Gold Crown Barn Find

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Gold Crown Barn Find and Restoration

My buddy (@pocket) and I stumbled upon a very cool find locally. We responded to an ad on Offer Up for a Gold Crown 1 for sale in a bowling alley 3 miles from my house. Upon reading the ad, they had two for sale for $1K each. Needless to say, we went to check them out. The tables were in what used to be the bar area of the bowling alley that had been drywalled off and under construction so the owner could lease it out as a standalone commercial space. The person selling them believed they were purchased new sometime in the early to mid '60's. We found them filthy with torn cloth but were complete for the most part except for one was missing the plastic skirts. I started negotiating with the seller (who was not the owner) and he immediately said he's authorized to sell them for $500 each but can't go lower. I explained to him they have good bones but are missing some pieces and it is going to take quite a bit of work to clean them up to make them playable and offered $300 each. He countered with $400 but would need approval from the owner. The approval came in short order and we were the proud owners of a pair of Gold Crown 1's for $400 each; less than the asking price for one. Upon tear down, it became evident these table were well cared for and had only been recovered once. The original tack marks and one set of staple marks in the slate backing can be seen in one of the pics below. Judging from that and the near pristine formica rail tops and counters, it appears these table have hardly been played on in some 50+ years. Now the fun begins. We both plan to extend the sub rails, new rubber and drop pockets and a cosmetic restoration. The aprons will be sprayed Brunswick Blue; shoutout to @Xianmacx for the paint codes as well as fielding countless questions on the topic of restoration/preservation. The pedestals, stringer, ball rack box and plastic skirts will sprayed Brunswick White. My buddy plans to keep his original and will respray everything Brunswick White. Here are some pics:





















I will update with pics throughout the course of the restoration leading up to final assembly.
 
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Buzzard II

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I know AZ is loaded with Diamond fanboys but a well sorted Gold Crown is worthy of passing down for multiple generations. Quite a deal, I know you will be very happy.
 

iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Great find! Any thought to keeping the original cushions? Were you able to try if they still played well?
 

L I F D 1

L S S T 10
Silver Member
yes, keep the updated pics coming. Good find
Yes, show and tell all the way home.
Also, let us know what you're final thoughts are to do with the GC 1. (you do know you got lucky)

Are they Pro 8, or 9?
 
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SBC

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Crazy finds like these are still out there.

The early Cowns are built so well. Those are in amazing shape.
 

logical

Part of the Conspiracy
Silver Member
Good find. They are out there if you are patient. Before I finished my room I just wanted a cheap table in the meantime (ended up being 4-5 years) for my unfinished basement. This GC III was one of 3 GCs and some bar boxes in use at a bar near me and they were converting the area to have a live music stage. I guess at some poi t it was somewhere with at least 17 tables. My mover bought most of the rest of them once he saw what I found.

$500 and just needed new cloth and was missing trim bezel around ball box which is an easy find. I've since sold it when I upgraded the space and got all my money back after 5 years of use. I knew it was temporary so never thought about restoring. It actually had what I saw as a really nice natural patina and fit in with the unfinished room.

A GC I is a better restoration investment I think...good luck with the project.


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logical

Part of the Conspiracy
Silver Member
I thought a GC I didn't have adjustable feet? But I also kinda remember that only being true for the first few years. Regardless, nice find and good that it has them.

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iusedtoberich

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
Use 50yr old cushions? Why risk 'em being bad? Replace them.

I’m not a mechanic but from what I’ve read on here none of the modern cushions will fit a GC1 properly unless the wood rail is rebeveled at the modern rail angle. I’ve also read that the original monarch cushions can last 50 years or more.

That said, I like bucket pockets, while the OP wants tight pockets. So he will need new cushions anyway, and thus new bevel angles.

It will be fun to see the progress:)
 

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I’m not a mechanic but from what I’ve read on here none of the modern cushions will fit a GC1 properly unless the wood rail is rebeveled at the modern rail angle. I’ve also read that the original monarch cushions can last 50 years or more.

That said, I like bucket pockets, while the OP wants tight pockets. So he will need new cushions anyway, and thus new bevel angles.

It will be fun to see the progress:)

I think you are absolutely right about the adjustable feet not being present on an original GC I, furthermore the rails don't have the figure 8 nut plates. It is my understanding that GC I's used figure 8's only. Not that it's a big deal though if it is a mix and match Gold Crown...still looks awesome and can be made to play perfect!
 

logical

Part of the Conspiracy
Silver Member
I think you are absolutely right about the adjustable feet not being present on an original GC I, furthermore the rails don't have the figure 8 nut plates. It is my understanding that GC I's used figure 8's only. Not that it's a big deal though if it is a mix and match Gold Crown...still looks awesome and can be made to play perfect!
I looked deeper, they did go to adjustable on the GC I after a few years.

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maha

from way back when
Silver Member
great deal for 400 dollars but still have to add in the cost of your time and cost of new parts. maybe worth it or not.
 

Lawnboy77

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I looked deeper, they did go to adjustable on the GC I after a few years.

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Roger that! I now see that on various threads over the years. Maybe Glen will let us know about the figure 8 nut plates, and whether those were used exclusively on the GC I.
 

playonepocket

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The nameplate indicates to me, GCII. The GCI had the clear acrylic name plate.

The slate appears to be "slate" whereas the earlier tables had Brunstone.

Also, as others have mentioned the adjustable feet and no figure 8 nut plates in the rails allude to a GCII.

Brunswick did a lot of mix and match between all of the GC models.

Looks like it has good bones, should clean up nice!
 

logical

Part of the Conspiracy
Silver Member
great deal for 400 dollars but still have to add in the cost of your time and cost of new parts. maybe worth it or not.
Why do people do this? Any used table has to be moved and probably needs new cloth. Even if you spend 250 moving, 4-500 recovering and have to buy rubber it's a great table in your house ready for another 10 years for well under $2000 or sell it the next day for what you have in it. That wouldn't even get you an 8 foot particle board furniture table new that is worth less than half of that once its used.

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rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for the comments everyone! I'm planning on restoring the table as I feel it warrants it. Work has begun today. Really not concerned about my time as I enjoy making old things new again and I do not plan on reselling. This one is a keeper. As for the 1 vs 2 debate, my research has indicated the following:

1. As has been already pointed out, adjustable feet were available on the 1's

2. Early 1's had the plastic nameplate but due to the fragile nature prone to cracking, the metal nameplate was introduced somewhere in the 1's production run (most likely early on).

3. Figure 8 plates were replaced later in the production run.

4. This has been a hot topic all over the forum over the years. Whether my table has Brustone or slate, I don't know. What I do know is the tack marks from the original cloth are evident in the slate backing so my best guess is original playing surface.

There's a ton of information online (some contradictory) and what I posted up above should be taken with a grain of salt because no one definitively knows the production idiosyncrasies of a 50+ year old relatively mass produced item. Who knows, I could have a Franken-Crown, but every indication points to this table being 100% original. Whether it is a 1 or 2 is open for debate.
 

rexus31

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Great find! Any thought to keeping the original cushions? Were you able to try if they still played well?

The original Monarch SuperSpeeds appear to be in good shape. I'm not a fan of 5" buckets so I'll have the subrails extended, subrail angle altered to accept modern rubber and new rubber installed. Opinion of my mechanic is no tighter than 4 1/8" corners.
 
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