[FS] A (nearly finished vintage project) Gaggia America 1956 commercial spring lever machine

Used espresso or coffee stuff you hope to sell or buy.

#1: Post by sheedapistawl »

Hey folks!

I have been working on a vintage machine restoration as a quarantine project (and because I thought this was an irresistibly beautiful machine, but sadly I seem to have run out the clock on my wife's patience taking over our kitchen counter.

So, while the project is not finished, I wanted to see if there is any interest from others who may not be as time constrained as I am, seeing as there are often folks asking for vintage commercial spring levers but not a lot on offer. While its up for sale I will continue this project, but if I manage to finish it, the price will be higher as the focus of this project was to get this machine ready for a cool couple of decades of service.

It is a 1956 Gaggia America - the boiler was opened and descaled (it has new bolts), and the machine comes outfitted with a Sirai Pstat for 110v US operation (for a few decades - much longer than a PID). It is 1500W so will run just fine from a regular 15A kitchen outlet.

A photo is included below but happy to provide others. The chrome on this machine is in better condition than my E61.

Price: $3.5K now, price would be raised if/when I finish the project and machine is not sold. Open to reasonable offers.

I am not looking to make any money this is a labor of love, so here is the full transparency (which I'm happy to provision receipts for)
I paid $3K for the machine itself, ~$500 for parts and spares, so essentially only asking for that.
Not to mention a lot of tools, supplies, and of course, my very OCD meticulous efforts, all of that value is free for now :)

Pickup from Hoboken, NJ, not looking to ship at the moment.

A summary of work done/parts replaced is below, happy to provide more details:
Insulation upgrade, new vac breaker (barbed with vented discharge), new safety valve, new piston seals and gaskets, new group flange gasket, new bearings, new pinion gear, new sight glass gasket. Besides this the entire machine has been cleaned, scrubbed, polished as appropriate. The frame is rust treated/powder blasted and sealed, the entire group has been fully cleaned/degreased and will come ready for assembly (see what is remaining below).
It comes with: fitted E61 screen and new EPHQ screen, multiple valve gasket kits, a full boiler gasket, backup piston seal gaskets, a bottomless portafilter and the original portafilter (plus some other goodies I'm probably forgetting but can check).
I've polished up the frame and bakelite and the sightglass cover, the frame is rust treated and sealed, and the entire group has been fully cleaned, degreased and is ready for assembly.
all the details in this thread: Gaggia America restoration/modding project

What is remaining to be done:
The only thing this machine needs the resolution of the inner mounting jacket on the piston which sadly was weak and broke while I tried to assemble the group. The piston itself is in great condition. If getting a new piston and inner jacket, it would be 120EUR with shipping (happy to connect you to 2 different vendors who have the parts). If removing just the jacket and re-using existing piston, the parts needed can be had for just 24 eur. This part can likely also be repaired but am unsure of price for that.

Once those parts are ready - All that remains to be done is to assemble the group which I am happy to walk any interested folks through (many threads on the topic)

here is a video of the machine pulling a shot prior to group disassembly and cleaning:

and here is a photo (more available on request)