Thread Number: 3465
when did Hoover get so crap?
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Post# 39061   4/28/2008 at 13:16 (3,642 days old) by turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

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US/UK question here. When do we all think was hoover's downfall. I love every Hoover cleaner right up to the PurePower range. For me, PP was the worst possible thing hoover could have made. But what started it? Also, what was the first shite american Hoover? From what i've heard, the Elite's are not bad vacuums. I suppose it varies but I was just wondering what everyone else thought?

Post# 39068 , Reply# 1   4/28/2008 at 13:43 (3,642 days old) by eluxca (Tennessee)        

US Hoover had good machines until somewhere in the mid-90's. The whole Windtunnel, Windtunnel V2 line were way below Hoover standards in terms of quality and longevity. I bought an Elite softbag upright in 1988 and that was a decent machine by modern standards. As a matter of fact, the eighties had many good Hoover machines - Concept series, Dimension series, Conquest series. The Maytag Company management and ownership was a death blow to a stalwart company.

Everyone's perception of Hoover's downfall is different. Few will agree with my assessment. Those who have been collecting vacuums for 50+ years will say that the late fifties was the beginning of the downfall with the advent of the Convertible series. Although they are excellent machines, they were made to a different standard than, say, a model 61. That was meant to be a lifetime machine.

Someone with a better grasp on modern manufacturing will know when the concept of planned obsolescence began working its way into the vacuum company psyche. The Lewyt Corporation is one of the best examples of this concept. Their first machine, the model 40, was a solid, well built machine with decent tools. Fast forward 10 or so years, they were building disposable crap that would not hold up five years in regular household use. Kudos to Hoover for holding off on that another 35 years.


Post# 39069 , Reply# 2   4/28/2008 at 14:06 (3,642 days old) by kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

Though not an expert like many of the rest of you, as a consumer/observer I will agree with John.

When Hoover started building a disposable vacuum, the death rattles began. From what I have read on other forums, when they turned down the Dyson bagless design was when the death warrant was signed. I don't buy this for positive, because I never liked bagless, others will swear by it.

I just hurts me that an American Icon--Hoover is now a China owned company.

Post# 39073 , Reply# 3   4/28/2008 at 15:42 (3,642 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
when did Hoover go to crap

I agree with John for the most part. Because of my age, I felt when they started soon after they introduced the Convertibles. Look at the quality of the first Hoover Constellation compared to when they stopped production and were selling them for $29.95 at discount stores. I remember the last top of the line Hoover anyone in my family bought was the Concept upright. She was so very disapointed in the machine. It smelled like dust,very noisy,tool converstion was not easy and worst of all-no more real beater-bars. Of course this machine was purchased by a Hoover lover who had loved her Hoover 28 for many years. I think it's hard for younger collectors to realize that at one time to own the very best vacuum in the world was to say you owned a Hoover.

Post# 39074 , Reply# 4   4/28/2008 at 15:42 (3,642 days old) by filterqueen83 ()        
Wal Mart

I think this store and numerous others were the demise of slightly greedy hoover. I miss the vacs of the 80's my last vacuum my mom had before I just wore it out was a Dimension 1000. I can remember running the vacuum up like a jet engine when turning it on. I never could understand the auto setting. Who needs this lol. I actually bought a hoover nano lite and left it in its box like a time capsule I will open on my 50th birthday hopefully. I am going to wrap it when I have time just so it will be a really cool surprise for that day for me.

Post# 39077 , Reply# 5   4/28/2008 at 15:47 (3,642 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
when did Hoover get so crap

I forgot to add we are very lucky to have members in the club like Tom Anderson,Fred Stachnik and Jeff Parker who have helped to honor the past of one of our greatest American Companies.

Post# 39083 , Reply# 6   4/28/2008 at 16:48 (3,642 days old) by kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        
Though not to pick on Hoover

I think all appliances and the consumers who buy them started making the change from durable long lasting to cheap toss out about the mid 80's.

Back in the day brand loyalty was important. My mother prided herself that she had an all GE Kitchen. Then as something wore out she bought another of that brand and found out it wasn't the machine she used to own. Then it broke and she bought another brand.

I think this happened to Hoover. A family/housewife had a Hoover for 20 years, bought a new plastic model, it broke, bought another, it broke. . .bought something else.

Post# 39088 , Reply# 7   4/28/2008 at 18:13 (3,642 days old) by danemodsandy (Waterloo, IA)        
Can't Tell You When, But...

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...We have a Hoover Runabout canister, and it's certainly not what I expected of a Hoover. It's snap-together plastique, and it has a bad design flaw in the power nozzle. The PN cord has no reinforcement down at the bottom, where the cord enters the PN head. That makes the PN cord rub its insulation away periodically. We've dealt with it by shortening the cord at the PN end, but we've now done it enough times that there's no excess to work with. And the thing is not particularly well-designed from a user standpoint. Its on/off button and its cord rewind button look identical; their moulded-in markings are black-on-black, and therefore unreadable. You're forever rewinding the cord when you mean to turn off the machine. And the famous/infamous Hoover wand lock system is a true PITA, annoying and hard for people with hand mobility problems to use- I would strongly urge anyone arthritic to buy almost any other brand.

When it's in good repair, with no bare wires coming out of the PN, it's an okay enough machine, if somewhat annoying from the user standpoint (for people without mobility problems). But it's not what I expected from a company that has been making vacuums for around a century. P.S.: This is a pre-China machine; you can't blame them.

Post# 39099 , Reply# 8   4/28/2008 at 18:42 (3,642 days old) by eurekaboy (Washington, DC)        

I think the quality of Hoover started to decline in the 80's when many of their machines were going from metal to plastic. Before that, it seemed like every Hoover was built to last a lifetime.

Post# 39114 , Reply# 9   4/28/2008 at 21:11 (3,642 days old) by myhooverco ()        

Just my two cents worth here...

After living in North Canton over the last 10 years and in the surrounding area my whole life, I can honestly say that Maytag (a very dirty word in this town) killed Hoover. When Maytag started to call the shots in the later part of the 1990s, things got cheap and lost a lot of their quality elements. Then Maytag started selling off Hoover assets like surrounding real estate and factory buildings. They had to move the Hoover family home because the land that it sat on was sold by Maytag! I would say that Hoover made quality USA made vacuums until the beginning of the end started in 1989 with Maytag taking over. Hoover held off the Maytag vultures almost 10 years before they dove in for the kill. Now there is really no more Maytag...not one tear has been shed in North Canton for the dismemberment of that company! Go to hell, Maytag!


Post# 39117 , Reply# 10   4/28/2008 at 21:20 (3,642 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Well, I think

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that convertibles, (most) were terrific. Truly, Made in China, assembled in Mexico, A Division of Maytag were the deathtolls. The first nontufflex hose, no bristles on the upholstery brush, Switches halfway down the handle were signs of CHEAP.Some of the attachment hoses, etc are awful.Details were slipping, the very things that made us so proud. Anyone agree with any of this?
I also feel that closing the N Canton plant was a sin and a crime.

Post# 39125 , Reply# 11   4/28/2008 at 22:21 (3,642 days old) by xraytech ( Pittsburgh, PA)        

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I think it started to go down hill in late 80's which was later than most consumer goods. when the vacuums turned plastic it began then with the introduction of the elites and then discontinuing the convertibles. I think the final staw of Hoovers quality was when the Flagship model was changed from the Concept to the Windtunnel.Also the introduction of bagless uprights and getting rid of all bagged models was a major problem too. I do like my Steam Vac that I got in 2006 after 2 years and shampooing whole house every other month and cars 4-5 times a year it still works. Brand loyalty has gone also, not just with vacuums but with all goods like we always bought hoovers and mother got pissed off and bought a Kenmore Progressive in 2001 after going through 3 Hoovers in 8 years. Grandma was always proud to have all GE appliances in her home(they sold Ge and Hotpoint) and after 35 years of service the 1st of her appliances died she bought Ge and it was crap so as her old appliances died she has been buying other brands(they are all crap too) mother was always proud to have only Sears Kenmore and Sears Coldspot appliances same problem with their quality(You should get more than 2 years out of a dishwasher). I think it is sad that we have become a throw away society who would rather buy cheap crap and replace every few years then to pay a little more and buy a product that is worth having and will last and being loyal to your favorite brand. I hate to say I will not buy a new Hoover only used Convertibles and Concepts. If I want a Brand New Vacuum I will buy a Kirby at least they are all aluminum and made in USA the one I have is 8 years old and lasted 3 times as long as any other vacuum we bought new in past 20 years. The only brand loyalty I have left now is for Tupperware and Buick.

Post# 39128 , Reply# 12   4/28/2008 at 22:44 (3,642 days old) by lux1521 ()        

You all might find my opinion on this matter to be a bit silly, but here goes. I'm going to say they started to go downhill shortly after they started. By the 1920s the number of available attachments had decreased to a very basic, although a very quality set. Then when they changed from the very rugged 1920s and 30s style button lock it was bad. The jam prone 725 2 speed switch was troublesome. Hoovers sealed motors were no longer sealed by 1930 because of the necessity of cooling fans. The 1930s hand grips were always falling apart. In the late 1930s you had crackable motor hoods and headlight lenses.

Just shows that its all relitive.

Post# 39137 , Reply# 13   4/29/2008 at 00:45 (3,642 days old) by camelotshadow (Valley Village)        

I haveone hoover
the 63
mid century

not a bad cleaner for its day
think it cost close to $90 then

that's about $1000 now
so for $10 I'm happy with it

Post# 39139 , Reply# 14   4/29/2008 at 02:57 (3,642 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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the end of the convertible as we knew and loved it was detrimental. Runabout, etc...... silly, and for years we used bags. None of us died. That "bagless " nonsense. I have a fantastic set of Maytag washr/dryer. But, they were bought BEFORE the "invasion". They were made here also.I curse the new Maytag.... for what they did to HOOVER.
so unfair..... And, then there's CHINA. It's a good thing i don't drink. Because, if I did........

Post# 39140 , Reply# 15   4/29/2008 at 03:03 (3,642 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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the end of the convertible as we knew and loved it was detrimental. Runabout, etc...... silly, and for years we used bags. None of us died. That "bagless " nonsense. I have a fantastic set of Maytag washr/dryer. But, they were bought BEFORE the "invasion". They were made here also.I curse the new Maytag.... for what they did to HOOVER.
so unfair..... And, then there's CHINA

Post# 39147 , Reply# 16   4/29/2008 at 06:32 (3,642 days old) by hoover1060 ()        
For me...

It was the late 70's, when the Convertible went plastic, however the real slide was later, some of the last Convertibles were just dreadful, especially the BOL models.
As for the Maytag debacle, yes ol' Maytag got what they deserved, they totally messed things up, and when the public responded by not buying the plastic crap, they put all the blame on Hoover.
Maytag totally killed Hoover.

I can't really make a call on what was crap and what wasn't, there are today 20 year old Elites out there working fine, as with plastic Convertibles and Concepts.
Time will tell with what is found in the future.

Post# 39216 , Reply# 17   4/30/2008 at 01:52 (3,641 days old) by 74simon ()        
It's a good question...

Over the years, Hoover certainly came out with quite a few flawed machines, but I understand that the early Purepowers are vastly better quality and more sturdy than the current ones, not that I've had any experience with them myself. It seems to me that Hoover didn't get their reputation for poor quality, inefficient machines until quite a while after Candy took over the European division in 1995. And that wasn't completely sealed until the introduction of the disastrous The One in 2004.

I've got to admit that I used to think in terms of the 80s machines as being cheap rubbish, but I've been forced to revise this opinion since I got a 1990s Turbopower, which does a fine job and doesn't feel like all the bits are going to snap off...


Post# 39228 , Reply# 18   4/30/2008 at 12:36 (3,640 days old) by vintagehoover (NJ)        

I liked the Turbopower 2/3/1000 machines, they were very well made and worked well. A bit heavy, though, an issue addressed with the Purepower range. My granny has 2 Turbopower 3 Autosenses, one upstairs, one down, which she's had for over 10 years now. She uses them regularly, and they're still going strong.

I think the early Purepowers were the last decent ones. I had one, and I liked it a lot. It was of a good build quality, and worked well. The early Purepowers bear very little relation to the later models, and even less to the Dust Mis-Managers!

It all depends, really, on whether you consider longevity to be the deciding factor. In this day and age, do we want a cleaner which will outlive us? With improvements in technology happening so fast, don't we want the freedom to replace a machine once it becomes outdated? Or are the 'improvements' really improvements? Are they just sales gimmicks?

If Hoover were to make a machine out of componants as high-quality as they did in the 1930s, they'd have to charge the same kind of prices they did in the '30s, ie. £1000+, which would put them out of most people's reach, just as they were back then.

Post# 39231 , Reply# 19   4/30/2008 at 14:19 (3,640 days old) by kirbymodel2c (Nottingham, England)        

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I do like the early pure powers as they had the Hoover activator brushroll like the older turbos.
Now they a a very cheap brush roll.
The motor wattage is so high it just eats electric.
And because the motors so high they burn out quicker than the early models.

I think Hoover could do a high end market vacuum £1000 vacuum cleaner made out of metal etc.
Just have to be sold through in home demostration like with the Kirby.

Can't see them doing it.

Hay ho!


Post# 39345 , Reply# 20   5/2/2008 at 15:10 (3,638 days old) by vintagehoover (NJ)        

Don't forget there are those of us on this side of the Atlantic who are also working damn hard to protect and honour the legacy of Hoover. A great American company, of course, but also a major presence and market leader over here since 1919.

Post# 39469 , Reply# 21   5/4/2008 at 12:27 (3,636 days old) by rolls_rapide (Scotland)        
UK Hoover Cleaners

I was in a Comet Electrical Store recently, and had a look at the upright cleaners.

The UK Hoover 'Purepowers' / 'Dustmanagers' (Made in China) really do exude a "much cheapness" feeling. The cleaner I looked at was a white 'Dustmanager', but its plastic handle and casing reminded me of the cheap polystyrene door racks that one would find inside a fridge.

I had a look at the UK Vax 'Mach' uprights (USA Hoovers in disguise). Quite good looking, apart from the 'agitator-stop' pedal on the 'Mach 6' which looked as though it was spray painted a metallic green.

I am dying to see the new Miele uprights!

Post# 40825 , Reply# 22   5/18/2008 at 21:42 (3,622 days old) by kirbyultimateg (Troy Ohio 45373 USA)        

Hoover got crap when they introduced the WindTunnel line in the late 1990s.
Hoover should have kept the PowerDrive hardbag case dirty air upright in production.

Post# 372172 , Reply# 23   5/14/2017 at 18:13 (339 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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My uncle actually worked at Hoover back in the good old days. He was fired when Maytag took over. He still curses Maytag to this day. Now he's a coal miner

Post# 372177 , Reply# 24   5/14/2017 at 18:59 (339 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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This is actually a interesting question and it depends who you ask.
After Leaving Electrolux I went to work for a appliance repair company called Lanzon which had its roots based on been a Hoover service centre in the early 50's . I got a chance to meet one of the original owners , Who had a passion for vacuum cleaners. If you asked him were Hoover lost the plot with vacuums, he would tell you straight out , The Concept one , biggest pile of S#!T he had ever seen, ( only time I had ever heard him swear )
Now my boss in those days would tell you the Hoover turbo power was the worst hoover vacuums, were they started making cheap junk, ( funny both the concept one and turbo power made that company and its owners very rich from all the repairs.
I like the wind tunnel , I own about 10 of them in various models, which I love because apart from on small 1300 model the rest were never sold in my country.

Even their current range has some gems in it, My current daily driver is a Hoover air windtunnel which is also from the USA and has been doing duty in my home for 2 years with no issues, and it does not lead a privileged life.I ther was ashamed when I cleaned the filters the other day after my son said it was not sucking as well as normal.
Its the one of the right,pic from just after I got it.

  View Full Size
Post# 372181 , Reply# 25   5/15/2017 at 04:17 (339 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
For me

I would say when the D#$%^&Celebrities replaced the Constellations, and the Convertibles went plastic, If you compare what Hoover built up until the mid 60s with what was being made in the early to mid 80s it is like comparing a Imperial to a Pinto....I personally think the Elites were some of the most embarrassing machines Hoover ever made, Along with the Spirits, the Z, and the Wind Tunnels...they were pitiful , but I don't really blame Hoover, because most everything else went to hell in the 80s and 90s,..the quality metal construction of the pre 70s machines went away, and cheap flimsy plastic took its place, Same for Eureka etc, I wouldn't trade my 25, 26 ,27 or 28, my 29 or 63, and most especially not my 150 for ANYTHING made after about 1970 or so,

Post# 372182 , Reply# 26   5/15/2017 at 06:01 (339 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I am with KenCart-the BEST Hoovers were those classic all metal ones-Have some of the "plasticonvertibles" the metal ones are MUCH better!Do the job with less noise!The plastic ones are noisier-the plastic acts as a sounding board for the motor.

Post# 372184 , Reply# 27   5/15/2017 at 12:27 (338 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

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I actually like the Spirits and some of the plastic based convertibles. Itís probably because Iím a child of the mid 80s. I personally donít care for the Hoover uprights prior to the convertibles. Especially the ones from the 40s.

Post# 372188 , Reply# 28   5/15/2017 at 16:19 (338 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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We were not a Hoover family, so I didn't see a lot. Personally I think after the Maytag issue it was down hill, or kind of normal now days for plastic vacs?

Post# 372206 , Reply# 29   5/16/2017 at 02:47 (338 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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The point is that for everyone here their is a point at which Hoover got lost the plot, For me I love the windtunnels and Elites, yes sure they creak as you use them but I still love them, I can imagine that way back in the day their were allot of people who thought Hoover's quality had gone down with the launch of the Convertibles , I mean Compare a 750 to a convertible, The quality is hugely different.

A better point is is Hoover the market leader is always was. In the 50,s 60 ,s 70,s Hoover was the dyson of its day, The vacuum all the housewives wanted, THe vacuum all its competitors wished they had.

In my market place Hoover lost its edge in the 80's , When Electrolux launched the 506 and 560 range it was light years ahead of anything hoover had, By the time Hoover caught up on our market with the turbo power, Electrolux launched the 610 and 612 with their on board tools again leaving hoover out to dry.
Today though I think allot of their products are better than the norm, Better than their direct ( cost ) competitors.

Post# 372227 , Reply# 30   5/16/2017 at 21:05 (337 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I think the argument can be made...

Hoovers very finest hours were before they quit door to door sales....for instance the 150, which sold for 82.50 in 1936, would be comparable today to a Kirby and Rainbow, after the Convertible came out they became just another store vacuum, I think the 150 is the very finest thing they ever built,and quite possibly the best upright of all time, it was so far ahead of everyone else it was mind blowing...think of the fact it had a automatic height adjustment that not only worked then...but works on todays carpets that were not even thought of 80 plus years ago, it had a 2 speed motor, a plug in hose converter that had better suction than any other machine it made afterward up until the Convertible in 1958, 22 years later!!it had the industries first time to empty signal, something not on all machines eve now, made of lightweight magnesium and designed by one of the worlds most acclaimed designers....and yet today, it will clean as well or better than anything today...there really is no comparison with the plastivacs of today.

Post# 372250 , Reply# 31   5/17/2017 at 09:35 (336 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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I have a 750 in 220v . Its a great machine , considering its age it clean's very well. I also have a 262 that has amazing suction. I am missing a 150

Post# 372258 , Reply# 32   5/17/2017 at 11:31 (336 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Hans, you are so right.

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
That vacuum was declared 'over-engineered' at the time. True... it can clean a rug of today not even dreamed of back then.
I DO have a special fondness for Convertibles, however....especially the metal ones...1960--1970+. They were made to last...and have lasted. Everyone is competing now, reinventing the wheel, as it were. Sadly, Hoover's finest hour is not right now. But, when things were humming on Maple Street in North was a different thing all together. Now....cookie cutters with badges on them .

Post# 372261 , Reply# 33   5/17/2017 at 12:04 (336 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        
I sure.....

liked the Convertible I bought in the 70's. Wouldn't future mother-in-law was helping me clean up a house I rented and unbeknown to me, she took my Convertible into a carpeted room where I reloaded for rifles/pistols. Pretty quickly there was a BANG, BANG, BANG!! She had run over some primers that had fallen on the floor from the reloading process. The beater bar had triggered the primers. She talked about that until she times.



Post# 372272 , Reply# 34   5/17/2017 at 15:57 (336 days old) by Shrink1982 (Indianapolis)        

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Hoover went crap around the time everyone else did. And it wasn't just with vacuums. Most appliances are not built to last as long as they once were. My grandmother had her Whirpool dryer for 35 years. After it finally died, she went through three other dryers in 10 years. They don't make appliances to last anymore. Apparently, it wasn't a good business model. They make more money when you have to replace something every few years. And because everyone does it, no reason for anyone else to be the exception to the rule. I will say, at least with vacuums, Kirby, Miele, Sebo have been the exception although I am worried Miele may take a dip south. I have heard some of their components are now made in China and the build quality, while still good, isn't as good as Sebo.

Post# 372276 , Reply# 35   5/17/2017 at 16:17 (336 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        
A lot of....

truth in that. There was a general quality decline in most household appliances and auto related items all about the same time. When building things with pride in the US morphed into the corporate bottom line and the bean counters decided what we could have for our hard earned $$$$.


And don't even get me started on corporation executives and how they feel they dominate and rule over the masses. For generations now, advertising executives have indoctrinated the masses into believing that convenience is key and that should come to you through "bargain" items with a price point. At this point in history, China must view us as their savior; they supply the price point crap and we buy everything they make. 



Post# 372329 , Reply# 36   5/18/2017 at 17:14 (335 days old) by Turbo500 (West Yorkshire, UK)        

turbo500's profile picture
My god, this thread is OLD. I was barely 18 & still living at home when I started it, I'm now 27 & practically married.

Post# 372358 , Reply# 37   5/18/2017 at 22:19 (335 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I like the older Hoovers in general, but to me the 70s ones were better before they went to all plastic canisters and Convertibles in the 80s. The attachments were also better in the 70s. I think some of the 90s Hoovers were still good though.

The Concept series and PowerMax were still good machines, good performers.

I like the design of the Elites but they were TOO LOUD. The machines sold today sound better to my ears at least.

Though Hoover still had some interesting models like the revived Constellation in the late 2000s, there weren't a lot of great ones, IMO after Maytag took over. No more bagged machines other than commercial.

The Z was an interesting machine I have to admit. Have seen a few at Habitat Restore and they are HEAVY!

I'm glad the Convertibles are still made in commercial lines at least. That's one of the good things. And the Portapower as well. So at least some old models live on.

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