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Author Topic: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)  (Read 9490 times)

Cellar2ful

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1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« on: January 17, 2018, 07:39:42 PM »
THE CHASE

Last Thursday before the MLK Holiday Weekend, I was frantically packing for a weekend trip with the wife.  A last minute opportunity had come up to rent a beach house and we were to leave the next morning.  Around 1:30 PM, I sat down to quickly check my emails.  There were about 10 CL email alerts that I almost deleted without opening.  This is the first one I opened:



The add had been posted for about 1 hour when I opened the email. I call the number listed and the seller tells me the kettle is available.  He says I can pick it up on Saturday. I know the only way I can secure this kettle is to pick it up immediately so I ask him if I can come right now.  Saratoga being about an hour (45 miles) from my house, I figure I just might be able to make it there and back before the evening commute.  I yell to my wife, show her the add and explain how rare a kettle it is.  Without hesitation she says "Let's go".  I tell the seller I'm on my way and he gives me his address.

My navigator(wife) and I jump in the truck and head out.  Traffic being light, we make it to Saratoga in about 50 minutes. Turning onto the road for the address, we head up into the hills of Saratoga.  The road is not divided, sometimes narrowing to one lane width.  It leads to a dead end and a huge closed gate with no intercom. 



Attempting to call the seller I find there is no cell service.  Back down the mountain we drive until I find a spot that has cell reception.  I call and he says he will meet me at the gate.  We head up the mountain again and meet the seller at the gate.  He lets us in by manually unlocking and physically opening the gate.   We drive though and up a small driveway off the main road inside the gate.  The seller introduces himself as the caretaker for the Old Grandview Ranch.  Apparently it is one of the most expensive homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, valued at over $100 million dollars. The owner is a world renowned art collector.  Look at the photos in the below link and you can see why it is nicknamed "Hearst Castle North". I did not get to actually see the estate but could see some of the art scattered about the property.

http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/w-donald-heads-house-old-grandview-ranch/view/google/  (What you see in this photo is one property/residence with multiple art studios

http://www.aliatriphotography.com/Water-Features/Old-Grandview-Ranch-Saratoga/

Back to the kettle.  The seller drags out the kettle and it is stunning. He had purchased it about 5 years ago at a local estate sale and had only used it about 3 times.  I pay the seller, load it in my truck and hurry to get back on the road to beat the commute. We hit a lot heavier traffic on the way home but arrive around 4:30 PM.





THE RESTORATION

The triangle is upside down and it appears the wheels were installed with the white walls towards the inside. Probably been that way for 50+ years.



The lid vent and 1 bowl vent tab had been bent flattened.

 


The bowl vents and thumbscrews would not move.  After spraying them with Liquid Wrench and letting them sit overnight, I was able to get the vents moving, the thumbscrews out and straighten the tabs on the vents.



From the looks of inside the lid and bowl, at one time this was a well used but well cared for kettle.



After a little cleaning, I found the bowl has a tremendous amount of yellow overspray inside.  It almost looks like the speckle porcelain of an old offset handle SJ.



I would say the yellow orche color is very close to the stock Butternut Yellow Camaro color that was offered in 1967.

 

 

I will continue to update this thread as I complete restoration of the wheels, triangle, ash pan and legs. I realize how special both this kettle and my wife are. Both are keepers.


Thought this comment from @harris92 should be included in this thread as it assisted me in dating this gem.


@Cellar2ful

Your grill solves a mystery for me.  About a 1.5 years ago, I got in touch with a couple contacts at corporate (they have strong knowledge of Weber history) and asked a question.  The question was - "How many years did Weber produce the Ambassador?".   They couldn't give me an answer.  Well, with your grill we know the answer is at least three years (prob three to four).  This is the fourth Ambassador I have seen.   1. Yours with the handle parallel to the vent (1961-62),  2. Two grills with the metal lid handle perpendicular to the vent (1963), and 3.  One with a wooden lid handle (Arlington Heights 1964).











« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 08:12:50 PM by Cellar2ful »
"Chasing Classic Kettles"

Lowbrass

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1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2018, 07:43:43 PM »
What!?!?  Dude! Amazing score and story!  That looks beautiful!  And only 40?! I’ll be following this thread closely!  Congrats!


Sent from my iPhone using Weber Kettle Club
"The Fairway" '74, "The Gourmet" '78 "D" code, 18" Red C code, 18" Blue DU code, Gen 2 Grass Green Performer,  U-Line Lime Green, "Bone", Wedgewood Blue, “Smoke”, and Homer SJs.  14" and 18" WSM

Grails (HELP!): Wave Blue/Turquose SJ, IMPERIAL GLEN BLUE!

Mike in Roseville

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2018, 07:53:40 PM »
I have been waiting for this story for a week! Simply beautiful Jim!

Congratulations!

Thanks for the write up and the pictures!
On the hunt for: "E" Code 18WSM

crowderjd

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2018, 07:58:05 PM »
Wow!  Congrats again, great story...and I stand corrected that ochre is a beautiful color!

Bob BQ

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2018, 08:05:32 PM »
Yowza! Amazing pickup, Jim! Congrats!!
BBQ:it's what's for dinner. Grails ISO: Red SJ. Not a grail, but also looking for a Brave (18" brownie).

inkaddictedchef1

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 08:10:03 PM »
Simply stunning.  Amazing score Jim!

Sent from my SM-G955U using Weber Kettle Club mobile app


SixZeroFour

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 08:10:52 PM »
What an incredible find! Congrats!
W E B E R    B A R - B - Q    K E T T L E

Rub

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    • Swamp Boys BBQ
Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 08:13:36 PM »
Holy smokes, that's an epic find! How cool is that? And the condition of the porcelain is amazing. Congrats on a beautiful grill.
On the search for: Ambassador, MLH Statesman, looker Yellow 22, MBH 'Cado 18, Blue 18 MBH, Green 18 MBH

Heyjude

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 08:16:00 PM »
It shows there's still gold out there to be found!
Congrats on such a rare find.
What did Alvin call it again?
I don't care if you don't like my Avatar, its there for me..

fedex

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 08:18:54 PM »
Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Congrats.
1 Black Limited Edition Kettle & Wife Model #1962


Cellar2ful

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2018, 08:27:15 PM »
It shows there's still gold out there to be found!
Congrats on such a rare find.
What did Alvin call it again?

I forgot about that.  He called it an Ocra Winfrey kettle. (lol)   @argentflame
"Chasing Classic Kettles"

johnny 2 shack

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 08:39:07 PM »
amazing story and epic score ! ,

LiquidOcelot

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2018, 08:40:51 PM »
Oh yea that's beautiful. I love the weird green

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G928A using Weber Kettle Club mobile app


Bodhi

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2018, 11:06:33 PM »
It shows there's still gold out there to be found.
I agree with @Heyjude On with the hunt!  8)

RottiGuy

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Re: 1961/62 Ambassador in the wild (yellow ochre)
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2018, 11:32:15 PM »
Wow that's a beauty!!.Congrat's!!