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Unraveling the Royal Quiet De Luxe – Part 4: The Colorful End of the QDL, and What it Became

I’ve been a bit hesitant to type up this fourth and last post detailing what I’ve learned of the history of the QDL, because I’m sad to get up from the immersive bath I’ve taken into the Royal portable serial number lists & galleries and say goodbye to the venerable Quiet De Luxe.

The line ended on a high note, as we saw for Christmas 1955, brightly colored QDLs become all the rage. Available throughout 1956 in six choices of finish, the model sells 30% better than previous years. This year of production has become a favorite of collectors of all stripes.

royal_model_a-8The next year, the paint choices are changed from smooth gloss to matte light crinkle finish and more subdued colors. The “Royal” logo is given a red background.

royal_model_a-9In 1958, the finish is changed to an off-white gloss, and the “Royal” logo is changed to a push-button plastic crown that doubles as a ribbon cover release button. This feature also appears on the new Futura model, which is released in 1958.  This is the end of the line for the “Quiet De Luxe” Model “A”, as it has now morphed into the “2A” Model “Futura 800”.  1958 is also the final year of the “B” Model “Aristocrat”, which had been restarted only two years before in 1956.

royal-model-b-2The “B” Model seems to disappear for awhile, but the “C” Model makes a comeback in the form of the “2C” Futura 400. Now we swing back to the “2A” Futura 800:

royal_model_a-10The “Futura” didn’t have much of a future, though. In 1963, the “2A” Model “Futura 800” becomes the “SA” Model “Safari”.

royal_model_a-11
The “B” Model “Aristocrat” makes a comeback in 1965 as the “AT” Model “Aristocrat”.

royal-model-b-3This model also ends in 1968, as the tooling is moved to Portugal and the “SA” Model “Safari” becomes the “SB” Model “Sabre”.

royal_model_a-12The end of the venerable Royal Portable comes in 1970, as Royal shuts down Portugese production and begins branding Silver-Seiko and Adler portables as Royals.

Throughout production, the line stayed quite high-quality, and each of these models I’ve tried out has been a pleasant typing experience.  A fabulous line of machines, and thanks to it being a favorite in the collections of Typewriter Hunters, we now know a little bit more detail about the history. (:

 

 

Updated: July 1, 2015 — 10:27 pm

3 Comments

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  1. 1955 Royal, on my shopping list. I had a Safari and didn’t like it enough to keep it (although I’ve had worse).

  2. I have seen newspaper ads from electronic stores dating from 1984 advertising new Sabres–and I’ve seen Sabres and Custom IVs on the internet that don’t have the Litton logo–production in Portugal continued until roughly 1980-85

  3. I read this series on the Royal Quiet Deluxe with interest. I have two QDL’s, a 1951 and a 1957. Am I right in assuming that the body style changes from stamped steel to cast (steel/aluminum) c. 1956 or 1957? And are there are two styles of the cast body, one with-out and one with the “cutouts” for taller Back Space and TAB keys? My 1957 QDL was almost mint, but was missing a spring of some sort from the two-pieced ribbon vibrator, and this meant that the ribbon was constantly vibrating off. I changed it out for a one piece style from the earlier 1951, a parts machine, and it solved the problem. If I were buying today, I would probably avoid the machines with the two-piece ribbon vibrator, thought I do like this body style. Thanks!

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