Thread Number: 11285
Introducing the New Kirby!
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Post# 121989   1/17/2011 at 21:17 (4,792 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
I call this the "Retro 500". It's actually a Sanitronic VII with a few parts tossed in from a Classic 1-CR and a Classic 1-CB. The handle is from a Classic Omega, but I rubbed off the "omega" symbol with a little acetone to make it look a little more generic. The handle grip, cord, bag top, bag guard, and handle lock button are from a Classic 1-CR. The headlight and bumper are sprayed out in brown SEM paint. The belt lifter is a replacement from Kirby.

Post# 121993 , Reply# 1   1/17/2011 at 21:20 (4,792 days old) by djtaylor (Salt Lake City, Utah)        
Very nice.

djtaylor's profile picture
Bill, she's a real looker. Nice work.

Post# 121994 , Reply# 2   1/17/2011 at 21:22 (4,792 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
I have some brown aftermarket wheels and a brown Emtor tray on order. I searched high and low until I found them. But I kind of like this combination. I thought I might use the rear wheels of an Omega, but they won't fit properly. I really like this plaid bag too. Plaids were popular in the 70s, so it works. I have another plaid bag that I'm going to try out. I also have some wheel extension screws, so I'll try the larger front wheels. But I don't think I'm going to like it.

Post# 121996 , Reply# 3   1/17/2011 at 21:23 (4,792 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

You know - that don't look bad at all. I like it.

Since you are good at, and are knowledgeable about SEM and other vinyl/fabric dyes - once dyed with the SEM, you can go over it with plastic bonding spray paint. Might work on the wheels and the emptor - just for an added touch.

I really like the way that machine looks!


Post# 121998 , Reply# 4   1/17/2011 at 21:24 (4,792 days old) by Crevicetool (GA )        

Just read about the cover and wheels......never-mind.

Post# 122041 , Reply# 5   1/17/2011 at 22:59 (4,792 days old) by portable (Corvallis, OR)        

portable's profile picture
Bill, it looks great! Classy!

Post# 122050 , Reply# 6   1/17/2011 at 23:44 (4,792 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Good job, Bill! Would like to see videos of this on YouTube if you have an account associated with it. Mine is "ClassicTVMan1981X".


Post# 122094 , Reply# 7   1/18/2011 at 12:33 (4,791 days old) by a007kirbyman (--->> Originally My Mom <<--- (now Wisconsin))        
New Kirby...

a007kirbyman's profile picture
Hey Bill.

Nice job on the 'Franken' NEW Kirby!!!

She L@@Ks not to shabby.

Cheers & hagd all,


Post# 122098 , Reply# 8   1/18/2011 at 13:07 (4,791 days old) by MikeKLondon ()        

Very nice machine, you have, can anyone tell me if the floor polisher on newer Kirby's are as good the last kirby I had was a Legend 11 and the polisher was not bad and also do Kirby still make the refills for the waxer in the UK ?? Currently I am using a FAKIR polisher but I am going to have to replace it soon.

Post# 122104 , Reply# 9   1/18/2011 at 13:38 (4,791 days old) by luxg ()        

Bill, that Kirby is just stunning. I love the darker trim and that bag!!!

Post# 122105 , Reply# 10   1/18/2011 at 13:41 (4,791 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

I think Kirby may still sell the wax, but, you can use any Carnauba wax with the Kirby polisher, as that is what they used... :)

They also sell a "No-Wax" polish too, I haven't a clue how you use that though, spray on, brush off I guess... :)

Post# 122121 , Reply# 11   1/18/2011 at 17:09 (4,791 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Very nice... You should try making a combination like, for example, a 513, classic III, and a Legend II.

Thanks, VW

Post# 122135 , Reply# 12   1/18/2011 at 18:48 (4,791 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
My new set of brown wheels came in today, so I put the small wheels on the back and put a set of 1-CR wheels on the front using extension screws. I also tried a different plaid bag. I'm not sure I like the large wheels. Any other opinions?

Post# 122136 , Reply# 13   1/18/2011 at 18:50 (4,791 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

eurekastar's profile picture
I'm still waiting from a brown Emtor tray. Although, I kind of like the first color combination. On the late 500 series, the wheels and Emtor tray were always a different color from the rest of the trim (red). So should I stick with the combo in the first photo and go all brown?

Post# 122138 , Reply# 14   1/18/2011 at 18:58 (4,791 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

I think the other bag looked better, not as wrinkly round the base, and the wide wheels look okay, they should improve it's performance in deep pile carpets... :)

I wish we got Kirbys earlier than the Omega... :(

Post# 122161 , Reply# 15   1/18/2011 at 21:16 (4,791 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

You never got kirbys in the UK until the '70s? That bites.


Post# 122180 , Reply# 16   1/18/2011 at 22:05 (4,791 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Yep, and even the Omegas and CIIIs are rare... :(

Sad thing is, the Omega, CIII and Tradition all came with a single-speed motor here (not sure about elsewhere), I haven't a clue why, cos they brought out the 2-speed motors with the Heritage, so they could have had 2 speeds in the older machines too really... :S

I keep meaning to convert my Tradition to 2-speed, already managed it with my 1981 Golden Trophy Tradition (No. 20), using a Heritage field coil and a US spec Omega-Trad safety switch, so it's not hard to sort out, just keep forgetting to buy some colour-coded wire to get the job done!!! :)

Post# 122190 , Reply# 17   1/18/2011 at 23:09 (4,791 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

It looks like it came right from the factory. Actually I have been wondering if some of these "improvements" made to older machines, aren't somewhat historically interesting and worth saving. for instance - I am looking at a "500" at the moment - I think I got it - but the handle is from a later model though it is the right color. This was probably done 30 yrs ago. Bill I think you called it farmer engineering or something in another thread.

Post# 122191 , Reply# 18   1/18/2011 at 23:20 (4,791 days old) by Northwesty (Renton, WA)        

I ment sanitronic 50

Post# 122261 , Reply# 19   1/19/2011 at 19:32 (4,790 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        
@ David:

Could you post pics of your Gold trophy edition? Id love to see it. What year was it made in?


Post# 122263 , Reply# 20   1/19/2011 at 20:24 (4,790 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Not sure where I put all the pics, but I have a couple of youtube videos of it:


After refitting with a motor:

According to the person I spoke to at Kirby, it is a 1980 model, anodised in a gold colour, and it's I think it's one of maybe 100 or something worldwide (and of course, is number 20, I wish I knew where number 1 was!!!), so it's an exclusive Kirby for that model... :)

It is actually a lucky one too, my dad, when he was a Kirby engineer, saved it from being scrapped as they needed a Trad motor, so their boss at the time said to take whatever they needed off that and scrap(!) the rest, so, my dad asked if he could take it home, and he kept it until about 2007 when he gave it to me...

I actually grew up with it for most of my life, probably part of the reason for liking Kirbys, aside form the Trad being my favourite model, having the 1981 Golden Trophy model version is just the bees knees, I'll never part with it ever... :)

I've only run it twice since fitting it with a motor, and only once was it actually sweeping the already cleaned floor (with my Sanitaire, of course!!), and ever since that video it's sat doing nothing, and I'm highly tempted to steal the motor coil from it again for my regular trad... :)

Oddly, it's ID label on the base says it is a 120v Kirby, so I guess they only did one print run of those labels and only specced it as a 120v, even though it came to the UK as a fully fledged 240v model, strange really, but there you go... :)

I'll find some pics of it, just need to be a bit patient... :)

Post# 122264 , Reply# 21   1/19/2011 at 20:28 (4,790 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

I cant go on youtube so ill be patient till you get some pictures. Thanks, though.


Post# 122266 , Reply# 22   1/19/2011 at 20:39 (4,790 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Ah well, I'm just digging them out from places I've posted them before, I'll make a thread in the Contemporary section (cos it is a 1980 model!!), though I may be lazy and just post a link to the folder on my webspace, got 10 so far... :)

Post# 122280 , Reply# 23   1/19/2011 at 21:23 (4,790 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
@ Brian

eurekastar's profile picture
What I call "farmer engineering" is what vacuum people call "bojacking". I don't know where that term comes from. But I think it was more common years ago for "Bojack Shops" to pop up where Kirbys were rebuilt with all kinds of odd combinations. I know that Tradition Blue was once a very popular color for any 500 series Kirby.

Post# 350566 , Reply# 24   4/18/2016 at 10:48 (2,875 days old) by KirbyCollector (Columbus Ohio USA)        

kirbycollector's profile picture
That looks really cool
And it feels manly

Post# 350623 , Reply# 25   4/18/2016 at 18:47 (2,874 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

When Bill rebuilt this, I was so impressed with the results, I had one made up out of a 518 that was an extra. I was lucky enough to find the trim already in the dark brown and the vac shop that I use had everything else. It came back to me like a new vacuum. I call it my Classic Jr.!

Post# 351751 , Reply# 26   5/7/2016 at 15:25 (2,855 days old) by vacuser (milford,ohio)        
very delicious kirby

vacuser's profile picture
go all brown. very sweet kirby. love that look.

Post# 351756 , Reply# 27   5/7/2016 at 16:32 (2,855 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        
Introducing. . . MY "new" Kirby!

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
My 1969 Dual Sanitronic 80 with its new motor bearings.


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