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J.c. Devine Auction


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#61 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 01:04 PM

RS,
I prefer the term replica as it does not give the impression of deliberate subterfuge that the word "fake" implies. But yes, they were not authorized. Please refer to the thread regarding NAC Thompson's for further insight into this subject.

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#62 AZDoug

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 02:14 PM

But isn't Thompson a generic label anymore, like 1911, as the copyrights or whatever lapsed?

And if NAC5 is a Colt manufactured receiver, why isn't it a Colt? Why isn't it a Real TSMG?

Just becuase they didn't put it in part of their serial number sequence, does not make it any less of a Colt, as Colt manufactured it. Maybe it was fully assembled by Colt and never serialed? Maybe Earl took Colt parts from it, and substituted Savage parts? Hell, earl did that on Serialed Colt TSMGs.

No one is claiming it is an Original Colt TSMG, that was completely built, and put into circulation in 1921, but to say it isn't a real TSMG, or a reproduction is a bit of denial.

I guess your basic argument is any real TSMG had a serial number assigned to it while AOC was still a viable corporation, and anything that had a SN assigned after AOC ceased to exist as a corporate entity is a reproduction. This of course is a valid argument.

If I build a Corvette out of all NOS parts, that were all manufactured by GM, and registered it as a home built, it IS a Corvette, though it would not be a General Motors Corvette as GM did not assign the SN. Is it a reproduction? Hardly, as is was made from all original parts

I just call WH New Manufacture, especially since they were made using for the most part, the original tooling and machinery the original Colts and savages were produced with.

Did Numrich ever re incorporate AOC, or did they just stamp Auto Ordnance Corporation on the gun?

Doug
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#63 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 02:19 PM

Oh come on. NAC5 is clearly a real TSMG. It would be like a Corvette where someone got it from GM without a windshield after GM went out of business, and put in a windshield made from a contractor that GM had once used. An all factory car, no -- but still a GM made body and frame.

I cannot search for the thread on NAC because the search does not allow less than 4 characters. I guess they want to keep the search database small and they know that there are very few meaningful 3 letter words.

Edited by rsilvers, 11 March 2004 - 02:22 PM.

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#64 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 02:44 PM

RS,
I didn't say that the NAC guns don't have Colt frames, although your NAC 5 has a strange "Colt's" font. But they are not unique, special, rare, or prized either. Your Corvette without a windshield analogy would be more accurate if you said someone went out and got a Corvette over run un-serialized frame and then used Ford and Chrsyler and Yugo parts to complete the car 40 years after production ended. Is it now a Corvette? The market place decides that. The fact that you paid the same amount for a NAC gun that WH guns sell for seems to dictate where in the echelon of Thompson's the NAC resides....See NAC Thread now on this page.....

AZDoug,
Right. The Thompson logo lapsed into an unprotected copyright area. So how many other look-a-like weapons that sported the name "Thompson" might also be considered as legitimate as any other Thompson made before 1945? The name becomes more diminished, diluted and inconsequential if there is no touchstone for the original Thompson.

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#65 AZDoug

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 03:08 PM

Hey, RS:

BTW, congrats on your purchases.

I own NAC 15. The gun is all Colt except for the actuator and Blish lock. Unlike yours, mine has no roll stamping on it. The entire gun, including the lower receiver has no markings, no safe/fire, no semi/auto, etc.

I also have WH and a pre-sample early 1928A1 Savage. All bought years ago when they could be had for $2000-$3000 each.

Would I like a pedigreed Colt? Yes. Will I spend that kind of money for one? Not unless I win the lottery. :-)

I am happy with my collection.

Back when i bought my Corvette for $500, I sometimes wished I could have afforded to buy one that was all original and not one missing an engine and some fiberglas, but coming up with $1500-$2000 was more than this 16 year old kid could afford in 1974', and after 30 years, I am happier with my rebuild/restoration, than I would have been with an untouched original, as an original would have turned into a trailer queen. It wasn't bought to resell for profit, nor were my guns. They were bought because I wanted them to enjoy.

Doug, (heathen owner of weird TSMGs)


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#66 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 04:16 PM

I don't think the fact that I got it for a WH pricepoint means anything other than I was in the right place at the right time. It does have an interesting place in history. They are mentioned in all books on Thompson history. Yes, yes, WH is also. But please. It has a Colt frame made in 1921.
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#67 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 05:03 PM

QUOTE
I don't think the fact that I got it for a WH pricepoint means anything other than I was in the right place at the right time.



RS,
The right place, right time? Well, I guess if one was looking specifically for a NAC, yah. But that Devine Auction was not low profile. It had been advertised everywhere for months so anyone looking to purchase a Thompson couldn't have missed it. Where were all the other bidders who were willing to pay in excess of $12K for it? Was it just serendipity that the auctioneer found your bid most pleasing to his ear? I predicted that the approximate price you paid is what it would sell for. You mentioned that $6K Colt parts kit that Bob was offering. Maybe you should have grabbed that set in order to make a complete gun. Since the receiver number is not an issue, it wouldn't matter that the Colt frame number wouldn't match.

I know you are getting a lot of your info on NAC's from Philip Fecher's, (the previous owner of NAC 5),TCN article.

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#68 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 05:07 PM

Are you nuts? Taking out my original NAC5 parts and putting in mismatched Colt parts?

Besides, my gun with Colt parts added would not increase its value. It would still be a Frankengun to many.

I think a lot of people did not bother bidding because the prices were so high last year they thought it was not worth the effort.

I have already had at least 3 people email me offering to buy these guns. Not just the unaltered 21, but all of them -- although some of them were just being nice to bail me out if I was unhappy.

Edited by rsilvers, 11 March 2004 - 05:08 PM.

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#69 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 05:15 PM

Arthur -- how would you feel about a 1961 Ferarri 250 GT California spyder that had been repainted in 1995?
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#70 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 05:20 PM

The NAC parts are merely a compilation of Savage, AO, and West Hurley. I know you were saying "original NAC parts" tongue in cheek. I hope.....Did these parties who contacted you on buying your Devine purchases offer an amount above what you paid?

I know there are two schools of thought on whether it is better to restore such cars, or leave them as they are. But paint is only original once. Maybe the Spyder was repainted before the 1995 job? It depends on how deteriorated the paint was. If it had normal dings and chips from driving, but was not horribly faded, why mess with it?

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#71 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 05:32 PM

I read that NC5 article, but I don't really have any NAC5 knowledge. I am just saying, I would rather have the gun with a 1921 Colt receiver than a WH one. And lots of other people wrote that they would also. And it makes sense.
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#72 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 05:47 PM

RS,
Can't quibble with that!

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#73 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 05:56 PM

Yes, I meant 'original' NAC parts as a joke. I think it would be ok to put Colt parts back in, as long as I saved the NAC parts. But I don't think it would add $6,000 in value to the gun. I think much less.

I got no offered for much more than what I paid. But people know I won't sell them.

Wan't me to advertise NAC5 now for $25,000 and the Goldfinger gun for $28,000? I will say it is a parts gun with a Colt receiver and unknown internals. And will say the other one was plated by an unknown individual and not the Colt factory, but records indicate it was plated before the West Virginia State Police had it.
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#74 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 06:08 PM

RS,
Since Colt/Auto-Ordnance didn't manufacture any specially engraved, or plated guns, and if the West Virginia PD was the first buyer of the gun from Auto-Ord, (which Cox says they were), then it had to be done by the cops or some subsequent owner. Another private party did own that gun in 1994. Where would the WVPD get the funds to submit their tax payer owned gun for plating? What documentation did you get from Devine to substantiate this?
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#75 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 06:11 PM

I did not check it out. I heard that T Hill's book said it was listed as being plated when in the State Police inventory. If the book does not say this, then I have nothing else to go on. I don't have the book with me here to check.
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#76 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 06:24 PM

RS,
Well, Hill also mentions Colt TSMG serial #1361 as owned by the West Virginia State Police and being the "Midas" engraved gun. But we all know that J. Curtis Earl purchased all 49 WVPD guns, (circa 1970), and that the Midas gun was not engraved by the cops, but rather Earl, or one of his customers, had it done in 1970! WVPD Colt TSMG #1293 was also nickel/gold plated. Can it be coincidence that the only PD that has discretionary funds for ornating their guns is the WVPD? Or is it more likely that Earl had a hand in it? Anytime a Thompson can be traced back to Curtis Earl, there is always reason for concern regarding what the real story is.

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#77 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 06:35 PM

So you think my gun was plated by Curtis in the 1970s?
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#78 Arthur Fliegenheimer

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 06:41 PM

RS,
I would say indubitably. I was right when I posted on Bowers Board/Sturmgewehr Board that the nickel was done no later then the 1960's. Does this change your fondness for the gun?

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#79 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 06:56 PM

No. I basically believe that any clean looking Thompson with a Colt connection that I can buy for under $20,000 is worth buying. I plan to keep and shoot them all, but if I need money in the future I can sell the ones I am less connected to and use the money to pay for college tuition or something. I knew it was not Colt plated when I bought it. It does not matter to me if it was plated last year or in 1955. You can argue it was less of a value than if I searched long and hard and found an untouched example for the same price (which would require rooting out people who have not been on the internet ever), but in absolute (rather than relative) terms, it was not a mistake to buy it. I am certain I can sell it for more than I paid within a year, and if I am wrong on that, it does not matter since I don't expect to sell it anyway.
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#80 rsilvers

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Posted 11 March 2004 - 07:00 PM

Honestly, Arthur -- I would be afraid to list the Goldfinger Colt for $28,000 because I would be afraid someone would buy it, and I would have to follow through. I would be unhappy.
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