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Post# 96436   4/18/2010 at 22:51 (3,702 days old) by singingrainbow (Texas)        

Someone called me from California saying he has a Bison vacuum cleaner that works. He was wondering the value of it. Does anyone know what it might be worth? They guy runs a recycling business and trys to salvage everything he can. thanks, Barb

Post# 96442 , Reply# 1   4/18/2010 at 23:24 (3,702 days old) by kirbyotronic ()        
Well, usually, I think......

they go for a lot. I wanna say at least $200 if it's in good condition, but I'm not 100% positive

Post# 96444 , Reply# 2   4/18/2010 at 23:39 (3,702 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

The Bison is one of those vacuum cleaners -- along with the Haleys Comet, etc. -- that's from "The Outer Limits." Something about them just screams "NOT OF THIS WORLD!" I have one, it's kinda fun to play with but heavy and noisy as hell. You can see a video of it at the link, and following are some photos of mine
As to what it's worth, in my opinion the same rule applies as for all vintage machines ... "It's worth what someone will offer you for it." Condition being a key factor, of course

CLICK HERE TO GO TO electrolux~137's LINK

Post# 96449 , Reply# 3   4/19/2010 at 02:20 (3,702 days old) by joe22 ()        

wonderful bison pics, one of the dream machines

Post# 96459 , Reply# 4   4/19/2010 at 08:55 (3,701 days old) by dustin (Jackson, MI)        
I have a few questions about the Bison,

dustin's profile picture
1. were they made by kirby, thats what it looks like to me
2. How much did they cost new? NO,I dont want one! It looks really creepy
3. When were they made,and why are they so rare now
4. Are they good vacuums?

Post# 96461 , Reply# 5   4/19/2010 at 10:16 (3,701 days old) by kirbykid63 (Wilmington Delaware)        
Its from Tucson

I see from its sticker its from Tucson it shouldn't have much corrosion a nice piece to restore.

Post# 96464 , Reply# 6   4/19/2010 at 10:28 (3,701 days old) by ohio_tuec ()        

They were built in Ocala, Florida up until 1983. I have one of their very last Centurion models. I understand the machine was originally created by a disgruntled former Kirby employee. They were very well made in some ways, very poorly in others. One example of this is the plastic pulley shaft which drives the brushroll. The back half of the machine is plastic as well....

Post# 96466 , Reply# 7   4/19/2010 at 10:50 (3,701 days old) by joe22 ()        
video from 137

one of the coolest features is that is has a speed knob on the handle. it goes from a whisper to a sound like that of a jet engine.


Post# 96467 , Reply# 8   4/19/2010 at 11:04 (3,701 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Um, sorry folks for the duplicate post-o-pix above. Don't know how THAT happened. I have alerted our Esteemed Webmaster about it
The Bison was indeed designed by a former Kirby man. He was crafty enough to stop just short of patent infringement on every count to avoid getting into trouble. E.g., note how the "sani-emptor" opens from the side instead of the bottom. But IIRC, Kirby still sued him anyway, but if that was true I don't recall what the outcome of the lawsuits were
There are many peculiarities -- and many design and functional flaws -- with this machine. I can't imagine anyone who bought one for regular household use being happy with it for any length of time
It -is- "butt-ugly." All the proportions and spatial relationships are all wrong and out of balance, and the "flow" of the machine's housing is ungainly and awkward looking. Clearly the designer never took Industrial Design 101...
Then there's the incredible heft of the thing -- even with its plastic rear housing, it weighs considerably more than a Kirby Classic
I recall reading somewhere that there was a self-propelled version of this beast. I can only imagine what THAT thing weighs!

Post# 96500 , Reply# 9   4/19/2010 at 22:43 (3,701 days old) by bisonian (Where the buffalo roamed! (Ocala, FL))        
Re: Bison Prices

Charles Richard is right about the pricing -- It's worth what someone will pay for it. I bought a Centurion three years ago from a vac shop for $85. A year ago, I found another for $30 at a thrift store. I have a green model (Mark II) that I paid $10 for at a junk shop. I wouldn't expect to get rich from it.

Rick C.

Post# 96513 , Reply# 10   4/20/2010 at 05:12 (3,700 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Would like to run into some Bisons-they look sort of like Kirby "G" series vacuums.Bet the plastic motor shell is subject to cracking and breakage.Too bad its not metal.Like the handle on top of the motor housing-guess if you are using handtools and take the main handlebar off its easier to handle the machine.I am supposing the uprihgt handlebar (like a Kiurby) was removable when you used the Bison with hose and tools.Were any Bisons equipped with paper bag systems?Guess I will have tosearch the few swap shops around here and see if I can find a Bison.The appliance swap shops here(as they like to be called)deal mostly with large appliances.Unusual machines!Bet they worked quite well though!Liked the variable speed.Would be more helpful when used with a hose.

Post# 96520 , Reply# 11   4/20/2010 at 09:23 (3,700 days old) by a1945 ()        

To me the front part looks like a cylon from Battlestar Galactica.

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