollermatics were scrapped in the next model year for the new 1-18's. But Consumer's Reports were skewering them by harping on their shortcomings without any consideration for what Frigidaire's were good at. Pity. I like the 1-18's but they were lightweights (literally) compared to their predecessors.


I think that CU might have been responsible for the demise of many great lines of appliances by pretending to be using truly objective scientific methods instead of an annually changing list of "do's and don't s" ("Backsplash trim judged somewhat hard to clean", e.g.). They remind me of Christopher Kimball's pretentious "Cook's Illustrated" magazine.

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Post# 949655 , Reply# 11   7/23/2017 at 15:56 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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Reply 10, Photo 2...

Can you imagine trying to eat and have a conversation with a 1-18 over your head ??? LOL

Especially if they were not "Custom Sound Insulated".

Post# 949660 , Reply# 12   7/23/2017 at 16:30 by electronicontrl (Grand Rapids, MI)        

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Post# 949664 , Reply# 13   7/23/2017 at 17:01 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Very Cool Appliances

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Hi Eddy I wondered the same thing about eating breakfast with a roller-matic pounding away right above you, LOL.

I would love to find a variable speed Hi-Fashion washer and dryer, problem was as mentioned the variable speed clutch and electronic control was very problematic.

I did find a NIB updated complete clutch and speed control kit so if one of these machines finds its way here there is a chance the world will see one work again.

The matching dryer was very neat as well, not only did it use a completely electronic control [ made by Texas Instruments, same control that was used on Kenmore dryers from 1965-68 ], but in addition these CI FD dryers had a two speed motor and dual heating element that ran at a slower speed and slightly lower wattage when you pushed the small load button.

By far the most durable [ IMEO ] FD automatic Washers were the 1961-63 and then the FD 1-18s after about the first two years of production. The solid tub roller- matic machines were not robust enough and had too many roller, spin clutch and agitate arm failures.

John L.

Post# 949686 , Reply# 14   7/23/2017 at 18:33 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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I had actually forgotten about the 2 speed dryer. Back in the day, I used that feature many times on the weekend for just a couple of items to get ready and go out to the bars. It worked wonderfully well too! That was the best damn dryer I EVER used or had. Wish it had been larger capacity.

Post# 949722 , Reply# 15   7/23/2017 at 21:01 by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
re 61 to 63 Frigidaires..

Right on that imo, My Aunt had a 63 Custom Imperial that was abused mightily and still ran 17 years...of course we had a 69 solid tub roller matic that ran almost 18 and was still working, just not spinning as well as it once had, but it was never overloaded or treated rough, that old 63 Aunt Mabel had was in the basement and if it got out of balance she paid it no attention, it beat holes in the concrete floor over the years! and if the bellows had not gone bad, she would have used it right still ran fine!Wish I had sense enough to keep it.

Post# 949813 , Reply# 16   7/24/2017 at 12:05 by Laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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I had the dryer in white but not the washer. I did have the XP model .An infinite speed Jet Action with a window lid,a bright,silver emblem on top of the agitator cap and liquid detergent/fabric softener dispensers built in to the back panel. It had agitation and spin speeds you could "tune in"to set the agitation speeds from soak to 330 bpm or spin speeds from 75rpm to 1010. The clutch was plastic and wore out causing expensive repairs. The High Fashion model retailed at $899 for the washer and $799 for the dryer which had two tumble speeds and a water dispenser to sprinkle clothes prior to ironing them. They also made the High Fashion range that had a shelf with keep warm red lights to keep food warm and Electraclean oven. I think all the HF appliances were from 1965 till 1968. I hope somebody here finds a set because these are the rare and would be great to have in the club collection.
I am doing well but have a few bumps and scrapes from a bike accident I'm getting home care from a great nurse from Kaiser who visits every other day to clean and wrap the wound from foot surgery a few weeks ago in Oahu. She is a vegan and grows her own weed.

Post# 949817 , Reply# 17   7/24/2017 at 12:15 by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Reply 10, Photo 2...

Can you imagine trying to eat and have a conversation with a 1-18 over your head ??? LOL

Especially if they were not "Custom Sound Insulated".


I'm more concerned, how they got those two machines up that thing that appears to be slightly larger than a ladder. Someone else's back.

Post# 950015 , Reply# 18   7/25/2017 at 15:20 by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
Washer's Achilles Heel

Besides being so expensive, the variable speed feature led to the discontinuing this model. Make you wonder if any extensive testing was done to check durability. This washer model was discussed before. These feature ladden models have more accessories that are prone to be more troublesome than anything else. Reminds me of the first microprocessor controlled blenders and food processors introduced by Hamilton Beach and a touch panel Versatronic Toaster oven offered by GE.

Post# 950041 , Reply# 19   7/25/2017 at 18:26 by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        

Mine was like the one you had. It also had a silver disc on the agitator cap. All those speeds and options were cool to have, however, I rarely used them.
I found that by reducing the pulsation speed slightly a normal load had better rollover. I just left the spin speed on the highest setting.
The door on the dispensers was an annoyance. It tended to vibrate when the machine was spinning. They should have put a rubber bumper on it. The dryer had very sensitive moisture sensors. John just explained why.
I never had a serious problem with washer or dryer, however, I didn't have them long. Just a few years after I got them I sold them along with the house.

I never dreamed all the Frigidaires would be hard to come by in those days.

Post# 950144 , Reply# 20   7/26/2017 at 12:44 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

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Russell, that touch panel Versatron toaster-oven is something else that I'd like to find!

Post# 950177 , Reply# 21   7/26/2017 at 21:05 by Laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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The solid tub Jet Action washers ,no matter how many agitation or spin sppeds,had the most available features from Super to Elite models and more models than any other manofacturers. The Custom Imperials and the Elites all had the Rapidry Spins and on the WCG6 and WCG5s they added the see through door glass in filery glass.If Frigidaire had included the 1010 rpm rapidry spin,I'd have one now. They did however beat the shit out of my bath towels,area throw rugs and quilts.

Post# 950334 , Reply# 22   7/27/2017 at 16:52 by MixGuy (St. Martinville, Louisiana)        
Touch Panel Small Appliances

The idea sounds nice, the flexibility and the control over standard push buttons or dial switches, is just not there! Over processing is likely, pulse control was not very sensitive.

Post# 950336 , Reply# 23   7/27/2017 at 17:25 by Laundromat (Hilo, Hawaii)        

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Alas. At least the front loading sets have available cabinetry for rise and storage. Westinghouse pioneered that with "The Taller Tumblers"& the "Higher dryers". Those were o.k.but real problematic with rust and boot wear. Not to forget all the baring issues and belt replacements.

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