Thread Number: 8685
Unusual Kirby Classic Omega?
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Post# 96482   4/19/2010 at 20:20 (3,701 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

In going through my collection I came upon a machine I got a long time ago and forgot I had. I wonder if it might be unusual or rare.

It's a Kirby Classic Ω (Omega); however, I believe it must be an early version: The bag is the mustard color of the first Kirby Classic, with a "Kirby Classic Ω" logo on it, so it is the original bag. Also, the brown trim is the lighter first Classic color, but on the belt lifter it also says "Kirby Classic Ω"

All the Other Kirby Classic Ω machines I've seen have the dark brown vinyl pinstriped bag and the dark "chocolate" color trim.

If there is compelling interest in this machine I can snap a few pix of it.

I don't even remember now where I got the machine, or why. I'm really not into Kirby Classics except for the beautifully red Classic III (but don't have one anymore -- it's just too big). Probably it was because I thought it might be unusual.

"Inquiring Minds Want To Know"

Post# 96484 , Reply# 1   4/19/2010 at 20:50 (3,701 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

P.S. The Kirby Classic Ω logo also appears on the decal on the front of the handle, again, though the color and design are that of the early Classic.

Post# 96487 , Reply# 2   4/19/2010 at 21:09 (3,701 days old) by ohio_tuec ()        

I probably see more Kirby Classics and Classic Omegas at the flea market than any other model. I'm more interested in either the older Kirbys or the G-series machines (if the price is right), although I would like to find a Classic III with the narrow handle grip. IIRC, there was a discussion here on the forum about the variations in the Classic Omegas. There was the more common pinstriped pattern, as well as brown vinyl dots (like the one I have). During the fuel crisis, to cut production costs, Kirby reverted to just a plain, mustard colored bag and also shortened the cord. Can anyone else confirm this?

- Karl

Post# 96493 , Reply# 3   4/19/2010 at 21:28 (3,701 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

I would like to find a Classic III with the narrow handle grip

I had one of those -- the handle looked kinda cool but it was very difficult to use. The machine is so big and heavy that you can't really get a good grip on that smooth, narrow plastic end to push the machine around.

And if it's a hot day and you are a little sweaty the handle slides around in your palm. I could easily imagine a person getting blisters if they used the machine for any length of time. Which is probably why Kirby reverted back to a larger-diameter and more bulbous handle when the Heritage came out.

Post# 96511 , Reply# 4   4/20/2010 at 01:58 (3,701 days old) by jfalberti (Visalia, CA)        
Here is the deal on the Omega ...

jfalberti's profile picture
When the Omega was introduced, It had what they called the Armor bag. It was kind of strange because it felt rubbery on the outside. It had kind of a diamond shaped pattern, and was supposed to be an improvement on the previous bags as to dust filtration. The problem was that they plugged up and literally blew off of the sani-em-tor. Kirby replaced the bag with the pin striped bag when the Omega was brought in for repair. This bag was OK, but still not great. They finally replaced that bag with the gold bag from the Classic, with the Classic Omega patch. The Omega is one of my favorite models, besides the Sani 7 and the Tradition (The first model I sold new).


Post# 96512 , Reply# 5   4/20/2010 at 02:31 (3,701 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Thanks for the info on the ClassicΩ bag Joe, however, it does not explain why my ClassicΩ has the lighter "milk chocolate" color scheme of the Classic.

Post# 96530 , Reply# 6   4/20/2010 at 11:52 (3,700 days old) by tom519 (Long Island, New York )        

The differences in the OMEGA bags got me curious so I looked at the two OMEGA bags I have lying around and noticed that they are in fact different ! I posted pics. If I am correct the first picture is the original bag (with the dots) and the second picture is the pinstripe which was the second bag, and then the third bag which was gold (no pic). I never noticed the bags were different until I looked more closely. Thanks for the info guys!

Post# 96531 , Reply# 7   4/20/2010 at 11:54 (3,700 days old) by tom519 (Long Island, New York )        

Pinstriped Bag

Post# 96565 , Reply# 8   4/20/2010 at 19:46 (3,700 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

I don't recall ever seeing a ClassicΩ with the first bag above, the one with the diamond pattern. I didn't even know it ever existed!

Post# 96637 , Reply# 9   4/21/2010 at 10:13 (3,699 days old) by jfalberti (Visalia, CA)        
That was the original Omega bag ...

jfalberti's profile picture
It was called the Armour bag, and it had kind of a rubbery feel to it. It was supposed to be the best bag for keeping dust from filtering back out into the room, but there were problems with it. It plugged up so bad that there are cases where the bag literally blew off of the emTor while the machine ran. Could you imagine the mess when that happened? Kirby quickly replaced that bag with second one pictured, but it too had problems. The third bag is a Kirby replacement, and also one that was used by the factory for Omegas sent in for rebuild. It seems to me that every Kirby in the (X) CB line had design flaws for example:

1CB (Classic Omega) The bag. Took two tries before they got it right.

2CB (Classic III) The original hand grip was a narrow triangular thing. It was uncomfortable to hold, and had a tendency to break off at the top of the handle fork. Can't tell you how many of those I had to replace. Kirby replaced it with a solid nylon version like on the Classic and the Omega.

3CB (Tradition) This is my favorite Kirby, and the very first model I sold brand new. The problem with this machine was the speed/safety switch that was built into the light cap. People were constantly breaking them by slamming the hood down when they changed attachments, or by not properly aligning the attachment and the pin would go through the switch. Kirby directed all authorized repair centers to replace the light cap switch with a 1CB/2CB style switch when they came in broken. Luckily Kirby did not change the castings for the nozzles and hoses so they worked with either switch.

Just some memories of when I worked with Kirby.


Post# 96652 , Reply# 10   4/21/2010 at 13:20 (3,699 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Well then, I guess my Classic Ω is nothing special to hold onto then. That was really my point in asking about it. Since it's got a replacement bag on it, I don't see any point in keeping it. Thanks for all the info.

Post# 97317 , Reply# 11   4/29/2010 at 15:00 (3,691 days old) by kirbyclassiciii (Milwaukie, Oregon)        
The 1974-76 Omegas

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Actually, I'd seen a lot of Omegas produced from 1974 to 1976 that had the "diamondback" bag on them (serial #P000001-P999999, R000001-R999999).

Think serial #R546839 (1975-76) that was owned by Eric Herbert (ttuee2006/tristarcxl) and of #P541333 (1974-75) owned by Alex Elliott (kirbyotronic). But what I am not sure is if they were original or replacement bags. Heck, even Jeff Parker's 1975 Omega (serial #P428291) has the diamondback fabric bag on it.

Joe keeps mentioning that the pinstriped fabric was the second type while the Classic 1-CR-style gold bag was the last type used.


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