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Thread: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Just got it home, disassembled, cleaned out, and polished. Just got to get a new sac on it once I get the old sac off the end of the section.



    Has a '37' on both the barrel and the nib.
    Last edited by KBeezie; March 5th, 2020 at 02:25 PM.

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    Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Nice color, nice find!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Well done, Karl. I have a nearly identical Challenger, only diffs I see are that mine has 'stepped' finials. I agree with Ron, very nice color.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Member Ron Z's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    I love it when you find a pen in pristine condition with great color. You get a glimpse of the "glory" of the vintage pens, and can understand why they sold so well.

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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Z View Post
    I love it when you find a pen in pristine condition with great color. You get a glimpse of the "glory" of the vintage pens, and can understand why they sold so well.
    The only other one there that *might* be worth me getting, but I decided against it was this Blue Sheaffer Imperial that might be a Mk II or III that seemed pretty clean, but I hadn't inspected it closely enough to see if there were any cracks around the jointed areas.



    When I saw it capped in the case, I was really hoping it was a blue PFM.

    Only other one was a shiny green celluloid Wearever lever filler, with a very inky steel nib, the feed and nib being quite a bit twisted out of alignment, and they wanted $25 for it. But I won't gamble on inky vintage steel nibs.

    PS: The Challenger has been re-sac'd, talc'd and re-assembled. Just haven't tested it yet.

    I lined it up so the nib face was on the same side as the imprint (which is the more colorful side of the barrel as it is).
    Last edited by KBeezie; March 5th, 2020 at 11:29 PM.

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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Write sample. ( link to 300 DPI : https://i.imgur.com/0waix58.jpg )



    It has a very sharp tipping, giving it an almost italic feel (if it was sharpened I don't see evidence of a grind). Has a hard pencil like feedback (which is actually kind of nice), and despite it's age and having been inked and used, it's perfectly aligned along the writing surface under the 60x loupe.

    The nib seems thinner and has a slight bounce to it, similar to my Montblanc 14's 18C EF or my Wahl semi-flex needlepoint, but more feedback than both. It's not as firm as most the Parker nibs I've had in the past (mostly on Vacumatics and Duofold). It's kind of a unique combo among all the nibs I currently have.
    Last edited by KBeezie; March 6th, 2020 at 12:39 AM.

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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    A macro video of the Challenger.

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    Senior Member Wahl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Nice, very clean, congrats !

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    Senior Member Waski_the_Squirrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Very nice! I have a Challenger in a green finish, and I enjoy it very much. Parker made some truly great pens!

    And, on a side note: I never took it apart to the level that you did. So I found your post instructive. Thank you!

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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Waski_the_Squirrel View Post
    Very nice! I have a Challenger in a green finish, and I enjoy it very much. Parker made some truly great pens!

    And, on a side note: I never took it apart to the level that you did. So I found your post instructive. Thank you!
    Thanks, the pressure bar is actually still assembled in the pic (there's a tiny little tab that holds it together at the top end, and at the bottom end, the bent part keeps it anchored by the button with the button pressing in on the middle bar.).

    Mainly had it dropped out when a friend of mine online was telling me to check for the 'tab' by the button to make sure the pressure bar was still probably good before purchasing it.

    The Challenger is still inked (montblanc Irish Green) and with some minor adjustment to the nib and nib/feed placement it's writing rather well. Seems that whoever previously owned the pen really like writing at a high vertical angle so they kind of wore the nose flat, used a tiny bit of mylar on the sides to control the scratch of the edges, but I didn't touch the textured surface much at all in order to keep that pleasant almost hard-pencil feedback. (a 60x loupe is really handy for that). I'm surprised though that there's relatively a lot of tipping compared to some of the other older pens I have.

    I will post new writing samples soon as the flow is a tiny bit wetter and more consistent, edges still sharp, and feels like a very good EDC pen. The only thing I *might* change is swapping out the 15 straight sac for a 20, assuming that's not too tight a fit for the barrel (despite catalogs suggesting it would work). It gets a little under half a mililiter or so, which for most casual writing isn't too bad, just maybe not heavy essay writing throughout the day.

    I am actually liking it more than I thought I would, compared to my previous experience with some Vacumatics, but some of that has more to do with the feedback and crispness I'm getting from the nib (as the vacumatics, and similar, I usually got the previous owner did their own smoothing rather than kept it from the way it was in the wild).


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    Senior Member KBeezie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antique Store Find : Parker Challenger (1937?)

    Fresh photo of the Parker Challenger I restored, currently inked with Montblanc Irish Green.



    and fresh write sample after I adjusted the nib a little.

    (300 DPI Link : https://i.imgur.com/B73duEc.jpg )


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