Clippers

If the White Falcon was the Cadillac of Gretsches, the Clipper was the Corolla — simple, cheap, and surprisingly usable.

None After 1958, both the Corvette and the Streamliner were gone, but the little 6186 Clipper (with a newly svelte 1 7/8” thick body) would carry on for 20 years as the entry level Gretsch without changing much. In fact, other than a switch from a single DeArmond to a single HiLoTron, it barely changed at all. The Clipper never got a zero fret, Neo-Classic inlays, standby switches, tone switches or any of the other Gretsch “features” the higher end guitars did.

None If the White Falcon was the Cadillac of Gretsches, the Clipper was the Corolla — simple, cheap, and surprisingly usable.

None After 1958, both the Corvette and the Streamliner were gone, but the little 6186 Clipper (with a newly svelte 1 7/8” thick body) would carry on for 20 years as the entry level Gretsch without changing much. In fact, other than a switch from a single DeArmond to a single HiLoTron, it barely changed at all. The Clipper never got a zero fret, Neo-Classic inlays, standby switches, tone switches or any of the other Gretsch “features” the higher end guitars did.

None If the White Falcon was the Cadillac of Gretsches, the Clipper was the Corolla — simple, cheap, and surprisingly usable.

None After 1958, both the Corvette and the Streamliner were gone, but the little 6186 Clipper (with a newly svelte 1 7/8” thick body) would carry on for 20 years as the entry level Gretsch without changing much. In fact, other than a switch from a single DeArmond to a single HiLoTron, it barely changed at all. The Clipper never got a zero fret, Neo-Classic inlays, standby switches, tone switches or any of the other Gretsch “features” the higher end guitars did.

None

The Gretsch-GEAR database includes four different models and 70 examples in the Clippers family, including and Clipper models.

Guitar models in the Clippers group

6185 Clipper
Documented years: 1954

Two-pickup

6186 Clipper
Documented years: 1957 to 1968

The 6186 is by far the best-known, most common Clipper. The classic configuration is a traditional sunburst finish on a thinline, single-cutaway hollowbody. Very early models, however, were both thicker and may -- in some cases -- have used a non-cutaway body.

6187 Clipper
Documented years: 1954 to 1967

An Ivory/Gray two-tone version of the 6186 Clipper that was only offered for a few years in the mid-50s. Along with the 6186, it was the only Gretsch electric to not get FilterTrons in 1958. Not that it matters: you're highly unlikely to ever see a '58 6187.

7555 Clipper
Documented years: 1967 to 1973

The '70s Baldwin-era take on the Clipper.