I purchased this guy on eBay looking for a machine that I could test out my idea for achieving better group head temperature stability using a custom cpu style heat-sink that attaches to the group head. What I got was a ’79 Europiccola in such good condition that I don’t really understand where it has been for the last 30 years. It’s like someone purchased it and then sealed it in a time capsule to that some 2009 version of its owners could all get a good laugh at the old fashion way they used to make espresso (actually, given the meteoric rise of single serving coffee, things have changed a lot for a lot of people, but not for the better when compared to the Europiccola, which is still going strong today after 50 years(1)). It’s one thing to leave one of these in storage and pull it out again later, but there a lots of rubber parts that age no matter how you store it. This one is fresh fresh fresh, with shiny internal brass and pliable seals all over.
From what I have gathered, this general formulation the the Europiccola was in production for about 15 years, starting in 1974 with the bolt on group, and ending in 1990 when the pressurestat from the Professional was added (1). There are countless amalgamations of the basic Europiccola components (0.48 Liter boiler, two stage heating element, relief valve regulated boiler pressure), and no hard and fast model distictions seem to exists, largely thanks to factory alterations that where likely made to accomodate the demands of a foreign market.
My collecting impulse is screaming at me to put this sucker on the shelf next to its 2010 counterpart for some serious lever machine cred. But my common sense is winning