8 Glorious Gretsch Guitars from the Custom Shop
January 22, 2016
Holy smokes! Once again, Gretsch Custom Shop Master Builder Stephen Stern has built some truly extravagant custom shop models for the 2016 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif.
Here’s a quick look at 8 glorious Gretsch Custom Shop guitars, which all had a “car” theme …
G6136 Luxury Falcon “Spectre”
Inspired by an old Rolls Royce, this Black Falcon screams class, but with just a touch of flash thanks to the chrome pickguard, ruby red sparkle on the pickups bobbins and red sparkle binding around the bock, neck, headstock and even inside the F holes. The Spectre also features an ebony fingerboard that somehow just seems the perfect for this beauty.
G6134 Luxury Penguin “Roadster”
Luxurious is certainly the right word for this Penguin Roadster. The custom beauty features a chambered mahogany body finished in bright red with tan leather sides that mimic the interior upholstery of your favorite ride. In a finishing touch, the pickups are also accented with tan coloring to match the sides, while the guitar body, neck and headstock are wrapped in a tortoiseshell binding. The walnut burl even matches what you’d expect to see on a luxury car steering wheel or console.
6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relics
The trio of G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic guitars below pay tribute to stock racing cars and was a collaboration between Stern and artist Sara Ray who treated each guitar with a unique custom paint job.
The G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Hammerhead” seems like an ode to the high seas with its aqua blue finish featuring cartoon-ish looking hammerhead sharks, including one on the body and another on the see-through pickguard. The body, neck and headstock are capped off by red binding that blends well with a blood-red headstock featuring a pirate flag. Although based off a ’59 6120, this model features P-90 pickups instead of the common Filter’Tron pickups.
“That’s a little different for Gretsch,” noted Stern of the pickups.
G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Nashville Nelle”
Based off a ’55 6120, the Nashville Nelle pays homage to the American flag with its red, white and blue paint job, also featuring a pair of buxom blondes. Also has a custom belt-buckle tailpiece with a checkered flag racing theme.
G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Brooklyn Bruiser”
Based off a ’67 6120, Ray delivered on the bruiser theme with a menacing muscle man swinging his sledgehammer, against a cream backdrop.
All three models have a number painted on the back of the guitars, just like you’d expect to see on the door panels of racing cars.
G6199 Gretsch Custom Caddy-Bo
This trio of G6199 Gretsch Custom Caddy-Bo guitars is a play off the Bo Diddley Jupiter Thunderbird guitars, but in classic car finishes such as Limo Black, Cadillac Green and Shell Pink.
All feature chrome Cadillac tailpieces, silver glitter binding and chrome knobs.