Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Isn’t it curious…

26

It didn’t.

– Proteus

Actually, the Corvette did exist, but in a completely different form...

27

Actually, the Corvette did exist, but in a completely different form...

– Afire

This is a 1956 6187 Clipper (he said for a total thread derail).

28

This is a 1956 6187 Clipper (he said for a total thread derail).

– lx

Man, I cannot keep my ships straight. Is there a definitive answer as to what differentiates Corvettes and Clippers? The '55 catalog refers to the sunburst, natural and Jag tan single pickup dot necks as "Corvettes." I would have assumed that the ivory/gray 6187 would also be a Corvette.

29

he said for a total thread derail

Well yeah...since THAT guitar has only ONE SINGLE-coil pickup. With six strings, it doesn't have four of ANYthing. It does have two f-holes and two knobs. I guess that's something.

As Bob Seger said - no doubt when he was musing over the mystery of 1958's doubling down in consumer culture, 2 + 2 is on my mind.

30

Man, I cannot keep my ships straight. Is there a definitive answer as to what differentiates Corvettes and Clippers? The '55 catalog refers to the sunburst, natural and Jag tan single pickup dot necks as "Corvettes." I would have assumed that the ivory/gray 6187 would also be a Corvette.

– Afire

Well, since you asked (and reading Deke D's DuoJet article has me in total geek mode).... The Clipper was introduced in the '56 catalog as a replacement for the Corvette. Clippers had the "deluxe" G tailpiece and a slimmer 2.75" body whereas the Corvette had the trapeze tailpiece, thicker body and "Electromatic" on the headstock, although there are probably some transition versions that retain features of each.

Gretsch compounded the Corvette/Clipper Confusion by re-labeling the catalog cover shot of the '55 Corvette as a Clipper for the '56 catalog, which is essentially the same as the '55 catalog except for the introduction of the Clipper and the announced cessation of production of Corvettes and New Yorkers. The '56 catalog also announced the colors as being sunburst (x6186) and lotus ivory/desert beige (x6187) although the real color seems to be lotus ivory/metallic grey. Ed Ball maintains there was never a 6188 in natural, but I know I saw one on ebay a few years ago and lost the serial number. It'll turn up again, I'm sure.

31

Man, I cannot keep my ships straight. Is there a definitive answer as to what differentiates Corvettes and Clippers? The '55 catalog refers to the sunburst, natural and Jag tan single pickup dot necks as "Corvettes." I would have assumed that the ivory/gray 6187 would also be a Corvette.

– Afire

I thought 50s Clippers had a cutaway and 50s Corvettes did not.

32

I thought 50s Clippers had a cutaway and 50s Corvettes did not.

– knavel

The earliest Clippers were full-bodied (the first batch of 50 or so had the "Electromatic" headstock); there were about 350 made. The '57/8's had the cutaway and 22 frets; the full-bodied ones had only 21 frets.

33

OK, now we may be getting somewhere. Do we know if the Corvette of "Dead Man's Curve" was a 1958 or later - in which case it would have had the newfangled double-dual headlight configuration?

– Proteus

The Corvette in "Dead Man's Curve" is referred to as a Sting Ray, so it would have to be 1963 or 1964 (the record was released in 1964, so it couldna been later). The first Corvette Sting Rays were in 1963; before that they were just Corvettes.

34

Yes, and they only had the split-window in 1963, and that's the iconic model to have. That has to be the one to whom J&D refer. Definitely quad (though hidden) headlights, legacy of 1958.

35

You may be on to something. Maybe a conspiracy? I was made in 1963, if that helps.


Register Sign in to join the conversation