Thread Number: 85036  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Frigidaire Holy Grail - WCIR-61
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Post# 1095190   10/30/2020 at 14:34 (875 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Hi everyone - thought I'd share some photos of a recent save that was delivered earlier this week. I'm still pinching myself and cannot believe this actually happened!

Last week a friend reached out about a guy who was looking for a new home for an old washer that was left behind in a house the guy had bought about 10 years ago, near Detroit. Photos and an email address were sent my way after we chatted. As you can imagine it didn't take me long to fire a message off to the seller once I saw the pictures.

Within a day of getting in contact with the seller a deal was struck and a shipper was arranged to pick-up, earlier this week.

First photos that were shared:

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This post was last edited 10/30/2020 at 15:19

Post# 1095192 , Reply# 1   10/30/2020 at 14:40 (874 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        
Off the sprinter van...

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Looking through the archives I found photos of 2 intact '61 clamshell CI Frigidaire washers, and Phil's 61 DCIF dryer, and sadly no really good quality photos of the control panels.

Outside of those few photos I had never seen one in person before, let alone any Frigidaire washer in Aztec copper.

I'm here to say, these are just as stunning in person as they are in the manuals. Holy cow!

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This post was last edited 10/30/2020 at 15:05
Post# 1095193 , Reply# 2   10/30/2020 at 14:43 (874 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Outside of being dusty, dirty, and covered in nicotine, this thing was MINT. A quick dusting of the panel revealed the amazing lit panel.

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Post# 1095194 , Reply# 3   10/30/2020 at 14:45 (874 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Ooohhh Ben!! Having clams many times this weekend? I'm blown away.

Post# 1095195 , Reply# 4   10/30/2020 at 14:47 (874 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        
Polished and in storage

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Overall, the washer appears to have spent it's life on a main floor of a house, due to the minimal rust. There is a bit of rust along the edges of the chrome trim pieces on the panels, but other than a few other nicks in the porcelain along one edge, it's almost flawless.

Not only was the original bleach dispenser inside the column, but it also came with an unused fabric softener dispenser! The 61/62 cap is actually in pretty good shape, but the machine will look amazing if I'm able to get a set of rings and a fresh cap from Bud. The tub is still as shiny as the day it left Dayton, and still has the wire clothes guard along the top rim of the tub.

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Post# 1095196 , Reply# 5   10/30/2020 at 14:52 (874 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Here are some detailed close-ups. The panel on these is just as breathtaking in person as it is in the ads and Tech Talk. When you lift the top up it's quite heavy, and will snap into to detents to hold it in the opened position. To close, you gently pull down on each side to release the detents, and it will rest on two small rubber bumpers along the top frame so to not scratch the bottom panel.

The tape for the cycle selector is frozen and will require some motivation during the restoration process, at some point in the future.

While cleaning, a rag accidently rubbed against the "Imperial" of Custom Imperial and wiped away a bit of the ink. I believe this can be fixed as it does have a raised border for the ink fill. And can you believe this thing is a Suds Saver? I KNOW! (in my best Charles Phoenix impression)

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This post was last edited 10/30/2020 at 15:22
Post# 1095197 , Reply# 6   10/30/2020 at 15:00 (874 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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For testing, I did allow the washer to agitate for quite sometime and both speeds appear to work just fine. This is a good sign that the cumbersome 850/330 RPM clutch is probably in decent shape and can be used as-is. I haven't spun the machine up as I'd like check the oil first to make sure there isn't any water present, which can cause the brake to become frozen and destroy itself. It is providing some positive signs that the spin will be ok as I am able to spin the tub manually with the correct feel/slip from the brake. The suds valve solenoid does snap between save and drain but the pump just buzzes.

For now it will stay in long term storage. A drawn out project to create a space in the basement for the washers has taken much longer than expected, and a few other machines are ahead of where this would be in the restoration schedule. Until then it will stay safe in the basement and anyone from the group is welcome to swing by to see it if they'd like.

Until then, enjoy the glamor shots within this thread or the full sized photos from the Google Photos album link, as well as a quick video posted on YT showcasing the control panel while the machine is pulsating.

Isn't it amazing what is still out there for us to find?


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Post# 1095198 , Reply# 7   10/30/2020 at 15:12 (874 days old) by firedome (Binghamton NY & Lake Champlain VT)        

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nice save Ben, a clamshell, that is awesome!! the most Jetson's washer ever!
I'll take mine in pink!

Post# 1095201 , Reply# 8   10/30/2020 at 15:35 (874 days old) by Hippiedoll ( arizona )        

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That is so cool. And such a BEAUTIFUL color and in such AMAZING condition!

I am so happy for you! Thanks for sharing those great pictures and that short video of this beauty in action. Hoping to see this Frigidaire actually washing a load with some water & detergent! Can't wait

Doing the HAPPY DANCE for you on this side of the computer...

Post# 1095202 , Reply# 9   10/30/2020 at 15:50 (874 days old) by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

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Great save, Ben, good luck with it!

Post# 1095203 , Reply# 10   10/30/2020 at 15:53 (874 days old) by pdub (Portland, Oregon)        
Congratulations Ben

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What an amazing find. So glad it is in good hands.

Post# 1095208 , Reply# 11   10/30/2020 at 17:17 (874 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
Wow, Ben

It's beautiful!

I don't know anyone else who ever had that particular model. My mom's cousin in Vicksburg, MS had a '61 or '62 Frigidaire set that were Mayfair Pink. They however had a standard type control panel, so weren't Custom Imperial models; probably just Imperial.

Post# 1095209 , Reply# 12   10/30/2020 at 17:23 (874 days old) by Repairguy (Danbury, Texas)        

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WOW!!! Congrats Ben! That is a great looking machine. There is definitely an advantage to living near houses with basements. Any machine like that in Texas is long gone although I did run across a graveyard of early 50’s machines about 25 years ago. I wish I would have rescued some of them. Enjoy and good luck with the project.

Post# 1095210 , Reply# 13   10/30/2020 at 17:33 (874 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington NC)        

My tongue is hanging out with jealousy! Way to go! Greg

Post# 1095212 , Reply# 14   10/30/2020 at 18:25 (874 days old) by sfh074 ( )        
Well .....

since Ben shared his ....... I guess I'll share mine.

However mine will require some major TLC. But just as happy I got it no less! Chrome pieces have already been sent out to the chrome shop.

The plastic control face and light lens on this one are in excellent shape, the only reason I decided to move forward to restore this poor specimen of a clam.

If those plastic pieces had not been salvageable, there would have been no way to reproduce those.

Bud - Atlanta

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Post# 1095216 , Reply# 15   10/30/2020 at 20:30 (874 days old) by appnut (TX)        

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Bud, glad you shared.

Ben!!! I HAVE NEVER SEEN a Frigidaire with suds saver function on the control panel. WOW!!!

Post# 1095217 , Reply# 16   10/30/2020 at 21:07 (874 days old) by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Very nice score Ben!  I've never seen one of these before, didn't realize that the console actually folded.





Post# 1095219 , Reply# 17   10/30/2020 at 21:09 (874 days old) by gansky1 (Omaha, The Home of the TV Dinner!)        

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That is just amazing - beautiful as all get-out!

Post# 1095220 , Reply# 18   10/30/2020 at 21:13 (874 days old) by Hippiedoll ( arizona )        

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Very cool!
I can't wait to see your Frigidaire once it all restored. I know it's gonna look fantastic also!

Post# 1095231 , Reply# 19   10/30/2020 at 21:55 (874 days old) by mrmaytag (Tennessee)        

What a beauty! Congratulations! Looks brand new from the pics!!!

Post# 1095233 , Reply# 20   10/30/2020 at 22:52 (874 days old) by eddy1210 (Burnaby BC Canada)        
That control panel

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Ben, that's one of the most wild control panels. I love it, it's very high. Beautiful find!

Post# 1095236 , Reply# 21   10/30/2020 at 23:26 (874 days old) by Unimatic1140 (Minneapolis)        

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Yay Ben congratulations, it looks to be in beautiful shape. The tub even seems to have cleaned up nicely from what I can from the first pictures you posted to later pictures.

Post# 1095247 , Reply# 22   10/31/2020 at 02:22 (874 days old) by spiralator60 (Los Angeles)        

Congratulations, Ben!

Post# 1095254 , Reply# 23   10/31/2020 at 05:07 (874 days old) by Easyspindry (Winston-Salem, NC)        
WOW!!!!! What luck!!!!!

I have never seen that model.  Didn't even know it existed.   


It's beautiful!!!


Congratulations, Ben.  That is really a prize.  Keep us posted.


Jerry Gay

Post# 1095267 , Reply# 24   10/31/2020 at 07:19 (874 days old) by turquoisedude (.)        

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Wow!  I am floored by both of the machines - I can't believe that goodies like this are still out there.  Congrats to both of you guys!!

Post# 1095296 , Reply# 25   10/31/2020 at 11:08 (874 days old) by Golittlesport (California)        

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What wonderful Frigidaire finds! I can hardly believe the treasures popping up this week.

Post# 1095306 , Reply# 26   10/31/2020 at 12:17 (874 days old) by Washerlover (The Big Island)        

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I’ve never seen one like this before. Jaw-droppingly beautiful. Congrats!

Post# 1095314 , Reply# 27   10/31/2020 at 16:07 (873 days old) by joelippard (Hickory)        

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That's a gorgeous machine!  Glad is has a good home with you.

Post# 1095339 , Reply# 28   10/31/2020 at 21:14 (873 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        

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Wow just beautiful Ben. 


Nice Save !!

Post# 1095347 , Reply# 29   10/31/2020 at 22:48 (873 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Ditto every comment above!


I'm not even a Frigidaire aficionado but I find that machine irresistible, even in coppertone!


My sister moved into a house in 1975 and it had a coppertone small tub Frigidaire of this same vintage in the back of the house under an overhang.  It was a lesser model, and at that time I didn't think much of it.  IIRC she and her then-husband didn't even attempt to use it.  One day not long after they moved in, it was gone and I never inquired about it.  If only I knew then what I know now, it could at least have served as a parts donor, but it likely turned into a Ford Granada instead.

Post# 1095352 , Reply# 30   10/31/2020 at 23:24 (873 days old) by rickr (.)        

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Great save on a rare model Ben! Congrats!!

Post# 1095354 , Reply# 31   10/31/2020 at 23:31 (873 days old) by gregingotham (New York)        

any recommendations on a shipper? Trying to find someone or company to ship from toronto to KC.

Post# 1095369 , Reply# 32   11/1/2020 at 06:05 (873 days old) by Gyrafoam (Roanoke, VA)        
Go BEN!!!!!!!!

That is a really nice Clamshell. The Energy ring looks like it saw plenty of use, so whomever owned it took good care of it.

Post# 1095371 , Reply# 33   11/1/2020 at 06:22 (873 days old) by Jetcone (Schenectady-Home of Calrods,Monitor Tops,Toroid Transformers)        
Rare machine indeed with the Suds Saver

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I just love those little square buttons! Each has ONE Function!  Now those are buttons, not these flat multi-menu electro things we have today! I hate drilling down to sub-menus !



One Button - One Function !




Post# 1095405 , Reply# 34   11/1/2020 at 12:04 (873 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

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So I'll have to catch you all later.

Post# 1095410 , Reply# 35   11/1/2020 at 12:45 (873 days old) by RP2813 (Sannazay)        
"I hate . . . menus"

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AMEN to that, Jon!

Post# 1095451 , Reply# 36   11/1/2020 at 17:50 (872 days old) by mickeyd (Hamburg NY)        

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Ben, I have never seen a separate switch for Suds-return on a Frigidaire before--and a double push button, no less. Extraordinary! Usually, the function is listed on the Wash Temp Knob. Even better, if that's a bit of return lint on the suds hose in the first pic, chances are they used it; good for them.

The Aztec Copper looks like bronze-- just delicious!

You are so meticulous, precise, and exacting, that GEM of a GM couldn't have fallen into better hands.

Congratulations, Ben. I am blue with envy.

Post# 1095453 , Reply# 37   11/1/2020 at 18:00 (872 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Stunning, just stunning. Never seen one like that ever. Congratulations Ben!

Post# 1095462 , Reply# 38   11/1/2020 at 19:45 (872 days old) by jons1077 (Vancouver, Washington, USA)        

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Congrats! Having seen a similar model in person, it never occurred to me that these “clamshell” panels actually opened and closed! How cool!

Post# 1095463 , Reply# 39   11/1/2020 at 20:29 (872 days old) by swestoyz (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Thanks for the kind comments everyone, as well as Bud for sharing your recent find!

The Suds Saver switch has the most satisfying feel a switch could have. Great travel length, confident pressure. Nothing sloppy or cheap about it, at all.

This particular switch was used ONLY on the Custom Imperial washers, from 1961 through 1966. The '58 Unimatic had the suds return option built into the wash temp rotary switch, and the '59 and '60 had a rotary ON/OFF switch: '59 to the left of the fabric selector indicator panel, '60 to the right of the timer control handle. After '66 a Suds Saver was only available on lower than TOL models.


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Post# 1095465 , Reply# 40   11/1/2020 at 20:37 (872 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Wow, wow, wow! Congratulations on acquiring one of the holiest of grails! And with a suds-saver, even.

Another gorgeous console from the design wizards at GM/Frigidaire. It's beautiful.

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