Thread Number: 44789  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
10 Amp Fantom Fury
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Post# 465227   8/10/2023 at 16:23 (338 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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My ultimate vacuum cleaner dream has finally been fulfilled.

I bought this 10 amp Fantom Fury off eBay last week, and it came in yesterday. However, I had to work an extremely busy shift at my job last night (ugh), so I didn't get to unbox the vacuum until today.

I have been after a 10 amp Fury for a very long time, as my family bought it new, presumably through the infomercial, back when it first came out around 1996/1997 (when I was a little kid). It was our very first bagless vacuum. I vividly remember watching my mom use it as the daily driver in our old 2-bedroom apartment, which had hideous dark brown carpeting. We had 3 cats, so the Fantom got quite a workout back then. But then, around 2001, the cord apparently became damaged and we could no longer use the Fury. So I don't know what happened to it after we moved out of the apartment that year.

The 10 amp Fury has a dark green collection bin, along with a bumper and handle grip in teal. This is the color scheme that I recall our first one having, so there is a lot of sentimental value to me. Therefore, I've been looking for another one, and I finally got it. Also, the Fantom logo and Fury wordmark are both stickers, compared to the later 12 amp models, which have their logos pressed directly onto the plastic.

I spent quite a bit on this Fantom, I will admit ($250 plus $70 for shipping), but the seller stated that she bought it new in 1997 and put it in storage soon after the same year. The vacuum had hardly been used, so there are no signs of damage aside from some traces of dust (well, a lot behind the HEPA filter compartment). Due to an apparent family crisis, the vacuum had stayed stored since '97. I fully believe that statement, as this Fury is in remarkably good condition. I don't see any kind of rust whatsoever, and the fluff trap is fully intact.

The vacuum has a date code of 9616 (16th week of 1996), and the data label says "Iona Appliances Inc," so this must have been before the company changed their name to Fantom Technologies. The HEPA filter looks almost brand new; it is an original one manufactured by Farr Company (a custom filter division that Fantom contracted) in 1996.

The machine only came with two of its attachments (crevice tool and bare floor tool), but I bought a dusting brush off of a different seller on eBay; it'll arrive sometime this afternoon via USPS.

In terms of operation, the motor still runs nice and smooth. However, the bearings are a bit dry, so the motor sounds a bit rough on the wind-down. Fortunately, the suction is good, and the brushroll is still in great shape. A new belt had been installed.

It's one thing to get a vintage Fantom vacuum; it's another thing to find one with all the original paperwork. The vacuum came with the owner's manual, accessory order form, owner registration card, mailing envelope, refurbished notice paper and even the how-to VHS tape. The forms had never been filled out by the previous owner. As a bonus, there's an extra, new HEPA filter in the box. And then, for some reason, the seller included the wrong type of extra belt, a Eureka RD.

Learning my lesson from the previous 12 amp Fantom Fury I had, I am NOT going to run this Fury into the ground and risk something happening to it (broken parts and motor issues). Considering how rare the 10 amp Fury has become, I am only going to preserve it as a collector's item.

I plan on cleaning up this Fantom at some point in the future. Until then, here are some pics of my dream machine.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 16         View Full Size
Post# 465235 , Reply# 1   8/10/2023 at 21:32 (338 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

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Congratulations, Nick!
It's always nice to hear when someone finds a dream machine!

Post# 465243 , Reply# 2   8/11/2023 at 20:23 (337 days old) by DesiredName (Utah)        

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Nice! It's rare to find an early Fury in low mile condition. I like the trim color too, it gives it more character than the regular black in my opinion. Fantom vacuums are really interesting machines, lots of history there and very unique styling.

Post# 465245 , Reply# 3   8/11/2023 at 21:27 (337 days old) by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

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Nice find Nick! Good idea to keep that one for collection and not daily use considering what happened when you used your 12 amp Fury. And Fantoms in general are getting hard to find, and expensive when you do.

Post# 465274 , Reply# 4   8/13/2023 at 17:09 (335 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        
Addendum + Test

niclonnic's profile picture
A few things that I forgot to mention in my OP: The headlight does indeed work; it presumably has the original bulb. The bumper is a little bit loose on the right side (looking at the front of the vacuum). The sticker on the wand that says "squeeze to release" is well worn. One nice thing is that the cord retainer clip was included.

The dusting brush came in a day after I received the vacuum; the brush was in overall good condition, although there were a couple of stickers on it, presumably so that the seller could track it as their inventory. When I peeled the stickers off, one of them left a residue on the plastic, so I'll have to clean that off sometime.

Today, I put the Fantom Fury to the test. I used it on one rug downstairs and called it a day; the Fury picked up almost an entire canister full of dog hair. The motor makes a slight squealing noise during operation. I wasn't surprised, considering that the bearings are a bit dry, as I stated before.

I am planning to make a video on this Fury someday.

  View Full Size
Post# 465324 , Reply# 5   8/16/2023 at 00:28 (333 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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Glad you finally got your dream vac. I agree about not using it as a primary vacuum, I don't use any of my machines for the same reasons. Though you should still run it once in a while and play with it for a little bit, make sure that it still runs smoothly. Otherwise you'd run into what happened to me where I had one vacuum in my collection that I hadn't used in years and when I went to go test it out one day, the motor was smoking. Then the next day, the vacuum had died. It was working great before but any appliance is not meant to sit around and not get used, it definitely would destroy itself.

Post# 465374 , Reply# 6   8/18/2023 at 20:18 (330 days old) by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

niclonnic's profile picture
Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I will be pulling out this Fury every once in a while to make sure it still works. As a matter of fact, I do the same thing with my retro game consoles, and they all work great still.

Today, I started to refurbish my Fantom Fury. I washed most of the removable parts in the tub with hot water and dish soap. However, I was unable to disconnect the motor or other wires; they're connected very snugly to the terminals. Hopefully, I'll be able to make this vacuum look close to mint.

On the subject of retro tech, I need to get my hands on a VCR so I can watch the how-to video, which looks like it has never been played. I haven't used a VCR in years, and I rarely go to thrift stores anymore, so I'll have to pay top dollar on eBay for one.

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