PHOTOS of my LACOSTE tennis racket collection

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by jimbo333, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Here are some photos of my Lacoste rackets from my tennis racket collection, including 5 different Equijets (close up photo of these on page 2), amazing looking rackets!

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    I've just realised I must have another Lacoste racket box somewhere, as I know I've got an LT331 and a few others come to think of it. I will have a look at the weekend and hopefully post a photo here of the others.


    Edit:
    Well i found the other Lacoste rackets, they were in a box marked "Le Coq Sportif", whoops!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
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  2. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    And the last few Lacoste rackets from my collection, including some of my favourites, some different versions of the Lacoste metal racket, the original European version of Wilson's T2000!

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    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
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  3. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    Such a lovely sight, one that I wish would magically appear on my own floor!

    The stencil on the 321 looks more like a scorpion than a croc though. Was that a home made effort? :)
     
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  4. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    wow your collection is museum worthy!
     
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  5. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    It does doesn't it, quite funny, no doubt a home made stencil, but not my work:)
     
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  6. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Cheers, I'd be well up for opening a racket museum, but not enough demand in the UK unfortunately. There is one at Wimbledon, and that's all that is needed here really.
     
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  7. MarrratSafin

    MarrratSafin Hall of Fame

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    Beautiful!:) The Equijet on the right, is also a LT301 or different model?
     
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  8. Costagirl

    Costagirl Banned

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    Mr. Jimbo...I think I love you! You actually brought tears to my eyes...tears of joy at the beauty of your collection!!!!! Outstanding.
     
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  9. NadalDramaQueen

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    Great collection. I would love just to get a hold of one of those covers.
     
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  10. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    hmm....open one anyways. charge 1 ppound per visit. soon enough wimbledon will be begging you to close shop!
     
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  11. Rorsach

    Rorsach Hall of Fame

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    Beautiful collection. The LT301 is still my most wanted racquet, never got to play with it.
     
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  12. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
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  13. Tennis Man

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    jimbo, that's impressive ... I will take my 255 and 301 to the clay court tonight. :)
     
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  14. ericsson

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    I think i will do that too, it's been awhile :)


    Nice collection J, there are still a few missing though... ;-)
     
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  15. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    It's a prototype of the LT301. It has the collar above the grip of the 255, but otherwise an LT301. So it is a transition frame between the 2, as far as I'm aware!

    Have you still got that great looking 258 by the way?
     
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  16. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Well the price I was asked to pay for a couple of those Equijets brought tears to my eyes I can tell you:-?

    Thanks very much for your lovely comments, makes the effort in collecting and photographing worthwhile:)
     
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  17. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Cheers, I really like the simplicity and colours of the covers. I also have a great looking bag as well somewhere, but can't find it:(
     
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  18. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Getting premises in a suitable place would just be too expensive for a tennis racket museum in London. I hear what you're saying, but Wimbledon have a very dominant position, and just not worthwhile trying to compete I reckon.

    Although if anyone has a large and very cheap and prominent premises in London (ideally near Wimbledon), please let me know!
     
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  19. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Cheers, hope you are doing well, I'm sorry I havn't been in touch. I'm sure I got at least one of these from you many years ago!
     
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  20. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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  21. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    A better photo of the 5 Equijets. I had 4 LT301's at one point, but sent 1 each to "Classic Racket Talk" legends Plasma and Virginia. I traded them for Connors associated rackets with both of them if i remember rightly (was a long time ago). Plasma immediately sold the LT301 on **** lol, he obviously needed the money because I know he'd have loved to have kept it, hope he's doing OK!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
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  22. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Cheers, well I've never played with a 255, I just can't afford to use mine, as it will lose half it's value when I take the plastic off the handle!

    But I do have another LT301, which i have used many times, it really is a great racket, in fact one of the best serving rackets I've ever used.
     
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  23. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Cheers, yes there are a few missing, but the Equijets especially that I havn't got are just too rare and expensive for me unfortunately at the moment. I'd particularly like an LT303 I must admit8)
     
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  24. galain

    galain Hall of Fame

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    Jimbo

    I can offer you my wife (German, good worker, very practical, cooks well, one of the rare ones with a sense of humour, bit of an Anglophile) in exchange for one of your LT 301's.

    You can PM me if you feel want. I'm sure we can come to an agreement. How about it?
     
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  25. Tennis Man

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    Pictures please. I may consider the trade. :)
     
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  26. Tennis Man

    Tennis Man Hall of Fame

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    255 is my favorite by all means. It's glossy finish makes it look (and maybe feel) a bit stiffer than LT301.
     
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  27. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Well I'm on the look out at the moment, so look out for a PM lol:)

    And this is probably very wrong, but I laughed out very loudly at the bolded bit:)
     
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  28. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Hey Tennis Man, no wife/racket trading in this forum:)
     
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  29. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i made my post half in jest:) but yea....it would be magnificient
     
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  30. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    I realise you were half joking:)

    But, the fact is, if someone offered me the right premises at the right price in London, I would open the best tennis racket museum in London. It wouldn't have much competition, with the exception of Wimbledon of course, who actually only display a small percentage of the rackets they have in their collection anyway!
     
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  31. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    I'm sorry I don't live in East Sheen (SW14) anymore; that'd have had some possibilities...
     
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  32. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    Nice. What do the indented areas at 3+9 do?
     
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  33. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, that would have been good. It would have to be somewhere near Wimbledon and near a tube/train...
     
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  34. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    They make the sweet-spot bigger apparently. Not sure it makes a huge difference, but these rackets are nice to hit with, even if they look a bit weird!
     
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  35. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    I was roughly 1/4 mile from the Mortlake train station; 3/4 mile from Kew Garden and/or Richmond tube. And again roughly 3/4 mile from the National Tennis Centre on Priory Lane (though it was built after I moved back to California). Oh well... :)

    Wimbledon was just two miles away.
     
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  36. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Sounded ideal, never mind... maybe move back:)

    Although, how easy would it have been to turn into a tennis racket museum, with over 1000 rackets to display:?
     
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  37. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Well, I was there in the mid-1980's; it was just brilliant dumb luck that lasted a short while; I was definitely out of my league (Sir David Attenborough lived in the same street, I'd sometimes see him watering plants in his garden, and Ric Ocasek - lead singer of the Cars - lived two houses down for a while then too). And while it's somewhat expensive to live in California, it's not nearly like SW London.

    On second thought, I'd rather not have tourists in my house daily, nor the house packed full of tennis gear in every room... :| Though I reckon for some, it'd be a dream come true.

    Sorry for the thread hijack... now back to our regularly-schedule programme.

    Those Lacoste racquets sure are lovely!
     
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  38. Captain Haddock

    Captain Haddock Rookie

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    The Equijets are surely very special frames. I bought 2 LT301s in 1995, the year they were discontinued and Lacoste stopped producing racquets. Even in French stores, they were hard to find by then, and they would not go down in price either. I finally found a pair in store in Poitiers. Unfortunately, they were in tiny grip sizes (L2) and I use L5 grips, so building them up added almost a full ounce of weight, which was simply too much to handle. But they had such a sweet feel (great flex, zero vibrations), and I loved volleying with them. I sold them and moved on to the Fischer Vacuum Pro 90 simply because I was able to find them in my grip size (and I love the old Fischer grip shape to this day - not the new flimsy plastic pallets, but the fully integrated graphite bevels). I wished I had been able to find the red LT302s. Such beautiful frames! If Lacoste had any sense, they would re-issue the 302 with cool cosmetics.
     
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  39. MarrratSafin

    MarrratSafin Hall of Fame

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    Interesting and extremely rare frame I'd say! Yes I still have the 258, it is a keeper for sure.:) Might take a pic of my collection too, much smaller than yours of course.;-)
     
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  40. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Would be great to see some photos:)

    I havn't seen a photo of the 258 for years, even just seeing that would be great!
     
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  41. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    I realise this is just a squash racket, but I've shown a photo of it because it shows the "Control" stringing pattern, and my Top Control as seen on page one of this thread isn't strung. Does anyone know if the "Control" stringing method is a Lacoste patent?

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    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
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  42. Sander001

    Sander001 Hall of Fame

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    I was thinking that long[or normal length] mains coupled with shorter crosses give the benefit of more control without decreasing the sweetspot size.
     
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  43. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    The only US patent issued to Lacoste during this period is the one for the Equijet design (number 5,306,005). It took them three tries to get it (1989, 1991, 1993), and they finally succeeded in April 1994. If they had also tried to patent the "Control" string pattern, those efforts must have failed.

    Perhaps they had better luck in Europe?

    The Equijet idea, as I understand it, is basically the same as the one behind the dual inverted bridge design on the Spalding Power Tech (patent 4,798,382), only it's applied to the crosses instead of the mains. According to the inventors in both cases, by making the strings in the periphery of the string bed longer than the ones at the center, the sweet spot can be expanded without the need to increase the size of the racquet head. This is basically one step beyond making the strings the same length (as is the case on the Rossignol, the Chris, and various flat-sided frames); which is apparently insufficient to make any real difference, according to these inventors.

    As I see it, making the center of the sweet spot less "sweet" might even out the feel of the string bed a little (it would probably take the tennis equivalent of the Princess and the Pea to actually experience the difference though), but that is hardly the same as "enlarging" the sweet spot.

    Nevertheless, without these crazy ideas, and manufacturers foolish enough to finance them, we wouldn't have all these rare and beautiful toys to lust after, and life would be a lot more boring...:)
     
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  44. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for looking this up:)

    I couldn't see a patent for the "control" stringing method, I havn't seen it on other rackets that I can remember though, maybe someone else has seen this stringing pattern on other non-Lacoste rackets?

    Lacoste did make a point when advertising the Equijet that the shape of the head did increase the sweetspot, and what you've said makes sense.

    Also the dampners sticking out the end of the rackets are interesting, another thing that makes this such a design classic in my opinion. I do think it's annoying though that they didn't just end the dampner earlier, protected by the grip handle, if that makes sense? The fact it sticks out is annoying, and many break off though resting the racket on the floor grip end down, or even by not putting the racket back in the bag carefully enough after a match.

    I've seen a Wilson racket with this type of dampner protected by the grip, I think in some sort of Hammer racket? This made more sense I think, anyone seen this and know what I mean?

    Wilson obviously had a good relationship with Lacoste, using (licensing) their technology in the T2000, and of course those dampners in the T4000 (covered with that dome on the end of the grip) and the T5000.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
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  45. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    Yes, I was about to point out that the weird butt cap rubber marshmallow-on-a-stick dampener idea must have been Wilson's repayment to Lacoste for the original T-2000...

    Lacoste (T-2000 design to Wilson) ---> Wilson (dampener from T-2000 variant T-5000 to Lacoste) ---> Lacoste thinks about it for 10 years, dusts it off and tries it on some Equijet models! :)
     
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  46. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Hey, i don't know about that:shock:

    I was indicating that that dampner design originally came from Lacoste. I've got Lacoste metals with those dampners in, exactly like the T4000/5000. But I don't know what year they were made.

    You may well be right, that Wilson did these first. Does anyone know for certain please?
     
    #46
  47. Sanglier

    Sanglier Rookie

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    I did another search on the USPTO site and found nothing on the rubber dingle dangle, but DID come across two US patents that are relevant to the "Control" string method (4,366,959, and the related 4,279,418 ) !

    The reason I missed them before is that they were not assigned to Chemise Lacoste (as was the Equijet patent), but to Patentex SA in Fribourg, Switzerland, which appears to be a holding company that Lacoste had set up to protect his IPs (both golf and tennis), and perhaps secondarily as a means to reduce his tax burden?

    The sole inventor listed on these two patents (issued in 1983 and 1981, respectively, corresponding to French precedents issued in 1977 and 1978 ) is not René, but a François Lacoste, who is presumably a relative of René's (brother? cousin?). René and his golf champion daughter Catherine are even listed as co-inventors on one of their golf patents not too long before his passing, so innovation was evidently a family hobby in the Lacoste household.

    Edit: The dingle dangle is indeed a Lacoste invention after all (US patent 3,941,380, issued in 1976 to Patentex, with French precedents going back to 1972,73)! It turned up when I broadened the search terms. François is listed as the sole inventor here as well, this time with his middle initial spelled out - René, so there is no doubt about his kinship. Elsewhere I have read that René the elder had three sons in addition to daughter Catherine, and son number three is named François, who is no longer involved with the family business these days, but had clearly left a permanent mark in the equipment deparment.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
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  48. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks so much, this is superb work to find this:)

    So the "control" stringing method, and the "dingle dangle" (I'm not sure if I'm going to continue calling it this lol) dampner are both Lacoste patented!

    Makes sense as the Wilson T4000/5000 were first available in 1977? Coach or maybe Retro will know, and so the dampners were licensed from Lacoste as well. Also this helps to date my metal Lacostes with the dampners in the end.

    Really great post Sanglier!
     
    #48
  49. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    Well i found my last missing Lacoste rackets, they were in a box marked "Le Coq Sportif", whoops! So here we go:-

    [​IMG]
     
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  50. Hannah19

    Hannah19 Professional

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    BOXES, Jon...???
    These don't belong in boxes...They should be on display!!!!
    How many rackets do you have anyway...??!!
     
    #50

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