Best items you found at thrift stores (Goodwill)?

mclee025

Rookie
...a weird Dunlop I could not identify). It was a thin beam open throat composite of some sort, and I think it said "McEnroe Pro" on the cover. The racquet itself was a rather unattractive hearing aid beige color. Any idea what it was? ...
Based on some of your clues, that racquet sounds like the racquet you see in the picture in the following link:

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/dunlop-maxply-mcenroe-graphite-users.598887/

Funny enough, I happened to find one in my closet a few days ago and dragged mine court today. My hitting buddy saw it, and I let him hit with it. He seemed to love its feel.
 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Today, I found an almost unused Head TiS6 Xtralong, and what I remember to be a rather rare Prince Pro (aluminum) Series 90. Both with their original covers!
 
Found this Fischer Pro Classic 90 for a fiver in Victoria, left behind one of those ultra thin triangular Hammer 5.8s and a slightly warped Adidas Nastase wooden racket.



That my friend is the main reason I check the thrift stores...

besides the 5k+ bespoke pinstripe suit (holland and sherry cashmere cloth) that Im having re-tailored to suit me the best Ive found was a pretty nice PS85, Taiwanese edition.... an earlier one strung with full vs gut. I can wail away on serves with it all day, yee haw!
 

Racket Crazy

New User
Bought these 4 bad boys yesterday for €5 or less! The Approach 90 was the expensive. The Head Graphite Pro Twaron Fiber (single) Power Wedge racket and the Wilson Pro Staff were half that price :-o

I was happy with the Head for a couple of reasons, one being that the grommets were actually in good shape! All my other Graphite Pro versions I have (4 other versions to be exact) had super brittle grommets. I also own the twaron fiber version without power wedge, but didnt know they made one with the single wedge. The top of the hoop feels much more responsive on this version than all the other ones as well (with the exception of the green one with ceramic in the layup).

The most interesting racket for me was the Dunlop Masters 85 racket. Head size is actually around 88 sq. inches in a round head design, and it has a tapered beam from 20mm at the handle to 26mm at the tip and 16×19 string pattern. Weight feels somey

I have built up a small collection of "Dunlop France" rackets the past couple of years. Sucky thing is that since it was not designed for the international market, I never heard of them growing up, so have nothing to reference. I own about 6 different frames from the French Dunlops and some of them play simply out-of-this-world tennis, but I can find absolutely NO info on them online :-(

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Racket Crazy

New User
I realized I was trying to write about the weight of the dunlop frame before I clicked & posted by accident.

I removed the old overgrip and the racket weighs precisely 350 grams strung with original grip... my IDEAL weight for a good players frame. The balance is also almost even, just a few points head light, so once my injury is over, I look forward to doing some ball crushing with it! :)

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graycrait

Hall of Fame
Brand new without tags. Picked it up at Goodwill. No evidence that this Head Pro Tour 280 Trysis has ever been hit. Pristine bumper, original string with logo, no ball fuzz in strings, grip was crumbling in the cover. I replaced the grip. It is even in my grip size 4&1/2. I was getting ready to cut the string out and restring with a multi to go have a hit with this "weird" find, but thought I better check this one out. A couple of years ago I gave away a Chicago PS 85 and didn't want to do something like that again. Holy Moly! Have you checked the prices of just used rackets of this Head model!? Edit 24hrs later: After reading a lot of threads I think this is probably one of those that sold for between 59.99 - 79.99 at the big box stores as the buttcap says made in China. I am going to cut out the OEM string, restring it and have a hit with it. I'm not overly fond of that rectangular grip but have no intention of changing the pallets. I'll likely give it to one of the college players when he returns in the fall as he is a Head fanboy.


 
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coachrick

Hall of Fame
Brand new without tags. Picked it up at Goodwill. No evidence that this Head Pro Tour 280 Trysis has ever been hit. Pristine bumper, original string with logo, no ball fuzz in strings, grip was crumbling in the cover. I replaced the grip. It is even in my grip size 4&1/2. I was getting ready to cut the string out and restring with a multi to go have a hit with this "weird" find, but thought I better check this one out. A couple of years ago I gave away a Chicago PS 85 and didn't want to do something like that again. Holy Moly! Have you checked the prices of just used rackets of this Head model!? @vsbabolat, someone told me you are the expert on this racket. Can you give me some advice, if t is possible, to turn this Head into a Yonex VCore Pro 97 310 or a couple of Chang 95 LB Ti's?


That was my last HEAD weapon of choice "back then", before I switched to the Volkl team. Nice to see a 'new' one !
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
That was my last HEAD weapon of choice "back then
I took it to the courts this morning and hit 150 serves with it and some self feed groundstrokes. Best $2.99 racket I have ever purchased, regardless of how much this one may have been sold for in a big box store. Seeing as this racket lived the last "20" years inside the cover I just used it as it was strung. Most comfortable 18x20 I have hit with.
 

max

Legend
For fun I picked up a $5 Dunlop Maxply Fort, in pretty acceptable shape, straight, no warp, 4 1/2 grip medium, then the next day went out and hit with my son. I can thwap the hell out the ball with this; took about 15 minutes to get used to it. But it's not bad at all, very "surgical"! More precise than graphite, but all the power is supplied by you.
 

Racket Crazy

New User
Nice Graphite Pro 600. Looks like the grommets aren’t dried out?
No these grommets are actually in almost new condition, which in and of itself is an amazing find because they are almost always worn out or crumbling after more than 30 years! I also look forward to putting in some new strings and testing it out this summer if my body will allow me to!

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retrowagen

Hall of Fame
Was traveling with Mrs. Retrowagen to a lovely seaside resort destination in California this week, to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary, and popped into a few thrift stores in the area. Passed on a really clean Wilson Galaxy with its original cover (the braided graphite tapered beam oversized Wilson sister of the Ultra 2), priced at $25.00. Also passed on a Dunlop Black Max, another Prince Pro Series 90 aluminum (found two in the last month, after several years of not seeing one in the wild), and a cracked MatchMate Graphite. Took home a well used Yonex R-22, and a minty Behringer practice amp to plug my Jaguar into.
 

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
Was traveling with Mrs. Retrowagen to a lovely seaside resort destination in California this week, to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary, and popped into a few thrift stores in the area. Passed on a really clean Wilson Galaxy with its original cover (the braided graphite tapered beam oversized Wilson sister of the Ultra 2), priced at $25.00. Also passed on a Dunlop Black Max, another Prince Pro Series 90 aluminum (found two in the last month, after several years of not seeing one in the wild), and a cracked MatchMate Graphite. Took home a well used Yonex R-22, and a minty Behringer practice amp to plug my Jaguar into.
+100 for Mrs Retrowagon!

Mrs dak95_00 and his children do not enter thrift stores with the old man! It’s a despised event each time he stops. Mrs dak95_00 won’t allow a stop.
 

Sarcastic

Rookie
Mrs. Sarcastic complains about thrift trips, except when I find her something. Yesterday found a near new pair of CoCo Chanel sunglasses. Retail fo $499 bought for $5 , except on Wednesday they let people under 55 get one item 1/2 price. Genuine Chanel sunglasses for $2.50 plus tax.


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retrowagen

Hall of Fame
+100 for Mrs Retrowagon!

Mrs dak95_00 and his children do not enter thrift stores with the old man! It’s a despised event each time he stops. Mrs dak95_00 won’t allow a stop.
Yep, Mrs. Retrowagen is a keeper!

One hard-learned secret (not of the Yamaha variety, I might add) of wedded harmony and longevity that I am happy to share with my colleagues here is to always treat one’s loved ones as far more important than one’s hobbies or things. An audit of where we spend our time and money shows where our hearts really are, and what we really, truly care about.
 

Racket Crazy

New User
Yep, Mrs. Retrowagen is a keeper!

One hard-learned secret (not of the Yamaha variety, I might add) of wedded harmony and longevity that I am happy to share with my colleagues here is to always treat one’s loved ones as far more important than one’s hobbies or things. An audit of where we spend our time and money shows where our hearts really are, and what we really, truly care about.
Amen Retrowagen... preach it! Now those are words of wisdom to take in

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Sanglier

Semi-Pro
You are a poet, Retro! Yours is a far more commendable approach to matrimonial harmony than the one my unfortunate spouse has had to adapt to, which can be summarized as:

It could have been much worse!

Back to the topic of this thread: the pickings around here have never been rich, and I have largely stopped visiting thrift stores, but I came across this licensed Soviet copy of the Kneissl Blue Star Mid (called "Progress") the other day, which counts as my only interesting GW racquet find this year. @BorgCash mentioned in another thread that these are as common as dirt in Moscow and aren't worth anything, but in a sea of trashed kiddie sticks and Walmart specials, this was certainly an unusual (and welcome) sight. Some years ago, I also found a Soviet-made "IPTS Bolshevik" sport jacket at a different GW. Evidently the many engineers and scientists here from Russia and other former Soviet republics have been quietly helping to make GW inventories slightly more interesting for some time.

 
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kevin qmto

Rookie
Bought this because I'd never seen or owned a graphite Gamma racket before. It's a power beast for sure, but not horrible, and cost less than $10.

Apparently this Accura line dates to the mid 90s, and I like the look of it.

 

retrowagen

Hall of Fame
You are a poet, Retro! Yours is a far more commendable approach to matrimonial harmony than the one my unfortunate spouse has had to adapt to, which can be summarized as:

It could have been much worse!

Back to the topic of this thread: the pickings around here have never been rich, and I have largely stopped visiting thrift stores, but I came across this licensed Soviet copy of the Kneissl Blue Star Mid (called "Progress") the other day, which counts as my only interesting GW racquet find this year. @BorgCash mentioned in another thread that these are as common as dirt in Moscow and aren't worth anything, but in a sea of trashed kiddie sticks and Walmart specials, this was certainly an unusual (and welcome) sight. Some years ago, I also found a Soviet-made "IPTS Bolshevik" sport jacket at a different GW. Evidently the many engineers and scientists here from Russia and other former Soviet republics have been quietly helping to make GW inventories slightly more interesting for some time.

Wow, @Sanglier, now that is an odd sight in our neck o’ the woods!

If you feel the need to do some racquet Pogrom-ing to restore some degree of marital excellence, let’s chat about this specimen, eh? ;-)
 

RDM

Rookie
I passed on this one yesterday. Supposedly one of the last brand and models to be made in Australia.
 

Ultra 2

Professional
That Gamma has a drill pattern similar to the Prince Extender I have. I wonder how many brands/models rackets of the 90s had that "offset" drill pattern and what was the idea behind it?
I would guess to get a little more bite on the ball? Or maybe just an retro idea of how the string patterns were like on the wood frames? Probably more of an “idea” than it serving as a function in real life.
 

BorgCash

Legend
You are a poet, Retro! Yours is a far more commendable approach to matrimonial harmony than the one my unfortunate spouse has had to adapt to, which can be summarized as:

It could have been much worse!

Back to the topic of this thread: the pickings around here have never been rich, and I have largely stopped visiting thrift stores, but I came across this licensed Soviet copy of the Kneissl Blue Star Mid (called "Progress") the other day, which counts as my only interesting GW racquet find this year. @BorgCash mentioned in another thread that these are as common as dirt in Moscow and aren't worth anything, but in a sea of trashed kiddie sticks and Walmart specials, this was certainly an unusual (and welcome) sight. Some years ago, I also found a Soviet-made "IPTS Bolshevik" sport jacket at a different GW. Evidently the many engineers and scientists here from Russia and other former Soviet republics have been quietly helping to make GW inventories slightly more interesting for some time.

Actually this racquet plays great.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
Probably more of an “idea” than it serving as a function in real life.
I took down my pair (don't ask why a pair) of 116" Prince Extenders to take a closer look again. One thing this pattern does is allow the outer mains to remain firm but slide back and forth nicely. I wonder how big the sweet spot is on the Extender? In any case there must have not been enough demand for this pattern and/or it was too costly to manufacture.
 

Sanglier

Semi-Pro
One thing this pattern does is allow the outer mains to remain firm but slide back and forth nicely.
This is one of the advantages hinted by Stephen Davis, the author of a statutory invention registration (not a patent) at the basis of this design (itself an 'improvement' on earlier patented designs that didn't go far enough, per Davis). Other advantages claimed include: 1) a "quieter" string bed, because the strings facing the ball during the impact are stretched more than those facing away, creating different vibration modes between the two sets of strings that tend to cancel each other out; 2) reduced "cupping" due to more uniform deformation over a larger area; 3) "modal dampening" of frame vibrations, because the staggered string positions work against torsional frame vibrations.

Earlier patents that advocated for this type of string bed also claimed that it reduced string wear and improved off-center ball response, because, as you noticed yourself, the outer strings can move more freely here than on a conventional string bed during ball impact.

I am not sure why this "technology" faded away after a few years, but I assume the improvement in performance turned out to be a lot greater on paper than on the court, like so many others, or maybe because many stringers absolutely hated it.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame
or maybe because many stringers absolutely hated it.
When I was "bending" Zyex crosses over those 68lb Ash Kevlar outer mains I was grimacing at every pull, just wondering when the Zyex would break. It didn't on either racket. I'm going to have to take one out again for a hit, but that head heavy 10.3oz wide body 116" head as I remember was not that much fun.
 
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Racket Crazy

New User
I wandered alone into a thrift store yesterday to find a Lobster Elite 1 ball machine for $30. It needs a battery and charger. I have a Lobster machine with charger so I was able to confirm it works. I figure for an additional $100 I’ll have it running and looking new again.
Wow.... simply WOW!

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dak95_00

Hall of Fame
Re: The Lobster.
I’ve also always hoped to find a nice stringing machine or ball machine. A worker saw me looking it over and said it had been there as long as he’d been there. It was marked down from $130 down to $30 with other markdowns taken in between. He also didn’t know what it was and enjoyed my description.

I almost didn’t see it. It was behind some other “stuff.”
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
I don’t think I can topple the Lobster (to coin a phrase) but, as it’s the first day of Wimbledon, the rackets have returned to South-West London. There was nowt in Wimbledon itself other than a Head ti.radical mp (already have one), a Yamaha Secret 20 (its profile was a little too, well, Profile-like) and a whole meteorological microclimate of Prince thunders and lightnings. Southfields was another story:



Slazenger Phantom Comp - no idea about this one other than it had the nice little decal below on the throat which, given my level of self-discipline, was enough for me to push the button (£2.50)





Brand spanking new Head Graphite Radial, plus bag, for a tenner. Doubles as a fly-swat with that ludicrous string pattern. Found a matching Head Lady Radial later in Mortlake but left it (someone once asked on this site what the difference between these rackets was - to which someone replied that one was made out of graphite and one was made out of ladies).



Yonex RDX 500 Mid for a fiver. Hit with it tonight and this is an absolute pearler.

Having left SW19 behind, I swanned around Mortlake, picking up a 12 racket Babolat bag for £15. Given the rest of the day, this was a win for me and a massive opportunity lost for Harley Street osteopaths.

I found a RD7 in West Brompton for a fiver. I’ve found 2 of these before in charity shops but this one is the pick of the bunch - 8/10 easily.



I then embarked on a mission to impress @Autodidactic player, snapping up these rackets in Hammersmith and Putney:





Dunlop Max Longbow for £2. Not exactly easy on the eye but an absolute hoot to play.





£5 well spent on this Fin Genius with its curious vibration dampening system. The decal is as pithy as most of my posts on this sub-forum.

I rounded off the day with this K factor 6.1 95 (18*20) for £3 - left behind a mint K Pro Open (oxfam in Putney if anyone is interested in it).



The only other purchase of note (other than a particularly delicious ciabatta in Barnes) was this book which was frankly the only thing of interest in Wimbledon village:

 
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Plainsman83

New User
Henry Hub:
Your regular score of finds never ceases to amaze me. How may frames do you have in your collection? I always enjoy seeing some of the more unusual models that are rare in the US.
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
@Henry Hub - my old stomping ground! I lived in Templesheen Road, East Sheen, back in the 80’s. Miss SW London in the summertime!
I was in a shop at the top of your old road yesterday! Great place to live now if you like your tennis - the national tennis centre is just off the main drag! Can’t imagine it was the same set up in the 80s though?
 

Henry Hub

Rookie
Henry Hub:
Your regular score of finds never ceases to amaze me. How may frames do you have in your collection? I always enjoy seeing some of the more unusual models that are rare in the US.
Thanks very much! I have just checked the spreadsheet and am somewhat alarmed that yesterday’s little haul has nudged the collection past the 200 mark. Some might call this habit obsessive compulsion; I prefer “focussed enthusiasm”.
 

Racket Crazy

New User
Thanks very much! I have just checked the spreadsheet and am somewhat alarmed that yesterday’s little haul has nudged the collection past the 200 mark. Some might call this habit obsessive compulsion; I prefer “focussed enthusiasm”.
Don't be too "alarmed" man. I have built up AT LEAST twice as many in my collection the past few years from thrift stores, charity shops & 2nd hand goods stores. I hope I don't fall into the obsessive category then...

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Racket Crazy

New User
Here are some of my finds from the last few weeks. Later on I have to take some time and post some of my absolutely INSANE purchases ;-)

The Fischer Elleptic was in great shape and is another on of the tapered beam beauties to add to my collection if Elliptic frames. Was about 3 euros. The Wilson Hammer 6 was 2.50 & the Head Ti-Fire only 1 euro. The Head I-Speed (18×19 version of the Fire frame) and the original Dunlop Revelation 95 were both a fiver.

The last two I bought together at a thrift store. Both of them were €1. The Dunlop I restrung and regripped, so thats what you see in the photo. Prince only with a new overgrip.

The Prince I had owned 20 years ago, but thought it was rubbish back then when strung with synthetic gut. Fast forward 20 years and polyester strings... what a difference! This one I found strung with a full bed of a softer gray colored poly stribg which I sadly can't identify. However, I have NEVER hit with such a topspin monster with that combination of feel, control and power as this racket has. Placing some lead at 3,6,9& 12... I can put the ball anywhere in the court at will with varying height and depth. The best €1 I have ever spent on a racket!

The Dunlop Maxply McEnroe is also a hidden gem among Dunlop rackets. Dimension/specs are almost identical to the old 300G, but stiffer RA. It gives easy power and spin on any shot, but relatively lightweight and stable. For more advanced players a great way to not have to do all the work but still hit great shots!

Now these are a few of my finds from the last couple of days/weeks . I still have a few hundred to go


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graycrait

Hall of Fame
The Prince I had owned 20 years ago, but thought it was rubbish back then when strung with synthetic gut. Fast forward 20 years and polyester strings... what a difference! This one I found strung with a full bed of a softer gray colored poly stribg which I sadly can't identify
I put a fresh set of Revolve at 53lbs in my lightest 4-stripe POG OS and had a good hit with it last night. I'm going to keep swinging it for a week or two and see how it goes. I had the I wants for a new Yonex or Wilson my buddies are either buying or demoing, but after last night I am no longer interested.
 
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