Who was the first to use a paintjob?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Bodacious DVT, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Bodacious DVT

    Bodacious DVT Semi-Pro

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    sorry if this has been posted before (i couldnt find anything)

    With all the recent talk of paintjobs goin on, I'm just curious as to who the first pro to use a paintjob was and what racquet they used/painted it to look like. any possible pics would be great

    thanks!
     
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  2. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    It might have been Rod Laver in the 70's. An upstart racquet company called 'Chemold' signed Laver, Roy Emerson, Tony Roche, and Margaret Court to some of the first high dollar racquet endorsements. Chemold made aluminum racquets. Laver had throughout his career used Dunlop Maxply's (wood) and after playing with the aluminum racquets for a while decided he didn't like them and started using Dunlop Maxply wood racquets with 'Chemold' paint on them. They weren't trying to make them look like the aluminum racquets--they just didn't want them to look like Dunlops. Also around the same time Ilie Nastase, who also had played with Dunlop Maxply's, signed an endorsement deal to use Adidas racquets but rumour had it he kept using the Dunlops with Adidas paint jobs. There were other rumours of paint jobs back in the wood racquet days since they all had similar shapes it was hard to tell if they were the real deal or paint jobs. So it has been going on for some time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
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  3. giolp

    giolp New User

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    one of the first "hey! that's a paintjob!" I can remember was Stefan Edberg's Wilson Pro Staff Original 85" painted to look like a Pro Staff Classic 95".
    it was nearly impossible not to notice it...
     
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  4. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I heard even Jack Kramer used paintjobs back in the 40's.
     
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  5. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    I don't have my copy of the memoir Kramer wrote in the mid-70's handy, but you are correct - the Kramer autograph heavy version was 14 oz and his custom was 15 oz and stiffer than the off-the-shelf model.
     
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  6. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Jack Kramers book was "The Game" and his custom JK autograph model was actually like 17oz. His mentor Elli Vines advised Jack to play heavier like he did. Those rackets were not actually paint jobs since nothing was painted over, they just were not the stock rackets. I do think the Laver woody painted to look like the metal chemold was one of the first and most deceptive "paint jobs". I have one of Jacks custom rackets, sure wish I had one of Bjorns modified donnay borg pro's.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
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  7. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Thanks for the correction on the weight. I would say, though, that anytime you have the cosmetics of a racket available to the public when the pro's specs are much different, it is a "paint job". Head's pro room Prestiges start life black and lighter than the Flexpoint Prestiges and are then weighted and balanced to the pro's liking - even though they are not painted-over FP Prestiges, they are paintjobs in the sense it is used on these boards. What Laver and Nastase did would now be illegal following the Safin decision regarding Head and Dunlop. The Laver racket was not painted to look like a woodie, it was supposedly a wooden Chemold - you can't make a woodie look like a split-throat aluminum frame any more than you can fake an 03 frame.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
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  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Actually, I recall Laver painting his Dunlop Maxply Fort wood racquets to look like the Chemold aluminum racquets, with the split throat and all. I mean today they paint on the LiquidMetal ridges so I guess they can paint on an open throat, too. I'm sure it didn't look very real up close but they only had to fool the TV viewers. Besides, most non-tennis gearheads would probably pay more attention to the logo on the strings than the paintjob of the racquet.
     
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  9. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    I don't know how you can make a wood racquet look like a open throat aluminum racquet. HEAD did a very poor job of it with Liquidmetal putting decals of grey stripes on the racquets.

    Anyway here are some photos of Rod Laver with a Aluminum Chemold, a Maxply Fort with all the paint stripped off, and a black and white photo of a wood racquet painted white with Chemold painted on it.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
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  10. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Here is the black and white photo of what I assume to be a Maxply Fort painted to look like a wood Chemold.
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    No, that can't be. He only signed with Chemold much later in his career and this pic is obviously from much earlier in his career. When he was with Chemold, his hair was much longer as was the style in the '70's.
     
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  12. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    [​IMG]
    This photo was taken at Wimbledon 1970 with Rod Laver using a Maxply Fort with Chemold Paint Job.


    Well you are not going to like this photo either. This is from 1970 and Rod has short hair.
    [​IMG]
    Rod using the Chemold aluminum racquet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
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  13. Sausalito

    Sausalito New User

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    Just let me say this is an AWESOME post, thanks for sharing the knowledge.
    "Paintjobs that make you go "humm"", first one I remember is Martina Navratilova using an all blackened Max200g with the Yonex logo on the strings.
     
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  14. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Funny thing about the date of that photo is that on Getty Images, it says it's from the "1970 Wimbledon", but then on the bottom it says the date created was on "Jan. 1, 1970". Hmmm..... I wonder how accurate this info really is?
     
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  15. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    Laver's Dunlop with Chemold graphics was not painted to look like an aluminum racquet--that would have fooled no one. As pictured above when he first went back to the Dunlops he used them with no paint or logos on them. Later Chemold had the racquets painted not to look like an aluminum racquet but, as I said in my OP, not to look like a Dunlop.
     
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  16. jackcrawford

    jackcrawford Professional

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    Exactly - it would be like trying to paint a POG as an 03 Red - you would have to have an IQ of 15 to buy either of those PJ's. BTW, I have hit with one of the Chemold wood rackets that Laver's Dunlops were painted to look like; very flimsy, nothing like the Maxply.
     
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  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    I think you're right about that being a Chemold paintjob but it's hard to tell if that's really a Maxply Fort underneath or if that's really a Chemold wood racquet.

    Here's a pic of that Chemold wood racquet (on top) with what looks to be the same paintjob as the racquet that Laver is using in that above pic.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. classic tennis

    classic tennis Semi-Pro

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    Not the first but the Bancroft Borg was made by Donnay & painted & finished in the US giving it made in US content.
     
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  19. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    Chemold hurried to put out some 'Rod Laver' wood racquets more to save face than anything else when Laver decided he didn't want to use the aluminum models. Laver did not use them. As shown in the pics they were cheap pre-strung models sold mostly in department stores. As you probably gather Chemold did not last very long.
     
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