The only previous owner of this drum had it for about 52 yrs. It was bought new by his Mom as a gift for Christmas 1967. She bought the bass drum, a Ludwig Acrolite snare drum (dated Dec 1967), a Zildjian cymbal, and all the stands and pedals to support a 2 piece kit. The Son played the kit from 1967 to 1972 and then stored it away. This bronze lacquer finish is one of Ludwig's rarest from the 1960's. And to find it in a time-capsule 18" bass drum that is 100% original is simply incredible. Most of these lacquered paint finishes have cracked, peeled, and flaked like crazy....and look horrendous today. Not this one.
I removed the original heads only to inspect the interior and bearing edges. All was good. I cleaned off the dust and put them back after taking photos. I used a micro-fiber cloth sprayed with a light liquid wax to wipe dust off the shell. Didn't want to clean the lugs, claws or anything else. That's for the next long term caretaker of this drum. There's no pitting or rust on the chrome pieces though they have a thine cloudy film from 52 yrs of sitting. They should all clean up very nice in a detergent soap solution. Made no attempts to touch up the hoops or missing spots of lacquer paint. They're original only once.
The only real wear and tear on this vintage kick drum are where the batter hoop saw chatter on each side from a pair of hoop mounted 1940's Radio King toms...and the usual kick pedal chatter. This one is in a rare lacquer color, in a rare size, and not in the common Club Date single lug design where nearly all of the bronze mist drums seem to appear. This drum could fit close enough with Burgundy Sparkle, Mahogany lacquer, Walnut lacquer, and even plain old brown lacquer. The bronze mist lacquer looks reddish brown with light gold specks in the paint....very similar to the metallic paint car finishes of the 1960's. A very neat and little seen finish.
This is a highly collectible drum with no tom or cymbal mounting holes. The hoops are done with silver sparkle inlay rather than the more commonly seen gold sparkle inlay. The drum is dated January 1967. The badge number is 44XXXX. Original weather master coated ambassador bass drum heads are still in very nice condition. No cracks in the shells. The resonant hoop is pretty round. But the batter hoop has some hoop distortion top and bottom (about 1/8th inch). It's not visible at all when the drum is set up for playing.
The bearing edges on both sides are excellent. I couldn't even find the tiniest split on the batter side. One tiny 1/4" piece of the silver wrap missing on the batter hoop. And a little gap in one other spot that sits under a lower lug. I note 5 small paint chips around the main shell exterior (excluding the hoops) and one light 2" graze/scratch. This paint finish is known for flaking like crazy, especially on the bass drums and floor toms. Fortunately, this drum hasn't been affected like nearly all the others. The drum has no alterations and no extra holes. The felt muffler strip on the batter side is original. Beside the date stamp I note a black "C" on the shell interior for some sort of Ludwig internal check.
Very nice little vintage drum that is ready to play. I can arrange to deliver this drum to CT, MA, RI, NY City area.....or even ship around the US if needed. Phones calls or messages only. I cannot accept texts.
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