Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Do we agree this is a Fleetwood?

2

Curious guitar because it has no zero fret (making it 1958-ish) but at the same time has Grover Imperial "Kidney Bean" tuners which are almost always post 1964. And doesn't necessarily have to be a Fleetwood. Could be a Constellation which has the same dimensions of a Fleetwood, but is a maple laminate body. More pictures, please. And a look at the label.

3

I can't supply anymore pics other than the back. No label or model info and shop is shut.

7

From what I can see Constellations had block inlays!?,

8

Doesn't the neck look twisted? Head stock seems to be off...

10

This is the internet! Agreement is prohibited!!!

11

Well...by the late '50's, Fleetwoods technically didn't exist: they were 17" Eldorados. Constellations were discontinued a few years earlier. The only remaining acoustic archtops were 17" and 18" Eldorados, the 16" Corsair and New Yorkers. Don't think zero frets were a feature of acoustic archtops. This could well be a 17" Eldorado (formerly Fleetwood.) The black pickguard is a little suspect. Could be a modded 6199 Sal Salvador too. More pics might help.

12

Here's a blonde Fleetwood with same pickguard?

13

The thumbnails began around '56 while there was still a separate Fleetwood and Eldorado. The Fleetwood was dropped while the Eldorado continued but still as a custom order. I agree that neither model ever had a zero fret. That was an electric guitar invention that didn't carry over into the acoustic line.

14

Thumbnails started mid to late 57 on electric guitars for the 58 model year.

15

gretschcrush, Constellations continued into September of 1958 if I recall correctly and the last batch had thumbnail inlays. They have the exact same dimensions of the Fleetwood and have a close grained spruce top. The only difference is that the Constellation is made of maple and spruce laminates and not solid fiddleback maple and a carved spruce top as is the Fleetwood

16

gretschcrush, Constellations continued into September of 1958 if I recall correctly and the last batch had thumbnail inlays. They have the exact same dimensions of the Fleetwood and have a close grained spruce top. The only difference is that the Constellation is made of maple and spruce laminates and not solid fiddleback maple and a carved spruce top as is the Fleetwood

– ewkewk

Right you are EE. The other difference with the Constellation was that it was always a model that was produced whereas the Fleetwood and Eldorado were only ever a custom order, with an extra charge for the cutaway - such as that handcatcher mess was.

17

I agree that neither model ever had a zero fret. That was an electric guitar invention that didn't carry over into the acoustic line. - Windsordave

Here's what's identified as a '64 6038, and it does indeed have a zero fret (although I would agree, it appears that most did not).

I'm leaning towards 6038 rather than Constellation on the OP guitar. I kind of feel like the headstock should be bigger, but I'm not sure how consistent that was and the Grover Imperial tuners do suggest 6038.

18

I agree that neither model ever had a zero fret. That was an electric guitar invention that didn't carry over into the acoustic line. - Windsordave

Here's what's identified as a '64 6038, and it does indeed have a zero fret (although I would agree, it appears that most did not).

I'm leaning towards 6038 rather than Constellation on the OP guitar. I kind of feel like the headstock should be bigger, but I'm not sure how consistent that was and the Grover Imperial tuners do suggest 6038.

– Afire

Later model Constellations also used Grover Imperials

19

Seller has sent me serial number starting 23. I make it a 1957 from that.

20

I have found several Fleetwood specimens from the late ‘57 period at #23345, 23348, and 23414.

21

Serial number is 23381 so it's in the batch

22

I'm gonna have a punt on this guitar I think.

23

23XXX seems awfully early for thumbnails, am I right? I sounds like maybe this is a renecked '57 Fleetwood.

24

23XXX seems awfully early for thumbnails, am I right? I sounds like maybe this is a renecked '57 Fleetwood.

– Afire

The Fleetwood examples I shared above each display neoclassic fretboard inlays... also, this #234xx batch is the same group where two of the three known Country Gent prototypes (2-tone, no f-holes, neo markers) reside... so it's plausible the Fleetwood's being upper echelon models were granted the early adoption of this new-for-'58 feature.


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