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#110459 26/01/21 09:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi all.

Saw this Video on Victa , you can see them looking at Pope ,Sunbeam ,Rover ,Electrolux, etc
they say they looked at every mower manufacturer in the world to make a better mower.

$600,000 for tooling for steel bases and $60,000 for tooling to make alloy bases.



Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
A Base Alloy Steel.jpg (25.2 KB, 154 downloads)
1 member likes this: N1KK0
Membership information
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 304
Likes: 22
Apprentice level 4
Its kind of funny, looking back that model is what undid Victa at least in my local shop. we had several of them that they couldn't sell. All that money they put into a complete redesign meant it was from memory more expensive than the base model Honda! Now that's a hard sell to the typical homeowner buyer.

I remember they tried to make the Razor really ergonomic with even a drink bottle holder in the handle. we definitely still sold more steel base victas 2 or 4 stroke. If the alloy base is so cheap to make why is it so expensive to sell?

Interesting footage, The models on the production line I don't really recognize, a mulch only base? was it an export model?

Also interesting to see the Key Electric in that bit of a collection

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Was the base Honda steel or alloy though?
They should have just re-introduced the thumb latch base in new colours. They were popular and very high end in appearance. Victa were mad to drop it in favour of a new one based on the steel design in 1992. It didn't get all the clippings into the catcher as well as the thumb latch.
Their best alloy bases of all was the 1970s VC models which allowed you to insert the catcher into position before locking it on with the lever. This was made possible by the two piece rear flap, but Victa had to introduce one with the single piece flap, making it slightly more tricky to operate. The two piece flap base made it into the 1980s with the most premium models only before being quietly dropped when the Powertorque engine took over from the side pull full crank.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 160
Likes: 5
Apprentice level 2
Interesting video - that said having read reviews on the mower it didn't seem overly well received. I wonder if rather than spending so much time looking online etc they'd have been much better served getting some people who actually USE mowers consulting with the design team. Seemed too much focus on making something new & different and not just a better quality mower.

I was reminded by this amusing clip of when Homer's very wealthy brother allowed him to design a new car for his company:

1 member likes this: maxwestern
Joined: May 2010
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Apprentice level 4
The Honda was Alloy; HRU19D. The only Honda with a steel base at the time was the HRC commercial model. Now is probably different though. I could be wrong but they were both around the $800 mark at the time

Yeah, great point on the design team. Engineers always seem to have a way of getting it wrong. Just look at the greenfield Friction drive. Theo was told by engineers it wouldn't work, no chance. It has now been in production for over 50 years.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi all,

Yes I haven't seen the Victa mulcher mower in the video before.


The video footage, I would think is from around 2004 if it was made just after the Victa ‘Razor went into production.

https://collection.maas.museum/object/349067

I have a Husqvarna mulcher mower that looks half like this Victa Mulcher and half a Masport Mulcher mower .

Going by the tread on tyres of the old Victa Key Electric it must be like new.

It looks like they tried to make a better alloy base rear discharge mower but the reviews aren't great,
I've got one here but never got around to cutting grass with it.

Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
Victa Mulcher Mower.jpg (37.84 KB, 123 downloads)
Victa Untitled.jpg (24.39 KB, 123 downloads)
Masport 1.jpg (246.14 KB, 123 downloads)
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 6,938
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Forum Historian
Quote
I was reminded by this amusing clip of when Homer's very wealthy brother allowed him to design a new car for his company:
Hello Max and all ODK Victa lovers
Well, the first video said it all - they wanted to modernise the design
- not necessarily improve it. There were too many constraints.
In other words - this is a PR video for non-substantive change.

It is also a sad reflection that Victa had no in-house R&D at that time.

Having said that, Victa were still making great mowers at this time.
I had a Razor with eco-torque 2-stroke and I liked it!

The Simpson video ...?
I think that one reminds me of the Model 4 Automatic story.

Many thanks for this topic Max.

Cheers
Jack

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
G'day Jack and all.

Originally Posted by CyberJack
Well, the first video said it all - they wanted to modernise the design
- not necessarily improve it. There were too many constraints.
In other words - this is a PR video for non-substantive change.

Yes it's true Jack they wanted to modernize the design, it's later on
the director of Blue Sky Creative says Victa came to them to upgrade their
mowers.

I can't see the Razor as being as bad as some people say, as it received an Australian Design Award in 2004 .

Victa says,the new design features an improved cutting system and a more ergonomic handle. Enhanced handling and a larger cutting diameter reduce the time and effort required by users when mowing. The mower has been designed to improve the efficiency of manufacture and assembly. .

I can definitely see how the Razor improved the efficiency of manufacture and assembly and the handle does look
a more comfortable design..

Cheers
Max.

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 304
Likes: 22
Apprentice level 4
I never heard anything necessarily bad about them, We never had any problems with them, for the most part was just another victa. The air filter was an awkward thing to get to from memory. I just believe because they out sourced the design it drove to price up too high and they didn't sell well. It looked great and I'm sure it had great features but you still have to sell them.

I did like that shape of handle, it was closer to the Honda design which was always nice to use. More like a steering wheel hand position than just a bar

Last edited by nath; 28/01/21 07:34 AM.
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,233
Likes: 32
Junior Technician
Thanks Max,
I saw this video a while back and was looking for it again to post........
Yes they got a big group of experts to make a impressive product to sell better.
Not their own engineers .......... that's why we have all the freaky little problems with Victas.....
speedy


........................Keep your blades sharp......................
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,430
Likes: 135
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Max,
I have never worked out the Masport mulcher mower but everyone I see they are asking big dollars for them

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I also hear their catchers are highly sought after.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi all

I have heard the Victa Razor isn't great at filling the catcher when the grass is wet ,I try to avoid cutting wet
grass .

Yes the Masport Mulcher mower looks a good mower Norm ,I see a few people prefer to use these mowers
instead off catching grass ,obviously they work a lot better if you cut the grass when it's not very long then
you barely see the mulched grass after mowing.

Another Victa mower fabrication video ,this time for the steel base.



Cheers
Max.

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,430
Likes: 135
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Max,
wish I could repair a base as quickly as that presses one out

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
This appears to be an export version of the reinvented wheel.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,430
Likes: 135
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Thanks MF that is what I thought.
The bloke I got the last lot of PT motors wanted plastic rear Victa doors. In the pile of motors there was a few of the Tornado type rear flaps. I said to him keep them and use them on his mowers, he said they wouldn't fit because they needed the Tornado style handelbar. Looks like proof above that they do fit

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Glad to be a help NormK even though I put it up purely for interest.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Mf, Norm, Speedy ,Nath and Jack

Yes it would be handy Norm having that metal press in the shed to press out a new base every time instead of
repairing them.

Yes Mf the last of the Mustang was just the reinvention of the Razor mower.


Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,430
Likes: 135
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Max,
and all those dies for punching out the bases will have all gone to the scrapper now

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi NK, I'm about to toss away two steel bases which have the front axle locations chewed out but free of major rust spots, only surface rust.
I wish you or somebody else willing to fix them could take them. They are useable but the front axles move up and down a fair bit.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
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