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  #1  
Old 12-13-2011, 06:34 AM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default Mid 50's Gretsch Tom in Cadillac Green & Gold

I won this on eBay last night and I'm pretty thrilled with it. Although the gold hardware may just be painted not plated.........still, if the finish is what lots of folks are saying it is (including the seller) Cadillac Green....then it is one rare puppy.
Yes....it's a little beat up, but hey...it's over 50 and it may have seen a few bar fights haha. Who knows who owned it over the years - it's a mystery. The seller got it at an estate sale in Pennsylvania and there was no documentation with it....it wasn't even advertised.
I paid a few bucks for it alright....someone else wanted it almost as bad as I did and I had to dig in pretty good to overcome.
I'll post more photos when I get it. It will look really nice in there with my 58 Gold Sparkle Gretsch kit.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:39 PM
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larryz larryz is offline
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Default Re: Mid 50's Gretsch Tom in Cadillac Green & Gold

I love stories like yours. Fun to imagine where this drum has been in the last 50 years. How much did you plunk down for it? Curious. It ain't sparkling too much now but it'll be a fun restoration project. Pictures too.. Keep us updated.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:10 PM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default Re: Mid 50's Gretsch Tom in Cadillac Green & Gold

535 bones. It will be well over $600 by the time it gets to me (shipping/tax/Customs fee if they look at it and there may be a brokerage fee for deliivery at this end). You never know on eBay - there was one other person that wanted it almost as much as I did so things heated up pretty good haha. I put my max bid very high to make sure I got it. Hey....it's only money and this is a DRUM we're talking about = no comparison......right?

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Originally Posted by larryz View Post
I love stories like yours. Fun to imagine where this drum has been in the last 50 years. How much did you plunk down for it? Curious. It ain't sparkling too much now but it'll be a fun restoration project. Pictures too.. Keep us updated.
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:05 PM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Mid 50's Gretsch Tom in Cadillac Green & Gold

Super beauty. Now all you have to do is wait the big waiting game ... and score a matching kick and floor tom. Or ..... have a matching kick and floor tom made (to match).
Damn ... now I have a project in my head. Get a Gretsch "players" kit ... strip all the hardware off of it and send it out to the gold platters. Then, a Cadillac green lacquer paint job, for the shells. That would be the "easy" part ... the hard part would be getting the "matching" Cadillac, to press into service as a drum hauler. And to think, at one time, I had a '64 Caddy Sedan de Ville. Hmmmm.
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Last edited by harryconway; 12-29-2011 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:42 AM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default Re: Mid 50's Gretsch Tom in Cadillac Green & Gold

I found information that the drum is factory paint and 24K gold hardware.

The hardware:
I took the drum to a jeweler the day it arrived. He scraped a little of that flat gold paint off a lug and confirmed gold plating under the paint.

The cadillac green paint:
Gretsch did paint some drums Cadillac Green over white plastic.....and that is what was done to my drum. Around the same time Gretsch introduced their NITRON (plastic) wrap finish....1954 Gretsch drum catalog. Cadillac Green painted shells and the Cadi Green Nitron shells were offered with only 24K gold hardware.

I was able to remove all the flat gold paint without damaging the gold plating - I used Acetone and soft rags. The plating is worn and the shell has some small gouges and rubs'n small cracks (in the painted surface) here and there but it is in good shape overall.

I put new Coated Ambassadors on the drum now but have ordered American White calfhide that I will be custom fitting to the drum.

I'm using it with my late 50's Gold Sparkle Gretsch kit..........green'n gold.


A short video shot immediately after I put the drum back together after cleaning.
http://s194.photobucket.com/albums/z...CLEANEDMVI.mp4

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THE LUGS AFTER PAINT REMOVED

DRUM PUT BACK TOGETHER AFTER CLEANING

DRUM WITH GOLD SPARKLE GRETSCH KIT - THE BONGOS IN THE UPPER LEFT ARE LATE 50'S MAYBE 60-61? Gretsch in Copper lacquer finish. Picked them up on eBay this past summer. I'm pretty sure they have the original heads which are in excellant condition. I took the original bongo bridge (holds the drums together) off and stored it. It was a little too small to fit the bongo stand so I made one that would fit....a little wider....so I can play them here.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:53 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: Mid 50's Gretsch Tom in Cadillac Green & Gold

Man, that came out looking beau - ti - ful. Now it's just play the waiting game, and hope to score a kick and a floor tom to match. After all, what else are you going to do, once you retire ? Play drums ... of course.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:25 PM
KONA KONA is offline
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Default Re: Mid 50's Gretsch Tom in Cadillac Green & Gold

Harry
I had better round the bd &ft....maybe snare too, before I retire.....I would not be able to afford to bit on the drums after I retire. Right now I'm very happy with just the one drum. I'll play it for a while....maybe a long while. If someone some day came looking for it to match the rest of the kit they had I would even consider selling it to them just to keep the drum in it's proper home. On the other hand - if they had the ft/bd & snare (unlikely) and wanted to sell it to me I would do what I had to do to buy the drums. I don't think there are very many of these 'painted' cadi greens from those days around. Someone commented on my short video on Youtube that there is 9. I don't know who that was or how they came up with that number. Maybe Chet knows??

Today....I will take this drum apart to see if I can sort out a rattle. I'm hoping it's in the lugs - springs = easy fix (little cotton wipes from the drug store). If it's a nic or two in a bearing edge = not so easy - and I may just live with it until I get my calfhide. Calfhide conforms to the edges better than plastic heads and if it's a bearing edge problem that may solve it.

Cheers,
Gary

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Man, that came out looking beau - ti - ful. Now it's just play the waiting game, and hope to score a kick and a floor tom to match. After all, what else are you going to do, once you retire ? Play drums ... of course.
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