Original Prince?

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by retrowagen, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    On my travels yesterday, I found and purchased what I believe could be a very, very early Prince racquet. It looks like a Classic 110, but has four holes in the green nylon throatpiece, instead of the three holes of the newer versions of Classic and Classic 2. In fact, there is no model name stickers or moldings on the frame whatsoever, nothing identifying "Classic" – only a small sticker inset in the extruded aluminum channel slot of the frame, denoting the grip size of 4-5/8” (and not the typical 1980’s Prince long rectangular grip size sticker listing all the patent numbers and places). Adjacent to the small sticker in the tube stock indent, there is a neatly hand-engraved serial number, 921. The butt cap is a generic-looking black one, with round inset for a sticker, but no other identifying marks (no sticker on this specimen, either). Grip is what looks to be the original leather one. The nylon throatpiece also seems to be held in place by two small Phillips-headed screws (one on each side), and the green plastic grommet going around the head has little nubs molded in it around its outer periphery, near the string holes. FWIW, it’s strung with some really old natural gut. And apart from being dusty and dirty, it’s in pretty good condition for a racquet that could potentially be 37 years old (1976?).

    Could this be the 921st Prince frame ever built, part of the original batch of Prince racquets (before the Pro, Graphite, and Woodie were introduced, necessitating the “Classic” name for the basic silver and green aluminum model)?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
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  2. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

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    PICS....Please?
     
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  3. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Mine is the same as yours and is numbered 983. The matching headcover incidentally is not labelled Classic, merely Prince (with the transparent 'I' shooting a ball, mimicking its ball machine). I agree it may be part of the original batch before the Classic moniker was added.
     
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  4. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    You have described the model I saw in 1977, before the Pro was released.
     
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  5. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    I don't believe Prince started using the "classic" label until after 1979 or 1980.......in all the shops at that time we had the Prince, Prince Pro and the Prince Graphite.......it was when the Woodie and all the mid size frames started hitting the stores that the classic label was used.
     
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  6. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, this rings a bell.
     
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  7. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
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  8. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Right! Photos here:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    these pics bring back fond memories. my first real racquet was a prince classic 2.
     
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  10. Oz_Rocket

    Oz_Rocket Semi-Pro

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    Same here. I had one of these back in the early 80s. The green plastic had cracked and I gave it away about 10 years ago. Now that my kids are playing I am really sorry I got rid of it and my first racquet (Dunlop wooden!) and the Frank Sedgman aluminium that came between the two.
     
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  11. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Was looking at more old racquets this last week, and noticed something odd. I was looking over an original Head Edge aluminum midsize, and lo and behold, its tube cross-section is the same as the original Prince in my possession. It also has a hand-engraved serial number of the same size and number style, engraved in the same exact spot as on the Prince (in the case of the Edge, it was "9211." It also had the same exact type of grip size sticker (located in the same exact spot as on the Prince), and had the same exact pallet and butt cap as the early Prince. The method and hardware for the throat fastening to the tube frame was identical, too.

    Looks like there is rather more in common than meets the eye with Howard Head's old and newer products back in 1976! :)
     
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  12. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    ^^ good eye! probably made in the same factory initially before Prince went to Taiwan to get their frames made.
     
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  13. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    ^
    If it was it would have been the Boulder factory.
     
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  14. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Given the evidence, that was my semi-educated best guess... :)
     
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