The AGA Saga revisited

21 05 2015

I’ve bought an AGA.  To be more precise, it found me.  Before my epic trip to Tassie in the ute, I somehow found an old AGA for sale in Melbourne on eBay, but apart from the fact it ended up going for way more than I was prepared to pay, the whole saga of buying a trailer in Melbourne on Easter Monday, loading the stove on it, and sailing across on the Spirit of Tasmania was all too much.  So it didn’t happen.

However, since bidding on this stove, I am now peppered with ads for AGAs all over Australia in my Yahoo email and on FB.  Normally, I’d think this was highly annoying, but out of the blue, another one turned up, really really cheap, and just an hour and a half drive away…….IMG_0253 The guy who sold it to me, Gary, turned out to be a complete wingnut.  His father had bought this AGA in 1952 (the year I was born!) which also happens to be the same year my AGA was made too.  1952 models are so rare that even the manager of Midland Cookers who supplied me the parts to repair my stove all those years ago had never seen one like it when I emailed him photos.

Anyway, Gary concocted this story about how his father had the AGA dismantled by a mechanic from the secret society of AGA mechanics and had it rebuilt downstairs with anything needing to be fixed acted upon.  His father was then going to sell it for $5000, but died before the sale occurred….

Gary’s photos, taken with his phone I’m sure, were of appalling quality, but I spoke to him on the phone and he assured me the stove was in fantastic condition.  All I really wanted was another simmering plate cover dome to replace the broken one we’ve been using for years, but, thinking I’d hit the jackpot, I was already plotting to buy another ute after we sell the house, and taking the stove to Tassie….

My mate Dean agreed to help with his trailer (he was going to Brisbane that day anyway) and we made the trip to the Redcliffe peninsula, which is where my life in Australia all began actually, way back in 1963. What a disappointment………  the AGA was still worth the asking price, thankfully, but it certainly was not in anything like the pristine condition he had assured me I would find it.  There was no way an AGA mechanic had been anywhere this stove since it was made!  The towel rack was so rusted, I chucked it in the recycling bin…  Worse, he kept interfering with the loading procedure, driving Dean and me to despair!  I told him to take his money and go away!

Luckily, both chrome domes were in fair condition for 63 years of use, and not broken, which was the really important thing. I spent much of the next day removing parts from the two stoves and swapping whatever was appropriate to pretty mine up for sale, and I have to say, it looks a million bucks when compared to its old image.  I cleaned and polished the whole top, and now it has ‘patina’….. looks its age, like me, but without the wrinkles…. the underside of the lid is even shiny, reflecting the heat back down as it’s meant to.  Happy days!  And lucky buyers, whoever you are and wherever you are out there.  I would not sell this AGA now for under $2500, it looks so good.  No, make that $3000. The best part is I could probably sell my latest purchase again for pretty much what I paid, and hopefully the spruicing up will have only cost me petrol money and an AGA dinner for Dean and his wife. IMG_0263

UPDATE

I just had to share this story with my readers…. I got this stove for a song because its owner was simply desperate to sell it and vacate his father’s house which he had sold.  Having finished cannibalising it for parts, I put it back on Gumtree for sale, and did so at a profit!  But wait there’s more…….  the buyer turned out to be this young Muslim woman who loaded it with a couple of her friends plus myself and our son on a trailer for her father.  Who lives in Malaysia.  Yes you are reading this right, this AGA is destined to end its days in Malaysia!  I doubt my jaw could have dropped more if she’d told me she was taking it to the Moon!!  AGA sagas are apparently global in nature……

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5 responses

21 05 2015
Dr. C. Scott Taylor, PhD

Woohoo! Great news.

21 05 2015
mikestasse

thought you’d like that……..

21 05 2015
Florence nee Fedup

My mother bought a Aga around that time. Was suppose to best model ever made at the time. Identical to the one in your picture, Would not mind one now. Mum refused to put water through it, go9ing for a kerosene hot water service. Same for fridges. Electricity was generator and car batteries. Ran 32 volts.

All this came as result of the record wool price of pound for pound because of the Korean war.

It my memory serves me right, as I was a kid, those super windfall profits also sent the economy put of wrack.

21 05 2015
Florence nee Fedup

No chrome domes though. Ours was same colour as rest stove.

21 05 2015
mikestasse

Yes, some are colour matched, and some are chrome…… chrome ones last longer apparently.

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