Classic METAL Racquets Thread - ALUMINIUM to TENSILIUM

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by jimbo333, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Dunlop always seemed to have a "cheap" reputation, and not in a good way. But I've always liked their racquets:)

    By the way Coachrick, do you know anything about that "Wilson III" racquet I posted earlier?

    I've never seen this until recently, which surprised me as I thought I knew all the Wilson metal T-series!
     
    #51
  2. Kemitak

    Kemitak Semi-Pro

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    I wonder if the Vector and the Final differ apart from the colour of the throat piece? They look like they were separated at birth. Would the string lock work on the Vector too?
     
    #52
  3. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Interesting that you say 'cheap'...when I was contemplating a rep position with Dunlop, I asked myself if I would be 'excited' to be a part of the Dunlop family. Would I want to be on their teaching staff? Would I consider their rackets to be 'quality'? Would I 'show off' my racket with a stencil if I were to play with one?

    Until J-Mac switched to the 200G, the most exciting thing about the line was the A-Player ball. The US Headquarters and main warehouse/tennis ball factory were located in my territory so there was a bit of a 'home grown' image with Dunlop in the southeast US. We didn't trade on the 'snob appeal' of the Slazenger name nor did the tennis division take advantage of the high standing of the golf image at that time. I sold the heck out of tennis balls...rackets were so-so.

    I agree that the my Jimmy Connors C-1 is likely a re-badged T3000 as is the Wilson III, most likely. Mayhaps they were Special Make Up units for a large retailer.
     
    #53
  4. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    They look the same to me. I'll bet the String-Lok gizmos would fit either since the US String Lok barrels also fit the Red Head and metal Edge along with the US Vector.
     
    #54
  5. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Yes it's interesting about Dunlop. I've always liked their racquets like I said, but many people don't!

    You are no doubt right about the "Wilson III", it's just that I've never seen another, whereas the C1- Jimmy Connors can be found if you look hard for them:)
     
    #55
  6. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Yes they are the same I think!

    I also have a String-Lock Vector somethere, but can't find it easily at the moment:-?
     
    #56
  7. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    #57
  8. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    Open the article and search tensilium in your browser.
     
    #58
  9. Don T.

    Don T. New User

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    Probably not a classic but still a well crafted racquet for the times....solid Aluminum I suppose...Pro/Am 4-5/8

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #59
  10. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Nice photos:)

    Looks great, but truly awful to play with!
     
    #60
  11. Don T.

    Don T. New User

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    You got that right! The racquet really feels like a mis-hit on every shot.:roll:
     
    #61
  12. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Speaking of nice photos, their ad in Tennis Magazine showed a nude young lady sitting(facing away :) )with the racket standing behind her(strategically positioned, of course). I REALLY wanted that racket but never laid eyes on one. What an elegant frame design...I'd still like to find one.
     
    #62
  13. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    . . . ummm. . . no one has a photo of the original Prince?
     
    #63
  14. Don T.

    Don T. New User

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    Coachrick....pick a number between 1 and 100.....:)
     
    #64
  15. Centered

    Centered Hall of Fame

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    So, I'm the only one who thinks it's funny that the results for "tensilium" in Google are clam ligaments/tendons?

    I wanted to see if this is a real metal alloy, but all I could find are references to clam anatomy.

    Marketing magic at its finest, I suppose.
     
    #65
  16. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Sorry mate, I didn't get it to begin with:)

    So yes, it looks like Tensilium is the first "made up" racquet technology name, and look where we are now, yes BLX, LOL:)
     
    #66
  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Bob Lutz used this racquet, and later, the one with the red (instead of blue) plastic throat.
     
    #67
  18. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    A few months ago, I got a Sterling metal (steel) racquet to string. I bet most here never even heard of one yet see one. Fortunately I had the manual from the manuf. back in the old days (1960's ) , and still had it, so I was able to string it. I since gave the instructions to the USRSA and they posted it on their site in case anyone else would get this obscure thing, as it had a series of pins to place the strings around, and the racquet needed to be mounted only one way facing up.I never thought that I would see another one of these things.Back in the 60's there were a few locals that I strung this for.

    Heres a picture from the manuf. manual:

    [​IMG]
     
    #68
  19. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the memories, jim. When I first started 'playing' tennis, I lived three blocks from a private girls' college. They had 6 courts and a backboard. Well, THIS sixteen year old was highly attracted to a tall, pretty young lady who played with the only Sterling I've ever seen. Seemed to fit her perfectly. Wonder what she's up to now? :)
     
    #69
  20. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    The PDP Open and the adidas aluminum were the same frame with a different throat piece, probably both made by Seamco or someone. The Head Pro was similar, but the shape of the frame material was different (pentagonal or hexagonal or some kind of -agonal. ;)) So that one wasn't from the same manufacturer.
     
    #70
  21. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    What a perfect way of describing the way the Pro-Am plays. The vibration from that thing is just astounding. (It's funny; I saw this comment before I actually knew what racquet you were talking about, and I thought to myself, "They must be referring to the Pro-Am!") It does look nice, though. They made such a big deal about it being molded in one complete piece rather than extruded; maybe there's a reason why no one did it their way. ;)
     
    #71
  22. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

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    Have a question about the T Wilson Series. It is my understanding that some of the T's came with some sort of knob or dampening device attached to the buttcap. My questions are which of the T series racquets had it and is it hard to find them(referring to dampener)?
     
    #72
  23. adidasman

    adidasman Professional

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    That was the T4000 (which had a ball thingie on the end) and T5000 (which had a protruding rubber stalk), I believe. I'd guess those are pretty rare.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
    #73
  24. Virginia

    Virginia Hall of Fame

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    Just about impossible to find any with that dampener intact - ask jimbo. :)
     
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  25. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Heck, it was tough in the SEVENTIES to find one that hadn't broken off! :)
     
    #75
  26. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Deleted .......
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
    #76
  27. lazya4

    lazya4 New User

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    has anyone ever seen the metal racket that campagnolo, of bicycle fame, made? i've seen pixs but have never seen one in real life. it came out about the same time as a corkscrew, nut cracker, motorcycle, and automotive wheel were made by campagnolo. only the the corkscrew is still produced.
     
    #77
  28. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Did Campy have a pizza cutter, also? I would have been all over a racket by them!

    1984, Greensboro, NC...a Ferrari Testarossa pulled up to Cycles d' Oro sporting Campagnolo wheels. We were told that each wheel cost $2000! In 1984!

    I doubt I could have afforded a Campy racket; but, I think I would have tried! :)
     
    #78
  29. lazya4

    lazya4 New User

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    coachrick
    i don't know about the pizza cutter it wasn't listed in the cataloge scan i have. but it does seem like i remember one.

    i think we are both safe not having to come up with the cash to buy a campy racket. after 10 years of looking, i have yet to see one! here is hoping we both find one tomorrow in a thrift store...ha

    can you tell me how to remove the pallet on a t2000? i want to reduce the hairpin down to make a junior racket. thanks
     
    #79
  30. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Good news and bad news...Good: Removing the pallet is fairly easy. Bad: Unless you are a metal worker, cutting the 'brace' off the bottom of the hairpin and repositioning it will be a challenge.

    To remove the pallet for this purpose, unlace the treble string at the top of the pallet. Easy to cut it off but it should be replaced with something similar or at least finishing tape. Gently pry the pallet loose along the length of the handle. The adhesive applied back in the '60s, '70s. '80s is likely to be brittle...a little heat might help. IF the sticker is intact on the butt cap, you can allow the pallet to 'butterfly' away from the hairpin and the sticker can stay on. Otherwise, it may be easier to slice the sticker with a razor rather than trying to peel it off.

    IF the pallet stays in two pieces, cleaning off the adhesive will aid in the replacement process. I would use Shoe Goo or similar adhesive that will not become brittle.

    In the mean time, you had to cut or grind off the hairpin to the desired length. I still believe the big challenge will be bracing the bottom of the hairpin after you remove the original welded spacer block.

    By the way, the smaller sized pallets(IF you were trying to reduce the grip size) are progressively 'flatter' as they get smaller, since the hairpin is of a fixed width. Best of luck!

    BTW.2, Park Tools has a pizza cutter. It's no Campy, but it's affordable!
    http://www.parktool.com/products/detail.asp?cat=88&item=PZT-2
     
    #80
  31. lazya4

    lazya4 New User

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    coachrick
    thanks for the great info. i don't know why i didn't think there would be brace at the bottom. looks like i am in luck though. i just got what appears to be a wilson t2000 junior racket off the bay. the grip size is 3 7/8" and the length is 26". sure beats me trying to cut down a 4 1/4" to 26". we will see for sure when it gets here.

    thanks for the link on the pizza cutter too.
     
    #81
  32. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, there were Junior versions of the T2000, I have one somewhere!
     
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  33. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Wow! another one slipped by me!

    Poor kids :) .
     
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  34. lazya4

    lazya4 New User

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    jimbo333
    reading your post of your first encounter with the t2000 reminded me of my granddaughters response. i have some very nice junior wood rackets but when she saw the t2000 her eyes did sparkle.
     
    #84
  35. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    They are rare I think, and this example not surprisingly didn't look very well used! In fact finding a T2000 in general well used is harder than finding a Mint version LOL:)
     
    #85
  36. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    I hate to say it, but she'll be better off with the wood racquet rather than T2000:(

    But definitely best she at least tries the junior T2000, and yes I still think it's the best looking frame ever made, a total design classic:)
     
    #86
  37. lazya4

    lazya4 New User

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    i couldn't agree with you more. but if she actually plays more with the t2000 it will sure teach her to hit the ball in the sweet spot. might be worth it to get a throat bridge welded in, make it a junior t3000.
     
    #87
  38. T21D

    T21D Semi-Pro

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    Loving this thread which brings me back during my junior high days. I thought I was the shizzle when I used my old man's T-5000 because he had that extra vibration damper on the butt of his grip compared to my T-3000. I really didn't feel any difference till I tried my moms AMF Head pro ( ooh soo light ) Then, my old man upgraded to a PDP (he was a big Roscoe Tanner fan).
     
    #88
  39. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Metal racquets was going to be my thing when I started collecting, but the number of offerings simply became to great.

    Not many classic racquet lovers will know that the first metal racquets started as early as 1887 according to Jeanne Cherry P44. The Metal Racquet Corp. based in Scotland may have had a tough time convincing the market. See what might have been had a Jimmy Connors character promoted the heck out of them back then.

    The Birmal (1920's) doesn't really look out of place right alongside the racquets being made in the 1970's. The Dayton racquets, most people know of were one of the longest surviving companies from the mid 1920's to the mid 1980's making much the same product year in and out including the wood scored grip.

    The following racquet was from a company called HOBBIES and is similar to the Birmal with an all metal frame and a cord grip.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The other interesting development in metal was the one piece moulding solution adopted by PRO AM in the mid 1970's.

    In Australia, a backyarder specialist started making racquets in Carbon Steel (Wilson T 2000) then switched into Stainless steel. The result was huge flex with a loose stringing pattern for power and control. One was sent to Jimmy Connors for a test so if anyone can complete the story from Jimmy's end please advise.

    They started as all silver finish then went oversize and powder coated.

    Very hard to find, this one is a NOS made from components found in storage.

    Also have a black variation.

    [​IMG]

    Other metal and metal head wood shaft combinations of note are:

    Steel
    * McGregor Tourney (twin metal golf shafts) with wood head.
    * Slazenger Twin shaft
    * Dunlop Monoshaft (sister to the Slazenger and same factory)
    * Samuel Fox the Silver Fox (stainless steel head wood shaft) assume 1950's maybe earlier.
    * Slazenger Plus
    * Wilson T5000 with rubber vibration dampner
    * Wilson C1 for the super flat finish
    * Tretorn removable string set

    Aluminium
    * Seamco with all grommets on an inside rail so the outside is clean of strings
    * Yonex 8500 Green just looked so much cooler
    * Pro Am for being one piece
    * Wilson Sting for the unusual stringing
    * John Mott (UK) for one of the best engineered metal racquets in terms of build quality.

    No doubt a few more will come to mind once I click submit.
     
    #89
  40. Virginia

    Virginia Hall of Fame

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    It looks like you're working your way through all the threads, Rod! :)

    I have a few of the above listed frames in my collection too.
     
    #90
  41. aerogami

    aerogami New User

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    This thread has inspired me to finally organize and catalog my giant mess of a racquet collection. I mostly like to collect wood and graphite, but I think I still have maybe a dozen metal racquets in my pile - some sillier than others - I'll try to post them up here over the next few days.

    Here's a pic of my ProAm - with original cover that is too 70s sweet for words. I need to throw some poly on this boy and give it a good hit.

    [​IMG]
     
    #91
  42. aerogami

    aerogami New User

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    Here's my Yonex 8600 Green OPS (Oval Pressed Shaft) circa around 1979, strung with some ugly orange string - sorry about the color balance in the image - bad lighting. The wooden palette is a trip.....

    [​IMG]
     
    #92
  43. aerogami

    aerogami New User

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    My Head Professional - missing the adhesive "HEAD" badge. I still give this one a hit every now and then...

    [​IMG][/QUOTE]
     
    #93
  44. aerogami

    aerogami New User

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    2 T-3000s with sweet, nerdy aftermarket covers...

    [​IMG][/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
    #94
  45. aerogami

    aerogami New User

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    TG&Y Stores racquet - This is some unmarked "cheapy" racquet with a TG&Y stores sticker on it - as if it was made for them - the thing is, it plays great and only weighs 11.9 oz strung - with poly on it, it gets ridiculous topspin, its very flexy - I'd love to get another of these racquets - but I don't recognise the make and the brand/model sticker has fallen off (or was never on it to begin with).... Anyone recognize this bridge design?


    [​IMG][/QUOTE][/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
    #95
  46. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks very much to Rod and Aerogami for the recent photos, superb stuff:)

    I'm really happy that this thread turned out so popular, in the end it was my most popular thread, and my personal favourite!

    When I started collecting rackets 3 years ago, I started with metal rackets, and they are still my favourites after all this time:)

    Oh and Aerogami, if that "ProAm" cover ever needs a new home please let me know, I'd really like one of those to go with my racket, it just looks really great!

    And thanks to all who have posted in this thread, long live metal rackets:)
     
    #96
  47. bugeyed

    bugeyed Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, I had a T-4000. It had a plastic dome over the rubber dampener at the butt cap.

    Cheers,
    kev
     
    #97
  48. ritton07

    ritton07 Rookie

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    ...another quite old metal addition, in case it was interesting....,

    I found it recently, anyone knows about this Dunlop one? (70s?)

    ...I bet no pros ever used it (....!), but I don't know it, of course,
    (is it really a...tennis racquet ? :shock:)


    [​IMG]
     
    #98
  49. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    I've seen a few John Newcombe Rawlings steel rackets as well as ACRO Newcombe aluminiums from the same era...
    Were Rawlings and ACRO related? Which stick came first in Newcombe's career - the Rawlings Tie-Breaker or the ACRO ?
     
    #99
  50. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    We sold a couple of those in the early-ish '70s. As you can imagine, it twisted like crazy at the slightest hint of an off-center hit. Does anyone remember Betty Stove playing with this stick?(I might be dreaming :) ).
     

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