ilve 40" rangeBack in mid century America, kitchen ranges were commonly 40″ wide. I have long bemoaned the fact that it is very difficult to find this size range — still made new — in the U.S. today.  Up until now, the few options I knew of were the 40″ Kenmore and its copycat Frigidaire available in dual-fuel in stainless steel. And, there are similar Frigidaire 40″ wide electric designs — the black Frigidaire 40″ electric range is kinda neat retro looking.  Other than these choices, it was: Shop for vintage. But buying vintage can be an *epic* journey, and I recognize that, sometimes, you just don’t feel up for an epic journey. So now, I somehow discovered that there is a nice kind of retro looking 40″ range now available in the U.S.: The Ilve Majestic 40″ dual-fuel, double oven kitchen range.

That’s I-L-V-E.  An Italian company. Which is not surprising, since Europe seems to be awash in 40″ wide “cookers.”  The company says:

ILVE continues a 50 year heritage of elegant design and powerful engineering, as the finest manufacturer of cooking products in Europe today. Located near magnificent Venice, ILVE artisans hand-assemble the Majestic and Professional Series of ranges and hoods using premium materials for each custom designed piece.

Ilve colorsIlve ranges are not cheap: Online, I spotted prices starting at $6,500 and quickly up.

But these ranges come in the “right” width (although maybe a bit too deep? 27-9/16″, although maybe this includes the handles? They need a better diagram wrt this detail) … they have lots of terrific sounding features… lots of blingy chrome, and come in three real colors — burgundy, emerald green, and midnight blue — in addition to the more normal shades of appliance white, antique white, stainless steel and matte black.

ilve cooktop optionsI also like the fact that the range can be ordered dual-fuel. While I prefer to cook with gas on the stove top, I *think* I once learned that an electric-powered oven keeps baking temperatures more constant. Although, the description says the ovens are “convection.” I don’t understand convection. But that’s good, isn’t it?

There are a variety of cook top options — including one with a griddle. And I also kinda like the one with a combo gas- and electric burners, since I *think* that electric heats water up faster.

And, there are numerous other snazzy features — like a rotisserie! And, I think the specs say this is not an option — it’s standard.

  1. Dave says:

    I found a ’58-’62 vintage GE Stratocruiser in a junk shop, did a bit of cleaning, chroming, & rewireing. Got my 40″ stove for under $1500 total.

  2. Robin, NV says:

    Pam – just spotted this company that offers custom colors for its appliances! They seem to specialize in smaller, apartment-sized appliances but they offer a huge array of colors. Sadly, they don’t offer the custom colors on their ranges – only fridges, dishwashers, wine cabinets etc. can be colored. I can’t vouch for the quality of the product or if the colors will be metallic or matte but it’s worth looking in to:

  3. Val Ballestrem says:

    These are awesome looking ranges, but expensive. I see a lot of vintage 40″ electric ranges come up on Craigslist. They can often be had for pretty cheap and re-wiring – if necessary – is not too much of a challenge. Replacement burners/elements can usually be purchased at a local appliance parts house or online. Of course the costs start to mount if there is enamel damage or if you must have a new timer, push-button switch, etc…The best thing about the vintage units is that they were built to last. If you spend the $2k on a new Kenmore it will probably die in a decade and then who knows if there will be something available that fits the space? Of course if I had $6500 lying around, I might consider an ILVE. 🙂

    1. TenantProof says:

      So true, my 90 year old friend has a Philco range from the 1950’s that continues to work great today. For ranges or any appliance purchased in the 2000’s You are lucky if they last 7 years. This applies regardless of which brand you purchase. We had a 7 year old range and refrigerator die on us both from a formerly reliable brand. Manufacturers no longer care about making “durable goods” that last for 20 plus years. The next appliances I buy will be vintage appliances, energy costs be damned. I have better things to do with my time and money then shop for new appliances and constantly wait for repair person to fix badly made appliances.

  4. Jay says:

    I have had both gas and electric. I do prefer the gas cooktop whiich I don’t have now. Regarding electric – the GE old fashioned coils had a reputation for heating up fast, one of their hallmarks; just like they used to make the world’s quietest motors. Ever listen to a vintage GE fridge? You can’t tell if it’s running.
    I remember staying in a place in France that had a drop-in stove with gas top but electric oven which is fairly typical by European standards because it combines the best fuel for the task in one unit.

  5. Robin, NV says:

    This range would look super snazzy in a 1940s kitchen. Love the burgundy color but I’d like to see it in white. I love the look of a 40′ range but, alas, I don’t have room for one.

    I sometimes kick myself for disposing of the 1967 harvest gold range/oven/convection oven unit that came with my house. It worked great aside from some uneven heating in the oven, which probably could have been an easy fix by an appliance repairman. But at the time, I was like “Ew ick, harvest gold! It has to go.” Now I know better.

  6. Lynne says:

    I have had gas stoves in the past, and two in my last two homes, electric. GAS is the way to go if you can. No question. My electric stoves have taken FOREVER to boil water. On my current Samsung (which is garbage by the way, don’t buy that brand what ever you do) they have even tried to combat this by adding a “Fast Boil” feature. Total fail.

    Baking is whole another ball game. Once again, it takes FOREVER to reach temperature, and heat is inconsistent during the baking process. I have to add several minutes to the baking time on almost everything. Something like baked potatoes? Takes like a week to get them done!

    Moral of the story? If you’re able, get gas. If and when we ever remodel my existing kitchen, I am having a gas line run. And that means tearing up two basement ceilings to do so. But, at this point, I just don’t care. I’ll even help with the demo.

    1. Jennifer Kepesh says:

      If your choice is between conventional electric and gas, I agree that gas is the way to go. However, induction heating elements are by far faster than gas, provide immediate control for temperature changes, clean up so much better than gas and are more energy efficient.

  7. Convection is great when you get it – faster and more even cooking, etc. In the most basic sense, convection has a fan that circulates the heated air through the chamber. In a traditional radiant oven, the elements heat and that’s it, so you end up with it being hotter closer to the elements and cooler further away from them.

    This video explains pretty succinctly:

    I like that you can customize what elements you want on the top. That’s a nice looking piece of equipment.

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