A Drum Forum Success Story: 1952 WFL Porto-Pak Outfit No. 986P in Sparkling Red Pearl with era correct additional floor tom (Estate Sale Treasure!)


Very well Known Member
Jan 22, 2014
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Sun Diego CA
So here is one I hope you all can dig & my latest addition to the collection:
1952 WFL Porto-Pak Outfit No. 986P in Sparkling Red Pearl with era correct additional floor tom ordered with set.
This set was an incredible find of all places on eBay. I contacted the seller almost immediately after it was listed to find out more and to get more photos and information about the set.
Once I confirmed and went over the photos that this was indeed an estate sale time capsule find that sat for DECADES and EVERYTHING was included, I needed to figure out how to get this treasure to San Diego safely as the seller only offered local pick up in Spokane WA.
Quite a long drive from SD. I even priced out airfare & car rental. It was ugly but this kit is the stuff of collectors dreams. So I came HERE! To the Drum Forum to ask if anyone lived near there and would be willing to ship for me?
BIG THANK YOU TO DF member Foxyshazamfantastic!!! Who reminded me of Josh Fry who DID live in Spokane and it turned out we are friends on good ol FB and have chatted numerous times about drums. So I messaged Josh & asked him.
HE AGREED! In turn, I gifted Josh all the pies that were included in the set and I paid for the shipping.
Here is the best part: Josh Fry did such an incredible packing and shipping job it was like I did it myself. These drums were packed with such care & detail it was like Josh was packing the kit for himself. Just incredible. Everything arrived perfectly. I don't think I could have done a better job. I asked Josh how he would rate the set: He said a 9 out of ten.
It gets even better as the kit arrived on a Saturday morning just as I was going to wait all day for Fed Ex to show up and the driver was in my lobby at 10 am. So I didn't have to take a day off of the day gig like I usually do!
It was Xmas in July!! Needless to say, this incredible score happened because of my asking here on the forum and so THANK YOU Foxyshazamfantastic for the heads up about Josh!!
This place is a wealth of knowledge and I appreciate coming hear to learn even more and this is proof that good things come from being here.
And Josh Fry and I can't thank you enough! So once again:THANK YOU SO MUCH JOSH MAN!! YOU ROCK!!:headbang:
Now the kit:
These drums are in pristine original condition. As good as it gets. There is NO fade on any of the wrap. There is NO rust on any of the metal. ALL the original heads are on the drums and are all Ludwig calf heads except the batter on the tom which is a very early Remo Sound Master and the snare which is the original Ludwig Plastic Playon Heads. The shells are in round and bearing edges like new. The interior mahogany ply is gorgeous. All the drum hardware is nickel and it all has faded to an incredible patina that screams VINTAGE! All I have done to this kit is wipe it down with a soft microfiber cloth. There was a fine layer of dust on the drums that I wiped away to reveal such a deep dark red sparkle that I will not be doing anymore cleaning and no reason to touch with any chemicals. It's staying all original. It's too beautiful to mess with. Why not a 10 out of 10? One scratch on top of bass drum! Thee classic bottom of the tom rubbing on it. No biggie and you have to look to see it.
Included with the set was the following:
A full set of WFL era hardware with: WFL Speed King pedal in almost NOS condition. A WFL HH stand, an I've NEVER seen a Red tipped WFL snare stand?, 2 cowbells, the wood block, all the mounting hardware for the tom & accessories, the cymbal rod for the bass drum mount, a WFL bass drum muffler, the most ridicules red plaid throne, a full set (for the Porto Pak kit of 3 drums) of Joseph Rogers canvas bags, a full set of vintage hardshell fiber cases in excellent shape, a Ludwig drum key, and a vintage pair of Leedy & Ludwig 7A wood tip sticks!
The cymbals were a 20" ride, 16" crash and 14" hats. They were paper thin and from the same era as the drums. (See the pic of the cymbal badge stamps).
The Porto Pak Outfit has the WFL badges with the Damon Ave address on the bottom which indicates 1948-1952. The FT has the WFL badge with NO address indicating 1955(after L&L).
None of the drums have the red ink date stamp. Almost all my WFL drums are date stamped in red ink but are from the 56-59 era.
The Porto-Pak Outfit sizes are:
12x22 bass drum
8x12 tom
5.5x13 Classic Porto-Pak snare
16x16 Classic FT was ordered with set as this kit has spent it's lifetime together & this was to believed the original owner (who has passed, no family to ask. I tried).
If anyone has information or may have known Gerry R Menck please get in touch. The hardshell cases have airlines flight tags still on them & WCBS labels as well.
But this kit did no traveling. This kit sat. And sat. And sat. And out of the way of the harmful sun too.
The day after the drums arrived I gigged them. As is. I used the original cases and all. It was a dream come true once again to climb aboard such a pristine time machine to play music from the same era as the drums
This kit is special. And man they sounded like a dream. I could not get over how good the old heads stayed in tune. Now granted I was in a big AC cooled dance hall so no real exposure to the heat for the calf heads & they tuned up so nice. I was truly geeking out at this gig and my happiness flowed into my playing, keeping the folks dancing and making for a very memorable day.
All hail Vintage Happiness!! :love4:


Night Creature
Jan 4, 2008
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Doesn't get much better than this Mark! Congrats. Great drums and great story as well. Josh is a super nice guy. Glad that you were able to get these.


DFO Veteran
Dec 28, 2010
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No words ... just none that measure up to what I'm feeling for you.
So happy for you. That is one of the coolest kits ... just ... wow!

Tama CW

DFO Veteran
Mar 4, 2018
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SE Connecticut
Amazing kit. Most passersby would assume it was made in the past 10 yrs. Incredible. From the drums to cases to hardware.....all there.


Staff member
Jan 20, 2010
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Nice looking set of drums there, Mark. A great addition to your collection. How many left on the bucket list?

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