Best items you found at thrift stores (Goodwill)?

There is a Goodwill next door to where I get my hair cut. I decided to stop in today and there was a Profile 2.7 110, with "St. Vincent" on the butt cap in 8.5/10 condition (no cover) for $3.99. To give you an idea of when this was probably last used, it had green gauze as a grip wrap.:cool: I left it since I have two early Profiles in the closet from back in the day, and of all the racquets in my "collection" it did more to ruin my game than any other.:(

There were also two "Penn" branded graphite frames there, with a thin rounded beam and looking very 1990's. I left my phone in the car so I didn't take photos, but one had purple lettering and the other green. I have not heard of Penn branded racquets before and I assume they are some sort of big box special. Anybody have any insight?
 
OK this is just getting silly now... Yamaha Secret 10 for £3 in Stroud Green... Yonex Super RQ 500 SP for £10 in Islington...

And then I stumbled across an outrageous haul on the Holloway Rd. On asking whether there were any rackets out back, I was presented with a pristine Head Radical 9 racket bag. I opened it like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction: Graphene XT Speed MP... Graphene Radical MP... Graphene XT Radical MPA... All in 9/10 or unused condition. £50 for the lot, including the bag and 2 cans of balls that were in the bag. Now I have been around these here parts long enough to know that the MPA is a bit of a dog’s dinner and that the Graphene MP is about as easy on the arm as a half nelson. However I’m always keen to explore new and interesting ways to give myself tennis elbow and the key point is: there were more rackets that I left behind.... there was another Graphene Speed MP (different version - think it may have been the original graphene one), an XT Instinct Lite, a graphene extreme and a yonex ultimum rq ti 2000. So if you are in London and want a cheap, new racket, get yourself down to the Holloway Rd pronto.

I am, needless to say, starting to run out of room in my place...
I should have been born in Blighty. As if it weren't enough that you guys have better slang, better beer, better literature, and Patsy Kensit... You get as many almost-free sticks as you want, too!
 
Yesterday I found a Pk Golden Ace, Prince Power Pro and a Head Elite Director 720 at a local Goodwill.

Within the last couple of years I got several nice finds: US made Prestige Pro, iprestige mid, PS Classic 95, RD-7 and RD-8, single stripe POG OS...
I am thinking about starting a thread where I play test some of these classics







They are all over the house


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I have not heard of Penn branded racquets before and I assume they are some sort of big box special. Anybody have any insight?
Penn had a Red Head/PDP Open knockoff back in the 70s; but I don't recall seeing any graphite models with their branding. Interesting.

Perhaps when Head gobbled up Penn in the late '90s, it was to (s)quash any attempt by Penn to dominate the graphite racket market!!! :)
 
There is a Goodwill next door to where I get my hair cut. I decided to stop in today and there was a Profile 2.7 110, with "St. Vincent" on the butt cap in 8.5/10 condition (no cover) for $3.99. To give you an idea of when this was probably last used, it had green gauze as a grip wrap.:cool: I left it since I have two early Profiles in the closet from back in the day, and of all the racquets in my "collection" it did more to ruin my game than any other.:(

There were also two "Penn" branded graphite frames there, with a thin rounded beam and looking very 1990's. I left my phone in the car so I didn't take photos, but one had purple lettering and the other green. I have not heard of Penn branded racquets before and I assume they are some sort of big box special. Anybody have any insight?
I’ve come across some Penn racquets in my time including woods. Usually say “Pennsylvania” on them but have seen the newer “Penn” as well.
 
I am traveling this week, visiting family in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, and had to check out a few charity shops and Play It Again Sport shops. No luck at the thrift stores, but I was impressed at the quality of frames at the two PIAS shops I visited. One shop had a minty pair of PS6.1 95 Classics for a fair price, as well as a nice Yonex R-30 (the rare graphite-boron-ceramic über-Rexking model), a mint early grommetless Fox WB-210 Graphite, and a Snauwaert Royal Elegant (for the ladies!). I limited my purchases there to an unusually clean Wilson 5.5 Spin and a virtually unused Volkl V-Sense 9.
 
Day 1 of Wimbledon so the charity shops of SW19 have vacuumed up every racket in South London. Today’s spoils (there’s also a lovely PK Copper Ace that I picked up last week for £2):

Yamaha Gold 90 - £5



Head Elite Master for a tenner. I used to play with this racket during what I hesitate to call my prime. I enjoyed a reunion hit with it tonight, the racket getting into the celebratory nature of the occasion by showering me with a confetti of grommets on each shot...



Yonex Nanospeed RQ7 SP. Another tenner. Seems quite light but solid at the same time. I know nowt about it so any info would be gratefully received. There were 4 of them in the shop, all mint, the others with Gasquet-like half-grips and all having spent their early years in Japan (from the looks of the stringing sticker).



Wilson 2013 BLX Blade 98. £8, a few battle scars but otherwise in good nick.



Donnay Pro One International. £8 again. Given the number of cuts and scrapes on this one, it’s actually remarkable it’s still in one piece. I find the number of versions of this racket quite confusing - any insight on what version this is? What I found surprising is the length (or lack thereof) of the grip - think Trump’s the only one who’d have a shot at a 2HB on this one.



Yonex R-50. Another £8 flew out of the wallet. Pretty much pristine, felt quite head heavy from a brief hit.



There are any number of Hammers and a Prince EXO3 Blue in Southfields, more Hammers in Wimbledon Village and a mix of entry level Dunlops and wooden rackets (including a nice Wilson Stan Smith Autograph) in Wimbledon proper.


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Yonex R-50. Another £8 flew out of the wallet. Pretty much pristine, felt quite head heavy from a brief hit.

That model of Yonex was developed specifically for/by/with none other than Pat Cash, working with Ian Barclay and Yonex design staff working out of an office in SW London back in the day.

Given its tailoring, one can understand why you’d need to be a bit burly to operate it properly.

Nice frame, though, and not often seen.
 
Spalding ATP Tour Pro Line 300.
95 in2 Head Size. 315g Strung Weight. 3 Points Head Light. 16x19 String Pattern. Beam tapers from 24mm at the head to 22mm at the handle. 100% Graphite. Made in Malaysia.

It seems the Spalding ATP Tour Pro Line/Stock 200 design is “borrowed” from the Head Prestige. So I’m figuring that Spalding also “borrowed” another manufacturers model design for the 300 as well. Does anyone recognise what it might be? Fischer Vacuum Comp 95/Elliptic?

 
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Found a Wilson Hammer 6.2 (“skunk”) 95 stretch and a minty Wilson Jack Kramer Midsize (the weird midsize woody model) at Minneapolis-area thrift stores yesterday.
 
Found this Prince Graphite Volley 110 in West Hampstead for £3 along with the biggest racket bag I have ever seen (a 15+ racket Dunlop Aerogel 4d tournament job for £20). The Cancer Research should still have a Head LM Radical Tour and a Fischer that I left.



Picked up one more racket in Wimbledon this week. I could not justify the £100 for Alize Cornet’s signed Babolat bag in Wimbledon Village (funnily enough I bumped into her at the tennis this week and she seems absolutely lovely) but I did find this for a fiver down in Wimbledon proper:





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Offer ️ keeps sending POG’s my way! These two newer four stripes have barely been used. A “his” and a “hers” model. A 4 1/4 grip and a 4 5/8 grip. I haven’t seen many racquets in 5/8 recently. Feels excellent in hand. I’ll build up the “hers” model. Like new full covers were included.



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Picked up a pair of Pure Drive Plus Teams in Muswell Hill for £25 (including a 6 racket Head Extreme bag), bringing the number of Babolats I’ve found in 18 months of charity shop scouting to a dizzying total of 4.



Then I found this stuffed away in a fusty old racket bag in Victoria and snapped it up for £15 today - Graphene Touch Instinct MP. I initially couldn’t work out why someone would have given away a brand new racket but, having now read the reviews of graphene on this forum, I can only imagine its previous owner is a TW contributor.




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My score today was my first "welded" T2000 for $1.08 at Goodwill. Interesting to note is that it was 13.7oz and 674mm in length. One of my other T2000s (not welded) is 674mm and the other is 677mm. My T3000 is 670mm. Surprisingly my TX6000 is 658mm in length.
 
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Today’s finds:

Wilson Jimmy Connors American Star. £3 in Holloway. 20mm shorter than Slazenger Challenger No. 1, love the paint job:



Head Elektra Master 660. Picked this one up for £5 in Turnpike Lane - the second one I’ve found this month. Probably one set of workable grommets between them...



Spalding Orbitech xl for £6 in Highbury. Surely the choice of the more miserly string buyer, with its 16x17 stringing pattern. Currently idly wondering whether I could fit the cat through the throat.



In sharp contrast, a nice new Pro Kennex Micro Comp rocking a bananas 22x27 stringing pattern. Another £6 from the same place as the Spalding. Makes my Head Comp Radial (22x23) look like a Snauwaert Hi-Ten.



Near new Slazenger Pro Graphite for £4 in Southgate. Got my hopes up that I’d finally stumbled on a Pro Braided but I think it’s the little sibling. Still, it’s not too shabby at 327g and 6HL so looking forward to a hit.



Dunlop AG 500 Tour. Not sure why I picked this up to be honest other than it was £3 and I can’t pass up an impulse purchase.



Finally, another curate’s egg to add to my burgeoning hyper-niche “rackets with a racing car connection” haul (the sole occupant of which has been to date the Prince Benetton Formula 1 Vortex) - a Jaguar High Modulus Graphite Limited Edition. It’s at pains to stress that it’s “for men” only - nothing like a spot of 90s casual misogyny. Brand spanking new in its glitzy British racing green, it cost another princely £3. Even with a stripped down grip, it comes in a punchy 335g. Another of my rackets that seems to have flown under Google’s radar - can’t find out anything about this one.




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Stopped by the Goodwill next door to my barber again and they had a Prince aluminum (the original one with the green plastic throat piece) for $3.99. It was in decent shape but I left it since my Prince interest lies only in the Graffalloy made POG and perhaps the aluminum Pro that I played with briefly when I was 15. Then again, a Woodie is technically interesting...
 
I found a gorgeous PK Golden Ace for $4.99 at Goodwill. Super solid, comfy ground strokes. So controllable!!! And it looks great too.



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Fantastic find. JLC was one of my favorite players when I was a teenager. I remember how excited I was when we got USA Network (remember them?) on TV and they would show the various US Clay tournaments and JLC was on all the time. There was a time when JLC was unbeatable on Har-Tru.
 
There’s GOTTA be something great in this jumble, right?
I found a nearly mint ProKennix Black Ace and a very nice Chris Evert Signature 93 - it looks like a PS with a paint job and included a letter from the factory explaining how to care for your graphite composite racket.



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atatu

Hall of Fame
There’s GOTTA be something great in this jumble, right?
I found a nearly mint ProKennix Black Ace and a very nice Chris Evert Signature 93 - it looks like a PS with a paint job and included a letter from the factory explaining how to care for your graphite composite racket.



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See that "Tensor" in the top left corner ? That was my first racket as a kid, a t-2000 knock off, got it about when I was about 10, so yeah 46 years ago.
 
Unless my eyes are deceiving me, this appears to be a very early "Kennex" Black Ace, before Kunnan Lo "Pro"fessionalized his house brand in 1979. Nice catch!
That’s cool! Thanks!!
— I’d like to say I knew all about that Black Ace, but I had no idea it was a super early, “pre-Pro” model (I didn’t even spell Kennex correctly!)
I hope to hit with it this evening.


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To coin a phrase, that’s such stuff as dreams are made on... Great find!

My more mediocre contribution - a Wilson of unknown provenance for £4:



A Wilson k-factor k tour for £1.99 because the strings had gone. It ranks alongside the Dunlop 300G hotmelt and the Prince TT Warrior Tungsten as the biggest grot magnets in my collection. Cleaning this one is a Sisyphean task.



Finally, I came across this unused F-200 for a fiver today. I suspect my racket collecting habit will take a back seat for a good while now so it’s perhaps fitting that the same frame bookends this most enjoyable of distractions, with this whole treasure hunt originally kicking off after finding another NOS (but unstrung) Rossignol up in Golders Green in spring last year (pics of both below). I had been sorely tempted to string up the other one so this is truly a gift from the gods!






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To coin a phrase, that’s such stuff as dreams are made on... Great find!

My more mediocre contribution - a Wilson of unknown provenance for £4:



A Wilson k-factor k tour for £1.99 because the strings had gone. It ranks alongside the Dunlop 300G hotmelt and the Prince TT Warrior Tungsten as the biggest grot magnets in my collection. Cleaning this one is a Sisyphean task.



Finally, I came across this unused F-200 for a fiver today. I suspect my racket collecting habit will take a back seat for a good while now so it’s perhaps fitting that the same frame bookends this most enjoyable of distractions, with this whole treasure hunt originally kicking off after finding another NOS (but unstrung) Rossignol up in Golders Green in spring last year (pics of both below). I had been sorely tempted to string up the other one so this is truly a gift from the gods!






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How is that Possible! How is that there are still NOS F200 with Wilander’s name on it after 30 years!?
 
How is that Possible! How is that there are still NOS F200 with Wilander’s name on it after 30 years!?
Even though it's a rhetorical question, I'm still going to answer it, because I am THAT nerdy. :)

The possible sources of these advanced-age NOS frames include:
1) The children or caregivers of former racquetholics who bought more spares than they could use up
2) The children or caregivers of those who received these racquets as unwanted gifts
3) The children or caregivers of someone who worked in the industry, whether in manufacturing or at the retail end.

I've come across old stocks that were sitting in a warehouse collecting dust, and bought from someone who received several boxes of NOS frames from a neighbor who made them almost 40 years ago. Our friend "Hannah19/vintagetennisgems" has been disposing a massive trove of NOS frames on the bay for the past 4 years. Some months ago, I also found this interesting little bunch at a small town GW, which are clearly from the estate of someone who once distributed or sold them:

 
I totally scored today at Goodwill.
1- a super nice Rosignol Strato. $3
2- a super dirty and worn, but not scratched or cracked Dunlop 200G. It will clean up very nicely. $6
3- this Völkl Servo-Pro Diagonal. Made from “epoxi + glas - carbon - aramidfaser.” Weird and fun. $6

Can’t wait to hit with all three.




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The Strato was one of my favorite wood racquets. It had great “feel”, all strokes just felt right. Good looking frame as well.


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I totally scored today at Goodwill.
1- a super nice Rosignol Strato. $3
2- a super dirty and worn, but not scratched or cracked Dunlop 200G. It will clean up very nicely. $6
3- this Völkl Servo-Pro Diagonal. Made from “epoxi + glas - carbon - aramidfaser.” Weird and fun. $6

Can’t wait to hit with all three.




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I wonder what the volkl would play like if strung in ordinary main & cross pattern. :)

edit: I mean it was designed to string diagonally but still can be strung in ordinary way, right?
 
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I wonder what the volkl would play like if strung in ordinary main & cross pattern. :)

edit: I mean it was designed to string diagonally but still can be strung in ordinary way, right?
It looks like the tubes through the frame are all angled for diagonal stringing, so I’m not sure it’s possible to try a conventional string job. Seems like it would damage things?
I used it yesterday to hit against a wall and it felt really pretty good. Lots of power and good control.
But I went back to the Dunlop 200G. That thing is amazing.


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The Strato was one of my favorite wood racquets. It had great “feel”, all strokes just felt right. Good looking frame as well.


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Totally agree. The Strato has great feel and the power’s pretty good, too. These days I’ll break out a Chris Evert Autograph on fun days, but I’m going to add the Strato to my bag. Still a good hitter.


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I made my monthly post haircut visit to the Goodwill next door to the barbershop, and I actually bought a very nice Prince Pro 110 (the black aluminum one) for $5.99. I only buy racquets that I used to use but no longer have, or stuff that I wanted but never got. This falls into the former category, having used the Pro for one season when I was 14-15 before moving up to the POG. This looks to be a slightly later production since the patent sticker shows both 1979 and 1983 (I used it in 1980). It appeared that whoever owned this previously took pretty good care of it. It still has the original two tone Prince branded leather grip in nice, if rock hard, condition. They tried to tape the top of the head to protect it, but I recall these black painted frames looked pretty bad after a few matches since every little scrape revealed the shiny aluminum beneath. Otherwise the rest of the finish is really nice. The fact that the strings have a "P" stencil on them is also a confidence builder.

With all the versions and reissues of the POG, does anyone know how many versions of the Pro were made? I actually recall my two frames being slightly different back in the day with slightly different graphics as I got them at two different times from two different stores.

They also had a goofy looking modern Wilson N-code N6 which felt like it weighed sub-10 oz for $2.99 that I left on the rack.
 
Henry--that Jaguar racket looks like a Black Ace clone to me. Nice frame.

Sarcastic--the Stratos was one of my fav woodies too. I have a white one, white overgrip, black strings. Gave it a nice look.
 

atatu

Hall of Fame
I found a Wilson Profile 110 today for $2.99 at Goodwill, it's in remarkably good shape for a racket this old, maybe 8/10. I have a friend who still uses these so maybe he will want it.

 
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