Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Green Falcon S.Nr. 1-1038

1

I bought the book, Guitars, The Tsumura Collection, printed in 1987. On page 104, there is a green White Falcon, serial number 1 - 1038. Do you have any thoughts about this guitar.

3

At least one Baldwin knob seen...

4

According to the serial number the guitar was built in January 1971. The stereo layout looks like it was built in 1962.

5

Here is a White Falcon Serial number 1-1047. Everything original except the volume knobs were changed.

6

If that was a factory finish, one might think they would have finished the headstock green as well.

7

I had a fridge that color in the 70s.

It was the style at the time.

It might be more intriguing if the headstock matched, but I agree with Ed, why would they let it leave the factory like that?

8

It needs more knobs and switches

9

kc_eddie_b: Note that the neck heel is finished in green so, although there is no photo of the back of the neck, it is a practical certainty that the neck is also finished in green. An educated guess would be that the headstock overlay was painted white because it is a stiffened cardboard overlay with the sparkle inlay of the Gretsch logo and the cardboard overlay would not correctly absorb a green stain finish since it is cardboard and not wood. The stain finish on the guitar itself is not quite identical to the "Rally Green" stain finish used on the Rally models but must, therefore, be a custom variation. In the past I have seen the "amber red" stain finish on double cutaway 6120's and Ranchers almost golden in appearance simply because someone in the finishing/painting process used the wrong proportion of colors in mixing the stain so the color variation from "Rally Green" doesn't surprise me.. Ralf070158 is correct that the control layout is the 1962 layout which to my mind is more evidence that this is simply a one-off custom made Falcon

10

I had a fridge that color in the 70s.

It was the style at the time.

It might be more intriguing if the headstock matched, but I agree with Ed, why would they let it leave the factory like that?

– crowbone

We had a tobacco fade on our green fridge....

12

Normally, the White Falcon has a headstock overlay made from plastic. Maybe this is the reason, that it isn´t painted.

13

Oh look, a Gretsch Coronado Wildwood.

14

Can I just say it's Fugly!

15

With a red pick guard it would be the perfect guitar for those Christmas shows!

16

Here's a '57 Duo Jet which the seller claims has a factory original all-black finish. But the headstock is the typical brown. And it does have Grover Sta-tites which cropped up on more than a few hump-block Gretsches. Hard to tell from a photograph if these oddballs are factory original or not. But I'm with Suprdave; that Falcon is just homely.

17

Cool Duo Jet! But the face of the headstock was never intended to match the guitars’ top on the Jets... where as with Falcon’s they were. Just looks really odd to me. If your going to the trouble to custom finish a guitar and produce the body with atypical (or in this case retro) features it would seem a logical effort to figure out how to make that headstock match.

18

I have seen piles of Gretsch headstock overlays in the raw state and they are either a wood veneer or ebonized cardboard, but if Ralf 070158 is correct that the White Falcon overlay was plastic, the plastic overlay would not take a stain finish as it is not wood and therefore the overlay would of necessity have to be left as white

19

IIRC, the Falcon headstock overlays were a white plastic material.

That's why they age differently than the body on vintage Falcons.

20

The inner two switches seem to be sitting a little low for that style stereo ,maybe this was a mono guitar modded?

23

I'm thinking this was a user mod all the way around. Guy found a well-abused Falcon sometime well after its manufacture, found the finish too far gone, was either a fan of Coronado Wildwoods or had seen one too many early PRSeseses, and wanted stereo and other retro features.

Then either his aesthetic judgment (if he had any) or his mad skills failed when he got to the headstock. I think he just ran out of steam - or simply didn't see the mismatch as an issue.

All that said, overall it does have a genuine Gretsch-mighta-done-this vibe about it. If it left Gretsch as a factory custom in that color, I'd think the buyer would had to have strenuously insisted on a white headstock plate. Black would have made a better neutral headstock color than white.

24

Can I just say it's Fugly!

– Suprdave

Yes

25

Here's a '57 Duo Jet which the seller claims has a factory original all-black finish. But the headstock is the typical brown. And it does have Grover Sta-tites which cropped up on more than a few hump-block Gretsches. Hard to tell from a photograph if these oddballs are factory original or not. But I'm with Suprdave; that Falcon is just homely.

– lx

How would he know it was custom ordered from the factory? I'm getting a little cranky with sellers claiming "custom order" whenever something is out of spec. Why not an old refin? Or maybe not that old. You'd be hard-pressed to find many old Jet Firebirds with backs that clean. I've only ever had one vintage Firebird, and I recall the black seeming like it was really thin. On the other hand, it does have the black heel, which does point to the black back being from the factory. How about a shot of the label? Receipt? Anything?

Anyway, maybe original, maybe not. It's the laziness that bugs me.


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