I just recently finished restoring my Ansco stand. Was the battleship/metallic grey "premium de luxe" version . Anyhow, my original plan of stripping the paint and going with a wood finish got torpedoed right away. The above mentioned mix of different woods was one thing (one post being Mahagoni and the other probably basswood); but the overall quality of the wood raised some eyebrows. Seriously, the one post looks like it originated from reclaimed wood out of a shipping pallet, all dinged up, burning marks, knots and what not.
I can just imagine how the grey luxury finish came about:
accountant - "we need to lower manufacturing costs"
plant manager - "how about using all the free wood from the reject pile"
director - "but nobody in their right mind would buy this crap"
company sign painter - "lets buy that cheap gray paint and slap it on generously to hide the mess"
director (again) - "now absolutely nobody will buy this ugly sin for sure; we are ruined"
marketing spinster - "simple call it the "de-luxe" version. All you need to do is jacking up the price into the sky, and every gullible consumer out there thinks it's the must-have gizmo of the season."
And so every photographer with a name to prove and a deep pocket went out and got one. And the lesser heeled frugal competition went for the 3rd party knock-offs, all the starving poor artists simply repainted their cameras them-self, and the ones on drugs went even further and painted them white instead of gray.
PS: My stand sports an ebony finish now.