In Fredericksburg, Virginia for a business meeting a few weeks ago, I noticed a Goodwill Store across the street from the hotel where the meeting was being held. Never one to pass up a chance to paw through junk, I headed across the street at the first opportunity. There was only one sewing machine, from a distance, I thought it was a modern plastic Singer and nothing I would be interested in. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a Husqvarna Viking 6440, manufactured in the '75 - '77 timeframe, in good cosmetic condition but frozen solid. Vikings are not common in my area, this was only the third one I have ever seen but it was complete, in good condition, with foot control and some extras and the price was right so it came home with me.
A few years back, I owned a 5000 series and a 6000 series ex-school Vikings and they were pure junk. I couldn’t see why anyone would ever buy a Viking, much less rave about it.
What I did like, however, was their foot controls.
Instead of a wiper arm sliding across a rheostat, the Vikings of that era use a wheel rolling across a rheostat. This makes for much smoother operation and less chance of the foot control sticking.
They also have a safety feature that completely disconnects power when there is no pressure on the pedal. I still have one of my original foot controls but have been hoarding it until I could find a machine worthy of it.
When I saw that this Viking had the foot control, I figured that alone was worth the $12.95 sticker price, so I picked it up.
When I got this one home and opened up, I found that even though the exterior was spic & span, the spider webs inside indicated it hadn't been used in some time and had been stored in less than ideal conditions. It took lots of exercising to free up the mechanisms but in about an hour, it started sewing and gets continually better.
It has the slide-on accessory tray that probably wasn’t meant to sew on, but I do anyway, since the table extension was not included. In the tray were some bobbins and a couple of accessories, but by no means a full bag.
I wasn’t expecting much, considering my history with Vikings, but when I started sewing a small project, I was in for a shock! The machine is smooth, quiet, and produces an excellent stitch. Now, I can see why Viking owners are proud of their machines, they probably bought them new and performed all the required maintenance, unlike the school system that produced my first two Vikings.
It only has the “A” cam, so I only have four stitches in addition to straight stitch and zig zag but 99% of my sewing is straight stitch, 0.9% zig zag, and only 0.1% decorative stitch, so I can live without all the fancy stitches. Guess I’ll keep it until it needs some kind of repair, and then I’ll put the foot control on a Necchi Supernova and sell the Viking for parts.