In November 1952, ABU advertized in the Magazine Sportfiskaren, an announcement that you could buy an ABUrfabriken Record 5000 for Christmas in 1952 .
No 1. Green, Red and black, were the first reels Göte Borgström made.
Here are some pictures on this reels right.
He produced a lot of them as samples.
I think it was minimum 100 off each.
Thanks to Mikael Riseberg ( www.abu-record.com )
My friend Espen Olav Sjaastad from Norway,
Notes the following in regard to the Black Record 5000
Some of these black record 5000 reels were
among the very first Ambassadeurs ever produced, so I'll try to
piece together some of the story. As many will know, the Record
Ambassadeur 5000 was designed by Åke Murvall, starting in the late
1940s. The first units were produced in 1951 or 1952, marketing
began in the Autumn of 1952 and the reel was first cataloged in
The story of the black version begins with a trip to Stockholm to test consumer preferences with respect to color. Here's how Len Borgström tells it in his book ABU and Garcia: What Happened? (p. 59):
"Until this point, all reels had been either nickel- or chrome-plated. Since the Ambassadeur was made of aluminum, it suddenly became possible to manufacture reels in different colors. We presented a variety of colour models and decided to let the sport fishermen choose which color they preferred. In those days, ABU often participated in a Stockholm exposition, which was very well attended by the general public. We displayed four different colors at the exposition: red, black, gold and green. The visitors were asked to vote on a color, which we would then use in production. By a large majority, the voters selected the green; however, my father preferred the red, so the first Ambassadeur reels produced were red."
This story has been told and retold in coffee shops, books, and on websites over the years. Everybody agrees about the red, black, and green reels. Variation mostly concerns the fourth (and sometimes fifth) color. Borgström, who should know, says gold. Others say yellow, purple, or blue. The black reels come to auction fairly regularly. The green reels are exceptionally rare. But I have never seen even a photo of the "fourth color" reel, and no Swedish collector or retired ABU employee I have spoken to knows the present whereabouts of such a reel.
There is disagreement about the numbers produced of these test reels. Some say 20 of each color, others say 100, or something in between.
On his Swedish website...
...collector Mikael Risberg notes the relative "abundance" of black reels compared to green reels; according to him, as many as five black reels were traded in 2008 to 2009. Why the disparity?
Daniel Skupien, in Vintage Fishing Reels of Sweden, offers one explanation (p. 70):
"Some of these are early prototypes used by ABU in the early fifties in a market study of color preferences. Others were manufactured as special orders. It is rumored, for example, that a number of black units were ordered in the mid-fifties by a car dealership in the USA. It was intented that they would be thrown in as a bonus with the pruchase of an automobile. The sale did not go so well, however, and the remaining stock was returned to ABU in Sweden. Many years later, these reels found their way to a tackle shop in Stockholm's Gamla Stan (Old Town) where local collectors picked them up."
A further clue to the "proliferation" of black reels comes from Borgström (p. 59):
"Only the conservative British continued to insist on black reels the first few years. The thought of a red fishing reel by a fine Scottish salmon river was a shock to them."
British erythrophobia might also explain why production of the black 5000 continued after "Record Ambassadeur" was changed to "ABU Ambassadeur" (around 1957) and why ABU also produced a black 6000.
What this means is that there are probably different versions of the black 5000 around. The earliest test reels should have a polished brakeplate and a gray starwheel; later versions should have a gray brakeplate (ca 1953-1957) and a black starwheel (ca 1954-1957). There might have been changes to the spool along the way. There might even be black reels with the S.G. designation on the tailplate (ca 1952-1953) or with a "neither Record nor ABU" tailplate (ca 1957), although I have never heard of any. And Risberg reports that the reels sold in 2008 and 2009 had roman numerals (color codes) scratched on the inside of sideplates and frame; these were apparently absent on the first test reels.
The red reels were serialized from about 1956. Would any black reels produced between 1956 and 1957 have been serialized? I don’t know.
It would, in any case, be interesting to see some pictures of your reel and its details. I’m afraid I can’t be any more specific with regard to expected price. Anything from the Greek economy to a sudden outbreak of bidding fever could make a huge difference. If I were to sell a reel like this, I’d send it to one of the established tackle auction houses. For very valuable reels, ebay bidding is suppressed by the presence of fraudulent sellers, so paying the substantial auction house fees is quite possibly a sound investment. Unfortunately, I have zero experience in terms of selling reels of this calibre; others here might be able to offer better advice.
Shared Images of Black Record Ambassadeur 5000
images from Ron Elsenaar's fine Record 5000 Svart