Thread Number: 94257  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Which decade was Maytagís very finest?
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Post# 1189435   9/6/2023 at 10:42 by woodjack99 (Massachusetts/Virginia, USA)        

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50s? 60s? 70s? 80s? 90s? Or other?

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Post# 1189438 , Reply# 1   9/6/2023 at 11:11 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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My vote would be for the 70ís. Still excellent quality, great styling, every cycle and option offered that any user could need. Visually the Maytagís from the 70ís are my favorite.


Post# 1189439 , Reply# 2   9/6/2023 at 11:13 by combo52 (50 Year Repair Tech Beltsville,Md)        
Best period for Maytag automatic washer, and dryer

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Best durability would be from about 1974 through 1980, they had gotten the majority of kinks worked out of the washers by that time, and they change to the stream of heat dryer, which was pretty reliable at first.

Best performance would definitely be the last series Maytag built the LAT machines worked so much better than anything Maytag had ever built before, the stream of heat dryer didnít change much in performance and was never a top performing dryer , but a very repairable dryer ,whirlpool Kenmore, and even GE definitely beat Maytag on dryers.


Post# 1189442 , Reply# 3   9/6/2023 at 12:24 by LowEfficiency (Iowa)        

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The 1910s or 1920s have to rank near the top.

During the teens, Maytag electrified their washers, introduced the gasoline powered models for those without electricity, and pioneered the aluminum tub.

During the twenties, Maytag introduced the vaned agitator, was listed on the NY Stock Exchange, and was breaking production/sales records left and right.

Perhaps those aren't the decades that come to mind first... but without such early innovation and success (and establishment of their reputation), the company likely wouldn't have done so well during the Great Depression, and wouldn't have gone on to produce the other products decades later which we remember them for today.

Post# 1189443 , Reply# 4   9/6/2023 at 12:33 by stuftrock1 (Kentucky)        

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I would have to say the 70ís. Very similar in design and style to the 50ís and 60ís, but all the minor improvements Maytag made over the years really added up. One of my dream washers is a harvest gold 70ís A806.

I fully rebuilt, used for a while, and later sold a 1987 A512. Absolutely loved that thing. Much better rollover on larger loads than my orbital tranny 90ís LAT4914. Styling on the 80ís machines was not as great as the previous center dial design, but it was still nice.

I currently use a 1994 LAT4914 and 1991 DE4910 as my daily drivers. Liked the matte black and bronze accents with the push buttons on the early 90ís models a whole lot better than the more minimalistic matte white design of the mid 90ís.

Went ahead and attached a couple photos of the A512 I rebuilt a couple years ago.

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Post# 1189450 , Reply# 5   9/6/2023 at 13:06 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor, Maine)        

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I bought my 511 washer and 410 dryer in 1984 with similar styling to the 512 in the previous post but without the box around the logo and almonish colored pushbuttons. In the nearly 40 years I have owned them, I spent $28 on a new motor coupling on the washer and new belts. Both run perfectly like new and I have no interest in ever replacing them.

Post# 1189452 , Reply# 6   9/6/2023 at 13:30 by Maytag85 (Sean A806)        

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60ís and 70ís Maytags were the best.

Post# 1189460 , Reply# 7   9/6/2023 at 15:54 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

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Sean (Stuftrock1),

When I first met them, my in-laws had a matching pair in gold. I don't know what models specifically, but they had the lighted consoles.
I wasn't in a position to take them when they decided to replace them, or I would have, in a heartbeat.
The dryer, which worked perfectly, they gave to a friend to use at their lake house. They ended up leaving it there when they sold that house.
The washer, which had developed a leak, (possibly tub rust) they had the appliance guys haul away when they delivered the new Maytag Centennial pair.
I believe they still have the Centennial dryer. But, the MIL hated the washing machine from day 1, and now has a Speed Queen that her kids chipped in and bough her.

Post# 1189465 , Reply# 8   9/6/2023 at 16:33 by bajaespuma (Connecticut)        
The Sixties

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Once they changed the Center-Dial panels to gold, it was downhill from there, especially in comparison to other machines, and even then it wasn't a big fall until the family divested. They deserve respect for those plastic lid ball hinges alone.


There was something of perfection to the Maytags of the late Fifties and Sixties in style, simplicity and, to use their word, dependability.  Maytag won US medals of honor for improvements to fighter planes in WWII (they redesigned key assemblages so fewer parts were needed for a given function thus lightening the aircraft to go faster and to carry more ordinance), so respect should be paid.



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Post# 1189466 , Reply# 9   9/6/2023 at 16:34 by stuftrock1 (Kentucky)        

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It's a shame about that gold washer. If it had a lighted console, then it was definitely an A806, or whatever was the TOL model at that time. I honestly doubt it was tub rust that caused the leak, because those Maytag tubs very rarely rusted through. The spin drain helped keep the surface clean by preventing buildup, which allowed it to dry easier/faster. My guess is the leak was caused by a bad center post seal. Not like it matters now unfortunately. Hopefully there are still enough gold 806 sets in the wild so that I could acquire one.


My dad's parents had an avocado center dial Maytag set when he was growing up. They passed away before I was born and the set went to my uncle, who passed away when I was a child. The set was then auctioned off and I don't know where they went. I think it was an early 60's model but I'm not sure. I only saw the set once and that was so many years ago.


My dad's ex girlfriend had a Maytag Centennial, and yeah, I didn't like it either. It was really weird. I offered to fix it a few years ago when it started having issues and I couldn't figure it out. Wish Maytag never went under in 2006, and that Whirlpool never bought them and ruined the name.

Post# 1189467 , Reply# 10   9/6/2023 at 16:45 by peteski50 (New York)        

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My favorite is the early 80's models - my family had a A810 TOL what a great washer!

Post# 1189472 , Reply# 11   9/6/2023 at 17:46 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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Iíve owned 5 Maytag washers since 1972. My first washer was a Maytag Wringer model J that I paid $35.00 for used at the Salvation Army, it was probably from the 50ís with a red agitator. It was a great washer and I used it for a couple of years until I moved to an apartment that didnít have room for it, I gave it to my cousin Debbie and she used it for a couple of decades.

The second Maytag was a model A50 that I bought in Ď76. This was an ingenious machine, perfect for an apartment dweller and I used it until Ď81 when I bought my 3rd Maytag a new Maytag Fabricmatic, also a very good washing machine. In Ď85 I gave the Fabricmatic to my brother and he used it for 10 years.

In Ď94 when we bought our current home we left our Westinghouse FL in the home we sold. Since we were tapped out financially we bought our 4th Maytag a used Ď78 A806 which was the best Maytag automatic Iíve ever used. In Ď97 the A806 began to have a leak so we got rid of it and replaced it with a new Frigidaire FL.

The 5th Maytag was a Centennial we bought in 2016 an it was my least favorite Maytag. It had an agi-peller and cleaned pretty well, but it wasnít a good old fashioned Maytag. And it didnít last very long either. By 2019 it started to squeal when it went into a spin, probably a bearing problem, but I wasnít interested in getting it repaired. We got rid of the Centennial and replaced it with our current Roper RTW4516 which has been completely trouble free. Its not a Dependable Maytag of yore, but it sure as hell does a good job at just being a simple trouble free washing machine.


This post was last edited 09/06/2023 at 18:10
Post# 1189485 , Reply# 12   9/6/2023 at 19:11 by chetlaham (United States)        
My vote

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Goes to the 70s and 80s Maytags. That is when their dependability, reliability and longevity peaked. Afterwards it was a steady down hill decline, but still nothing like the imitation Maytags that came out in the 90s.


This thread, and particularly the picture in Reply # 8, make me very emotional. To realize that a perfect washer is no longest produced with nothing today coming close.


I've said it before on here and I'll use the opportunity again in this thread. If everyone in the world was like myself 85% of every washer in existence would be a Maytag Dependable Care built nearly identical to those from the mid 1970s. Kenmore, Kenmore Elite, Galaxy, Sears, Crosely, Admiral, Amana, Magic Chef, Westinghouse, Jenn-Air, Roper, Norge, Kirkland, JCPenney, Kitchen-Aid, Viking, Montgomery Ward, Caloric, and other brands would all be Maytag Dependable Cares.


The remaining 10% sold would be Raytheon and Modern Speed Queen Designs. 5% would be other designs GE/Whirlpool/ect.


Whirlpool would have no option but to essentially do everything they could to copy/imitate these designs and would still have trouble beating them.



Post# 1189488 , Reply# 13   9/6/2023 at 19:26 by Thatwasherguy (Kentucky)        
In my opinionÖ

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Maytag was at their best with the ďnew generationĒ line, from 1966-1980. I feel that these machines were the finest anyone ever made. I feel that Maytag achieved perfection with this line, as they feature everything that is wonderful about appliances from this time period.

Post# 1189489 , Reply# 14   9/6/2023 at 19:46 by qsd-dan (West)        
1970's, baby

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Maytag got everything ironed out on their washers and dryers by mid 1969 and plowed through the 70's like a boss.


The 80's still carried their rock solid reliability but lacked some features from the past. I do like the twist lock injector assemblies that began with the 12 series machines. Also really like the motor carriage design that can be completely removed through the top base without taking off the motor pulley that also began with the 12 series. Removing the console and testing/replacing components on the 10+ series machines is easier than the clamshell years and earlier designs. The snap on tub covers from the mid 90's+ cut down some repair time.

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