[FS] (almost) Restored 1956 Gaggia America $3500 (NYC Area)

Used espresso or coffee stuff you hope to sell or buy.
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#1: Post by sheedapistawl »

Hello friends!

Short version:

I have been working on a vintage machine restoration and while this is now almost fully restored it requires one final replacement that I've sadly run out of time for, we have a lot of travel coming up and lives have gotten way busier post pandemic (hah) so rather than have this machine lounge around in our apartment I'd rather see it go to someone who can finish the job and then enjoy the coffee it makes - the machine is just way too pretty and makes way too good coffee to keep it around, even though its easily the most eye catching thing in my home (including my Bosco, which is a very boxxy boy).

It is a 1956 Gaggia America 1 Group - a bit rare to find this machine in this format, usually they are two groups. I've put a summary of work performed on this machine + run it through test and only has 1 more action remaining for someone who doesn't mind a bit of elbow grease. This machine makes better coffee than my Bosco, and likely miles better than your local cafe, esp if you pair it with a good grinder (mine is the MAX, the shuriken burrs play really well with spring levers).

Some photos and video links below for reference. The price reflects what I paid + parts in it, my labor as usual is free + I'll be tossing in a lot of spare and consumable parts (gaskets, valve rebuild kits, portafilter etc.).

Price: $3.5K

Pickup from Hoboken, NJ, not looking to ship at the moment, may be open to drive a reasonable distance.
I have some sales on coffeeswap, and other swaps I can share if need be, I'm also a mod of the discord.gg/espresso (join us!) for reference.

More photos and videos here: https://imgur.com/a/0pgEfH9 (turn on the sound - the pre-infusion mechanical action is really cool and satisfying to hear! )


who this is for: Someone who wants a unique machine that makes amazing coffee and will last decades, and has some basic level of mechanical understanding. Anyone can swipe a credit card and pick up a Londinium, the Gaggia and similar machines are of a bygone era and are way overbuilt, and made with beauty in mind - the exposed gold back is gorgeous, this is as much a piece of art as it is a functional beast.

More about the machine:

Spring lever, commercial Sirai 20A P-stat, 10L boiler, 1500W elements (run on any outlet but I would recommend a GFCI outlet as any other espresso machine). It has an integrated steam cup warmer but I disconnected it and installed a vacuum breaker to run this on a timed switch without having the need to relieve false pressure (but the steam warmer is a very cool flex I have to say in case you wanted to reverse it).

Summary of work performed:
The hardest part of vintage rebuilds has been done - the group is fully rebuilt and inside mostly has all new parts - new spring, new piston and assembly, new gaskets and brass rings, new pinion gear, new bearings, everything), heating elements looked great so were descaled and reinstalled with new gaskets. Other than that, as part of any restoration: Upgraded insulation, added vac breaker as mentioned above, replaced safety valve and various gaskets. Besides this the entire machine has been cleaned and polished. The frame was rust treated/powder blasted and sealed.

What is remaining to be done:
I pressure tested the machine and used daily over two months in the past year, during testing I realized this machine needs a new boiler gasket. I have the gasket, just not the time to install it - this would mainly need some basic tools, the boiler nuts / bolts are all new so this should be straight forward procedure for someone with some basic mechanical skills (a nice project and you can claim restoration pride :P ). Likely can be done in place or with minimal disassembly, all the nuts are very accessible.

What comes with it:
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 didn't keep this thread updated but this documents my journey: Gaggia America restoration/modding project