Thread Number: 73137  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
What would you do in this situation?
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Post# 966041   11/4/2017 at 20:09 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

I may be facing a bit of a condundrum (a good kind) and I need a little help making a decision.

In my cabin I have a 1956 GE Speedster Range (Picture 1). It's been in the family since 1973 and my Mother was in love with it. I really like it too.

I've had some issues with the oven temperature control this year but I think I'm close to having that all sorted out. Everything else works perfectly on the unit.

I decided a little while ago that I should look for a "parts car" for it so I can keep it going for the next 50 years at a reasonable cost. Parts for it are often hard to find and expensive so having a complete oven to part out for it would put me in a much better position.

A friend of mine may be offering me his Grandparent's old 1955-ish GE Stratoliner for cheap (Picture 2). He doesn't know what is ans what isn't working on it because it was hardwired into his grandparents' wall but now it's sitting in his garage with no plug-in attached.

The only issue that I can see with it is that the oven thermostat has been replaced and so the original oven temp control knob/dial is missing and a period incorrect replacement dial is now in it's place. I do have a thermostat that will work with the original dial so all I have to do is use that thermostat and obtain the correct dial to put it back to original. The thing is, that thermostat is the one that's in my Speedster.

So what I'm getting at here is that I have a choice of which one to part out for the other. Between the two ranges, I can have a 100% original and working one and a whole lot of spare parts to keep it going which is a very good thing.

Putting the sentimental value aside, I like the Speedster because I think I prefer to have the working space in the center and the burners on both sides. Aesthetically, I like the symmetry of that layout as well. What I'm not so high on is that it only has one large burner; the other three are only 6" which is not the most useful configuration in the world. Two large burners and two small ones would be more functional IMO.

What I like about the Stratoliner is that it has two larger burners and two 6" burners and it has more cool chrome than the Speedster. I'm just not so sure about the layout of the cooktop, preferring the Speedster's layout a little more as I said. I suppose it's not that huge of a deal that the burners are all over on one side and I could probably get used to it and even get to like it given enough time.

Beyond that, the two ranges have pretty much the same features. They both have just one oven and a warming drawer on the right and storage drawers on the left.

What would you do in this situation? Condition wise, you should assume they're both pretty much equal. I know my Mom just loved that Speedster but she would've loved the Stratoliner just as much if it was in our first cabin instead of the Speedster so I'm not going to let sentimentality factor much in the decision. Which one would you part out for the other and why?

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Post# 966098 , Reply# 1   11/5/2017 at 00:31 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Without question, the Stratoliner is the more deluxe of the two, and would be my pick.  It's so much nicer to look at.


I also prefer a work space that isn't hemmed in by burners.  It can act more like extra counter space for things you need handy while using the stove.


I totally get the sentimental value of the Speedster, but if you keep it around for parts, that's a good compromise.


That's my $ 0.0256 (adjusted for Canadian).

Post# 966129 , Reply# 2   11/5/2017 at 06:58 by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

The Stratoliner easily would be my choice. The fact of having 2 large burners would sway me. Had used 1 stove with only 1 large burner for a period and hated that stove. Seems I am always using both large burners and rarely use the smaller ones. I also like the look better of the second one. Not more modern but just the overall look is pleasing to the eye.


Post# 966201 , Reply# 3   11/5/2017 at 12:34 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture

Hard choice even for me with no skin in the game.. but I suppose I would also go with the Stratoliner because I do like the burners all on one side leaving plenty of workspace and the fact that the Speedster has 3 small burners detracts a little from it.   Say hi to Calgary for me.. miss it

Post# 966217 , Reply# 4   11/5/2017 at 14:44 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

I just purchased the Stratoliner for $100 CAD (~$80 USD). Pretty good deal considering all the spare parts I can get off of it. Not everything is transferable to the Speedster but a lot is. I wasn't able to try it out to see what's working or not but it looks to be in really good condition. According to the PO, his grandparents had some sort of problem with the stove burners not working properly - he said something about them running too hot? - so the thing was taken out of service and stored in their basement for a number of decades. I'm wondering if maybe he's confused burners with elements and maybe it's the oven that was going full blast no matter what it was set at. Maybe that new thermostat wasn't wired in correctly and the broiler is going even on the bake setting.

I can totally believe that it wasn't used much and was stored a long time because the inside of the oven looks brand new. I'm talking very close to what it would have looked like coming out of the factory. Still light blue/grey in colour and no burned on residue anywhere. I was shocked. The stove burners look more used though.

The Stratoliner certainly has a lot more dials and controls on it than the Speedster. If I do decide to go with the Stratoliner, I would want to put it back to original which means I'll need to use the thermostat from my Speedster and get the correct oven temperature control dial for it (see my other thread

The one dial control (furthest right below the plug in receptacle) on the Stratoliner. What does it do? It says something about "Automatic" and "left front" on the panel. The temp of all the burners is controlled by the push-buttons so I'm very curious to fund out what that control is supposed to do.

Post# 966431 , Reply# 5   11/6/2017 at 15:21 by retro-man (nashua,nh)        

I believe that is corresponding to the outlet on the left side. That can be timed also by the start and stop settings on the clock. It controls the oven and the left outlet. If the oven is not on then it controls the outlet. Great for plugging a coffee pot and have it ready upon awakening. I hope I am correct in this. My mother had a late 50's Frigidare range and I remember that was how that one worked.


Post# 966667 , Reply# 6   11/7/2017 at 18:21 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

They're both very nice ranges! Below the cooktop, they are exactly the same; doors, drawers, oven interiors, etc. I would keep those parts of the one you decide not to use so you can replace a part if it is chipped or otherwise damaged in the future.

These look very similiar to the US versions except the receptacles and light switches differ.

Post# 967224 , Reply# 7   11/10/2017 at 20:21 by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

> These look very similiar to the US versions except the receptacles and light switches differ.

Those actually aren't light switches you see on the dashboards. Those switches control the heaters for the warming drawers below the oven.

These Canadian models also differ from the US models in that each stove burner and the oven elements are fused in the Canadian models as we had higher safety standards at that time. It's my understanding the fuses weren't required in the US so the US models don't have any or at least as many fuses.

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