2y ago


It’s with a heavy heart - and a lump in my throat - that I hereby pay tribute to the passing of my Hoover Sensotronic System II appliance. A vacuum cleaner which was a loyal and trusty servant employed within my parent’s household for many years, before being ceremoniously handed over into my care about 20-years (and approximately 21 cars) ago. Yet recently – and mid-way through removing an unclassified sticky residue from the leather driver’s seat of my John Cooper Works Mini WC50 – the Sensotronic System II suddenly, and without any prior warning whatsoever, gave out a blood-curdling howl from deep within her green bowels; accompanied by what I now understand to be her death rattle.

As dependable and steadfast in her cleaning abilities as my piny-clad mum, the Hoover Sensotronic System II and me went back a long way; having seen out as many cars of mine as it had girlfriends/future wives. And over the course of nigh on two decades had never missed a beat. Although not killed them off, in a Stephen King’s Christine sort of way, to set the record straight. Nor had she (she was a ‘she’ because, let’s face it, most male objects of desire tend to be) ever struggled to remove dog hair, dried mud footprint nor discarded/unidentified courting items. No; this green goddess of absolute cleanliness was the domesticated siren of her day, long before the world of cooking gave men of a certain loinage, perksome Nigella and her very own, unique suction potential. Alas, I knew in my heart of hearts that my Hoover hand-me-down jobbie couldn’t live forever (despite being built in an erstwhile era which preceded that of planned obsolescence coming as standard fit). And that fateful day duly arrived of late, on my parent’s drive, as the Sensotronic II (wo)manfully wrestled with a month’s worth of interior grime, and finally succumbed to age.

RIP Hoover Sensotronic II. You will be sorely missed.

Chris Barker, November 2016

A Brief History of Grime (removal)

Originally manufactured in 1984, the Hoover Sensotronic II followed in the hair and dust particle-gobbling footsteps of the Hoover Sensotronic I, which had been invented just two years earlier in 1982; I think. Employing what was colloquially known among professional vacuum cleaner salepersons as an ‘automatic energy saving system’, the second generation Sensotronic was also recognized as a middle of the range dust-busting household appliance; and successfully usurped the series I version by way of championing the swanky ‘variable speed’ functionality. The video found below (hopefully) demonstrates what made the Hoover the machine it was, in my opinion. Incidentally that’s not my hands/feet in the YouTube clip.

Me and My Sensotronic II

My particular Sensotronic II was a slightly later model, and therefore didn’t have the early fit beige cables, hose, nozzle and plastic tubes more commonly associated with the run-out iterations. It was also significantly quieter than the debut System IIs, yet around the same weight. Which meant that it was fairly cumbersome and heavy to move around. Think of the Walkman of the same vintage. However the inconvenience of humping the hulking state of the (then) art Hoover around was quickly overlooked when you applied its suction qualities to the interior fabrics of successive European hot hatches and Japanese 2-door coupes; which it admirably did for more years than I care to remember. A Phlegm Green Golf GTi Colour Concept, a Subaru Impreza WRX STi (complete with a draughts board design on the roof), a Diamond Geezer White XR3i with baby Cossie alloys. You name it, and the redoubtable Sensotronic II reliably removed all physical evidence of previous wrong doings in but a few sucks. Anyway, here’s a little song I wrote about my Hoover, which I feel tells you all what you need to know about both the Sensotronic System II and me.

RIP Hoover Sensotronic II. You will be sorely missed.

‘She's got a look it seems to me, Reminds me of car interior-valeting memories, Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue mats, Now and then when I see her nozzle, She takes me away to that special cockpit place, And if I'd stare too long I'd probably break down and cry

Oh, oh, oh sweet Sensotronic System II o' mine, Oh, oh, oh, oh sweet love of mine…

She's got lungs of the biggest kind, As if they thought of dust, I hate to look into those lungs, And see an ounce of dog hair, Her green exterior reminds me of a warm safe place, Where as a car-hoovering obsessive I'd hide, And pray for the suction, and the ability to vacuum incredibly intricate spaces, To not pass me by

Oh, oh, oh sweet Sensotronic System II o' mine, Oh, oh, oh, oh sweet love of mine, Oh, oh, oh, oh sweet Sensotronic System II o' mine, Oh, oh, oh, oh sweet love of mine, Oh, oh, oh, oh sweet Sensotronic System II o' mine, Oh sweet love of mine….etc……..’

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