A few months ago, I came upon this vintage gem in perfect working order, with a tag that aptly read "The hot rod of sewing machines," at a shop in my neighborhood called Kill Devil Hill. My friend actually spotted it first, but after a little debate, I emerged victorious, as she already had a good machine.
I haven't found much information about the background of Gimbels though. If anyone knows anything more about the company, I could be curious to know! Wikipedia has this entry about Gimbels, an iconic American department store, open from 1887-1987, so perhaps there is a connection there. My machine has the model number 3346 printed on it, and my guess is that it was made in the 1950s. The sewing machine is made from all metal components and is incredibly heavy. The manual is still intact, and details the special zig-zag features.
I have finally made a special spot for this machine in my new apartment, and I look forward to many sewing adventures!http://www.etsy.com/listing/82349036/gimbels-sewing-machine-manual