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1963 Europiccola

Almost as old as they get.  By far the oldest we've had our hands on.  (Pavoni started making a few Europiccolas in 1961, after buying the design rights from a smaller Italian company, and were only selling a couple thousand a year by this third year of production.  Number 3603!)  When you subtract those lost to landfills, or buried in a European farmhouse attic, there's obviously not a large pool of these left.


This one genuinely oozes with charm, but how much that adds to your morning "experience" and taste in the cup, will probably depend on how Romantic you are!  The obvious "protoype" look, from the days BEFORE someone at Pavoni had the bright idea to add an actual drip tray to the base just adds to the historical kinkiness. 


The paintwork was marginal when we got it.  The sides were ok, but the cup deck was mostly bare aluminum, and scored from years of love.  (The cast aluminum bases of this early era are nice and stiff, but pretty soft material.)  The original logo sticker was long gone.  So we bit the bullet and decided to powder coat it.  After lots of wire brushing, primer, re-sanding, and a final "remarkably close to original hammertone" powder coat, it came out pretty well, and makes this as close to a "daily driver" candidate as the day it was sold.   Especially with the beautiful condition of the rubber base.


Once the paint was done, it was an easy call to change the element to a vintage 110 volt screw on.  Other than the new seals, the only "change" from 1963 was updating the pressure relief valve, with a new spring and new style "stopper."  The original pressure spring with ball bearing was so weak that hot water would shoot out on the high setting!  Not a pleasant surprise test firing the first time!  


Because this is from the "no off" high/low switch era, it meant a frantic search and yank of the power cord while being sprayed with super heated water.  (The things we put up with to send more vintage Pavonis to the world.)   We suggest a cheap plug in on/off outlet adapter from your local hardware store.


One note from this rebuild to those contemplating such an adventure:  the circlip holding the piston shaft seal was essetially "one with body" after a million (57?) years, and rusted so completely into the groove that there were days (yes, days) when we almost gave up on this project.  Finally after a soak with some rust dissolver (careful not to get it in the boiler!) and catching a lucky jagged edge piece with the exact size pry bar, the entire remant broke out in one chunk.  One of the best days this year!  Which may seriously imply people who rebuild old espresso machines may need to get more of a life.


Oh yeah, we also swapped the 220 power cord with a vintage pre-ground 2 prong 110 cord.


Somebody was in waiting for this one, and snagged it immediately, so you didn't "miss it" on here.  But let us know if you'd like to see more first generations.






1963 Europiccola

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