Gretsch-GEAR Country Gents & Southern Belles 7176 Southern Belle

1983 Gretsch 7176: 6. 3026

Owned by
Body style
Double Cutaway Hollowbody
Ebony with Neo-Classic (thumbnail) inlays
Delrin/Synthetic Bone with zero fret
"Blacktop" FilterTron
Grover Imperial with "Kidney Bean" buttons
"Bent-arm" Bigsby
Added to Gretsch-GEAR
3 years ago Last modified 2017-02-28 08:05:51

I bought this guitar in a music shop in Hollywwod on July the 4th 1988. Everything was on sale that day, and I spotted what I believed to be a late model Country Gentleman. On closer inspection the model name was "Southern Belle", which I had never heard of at the time. I liked the guitar, bought it and brought it home to Norway. I later read the story of the production of around 100 Southern Belles in Mexico just when the Baldwin company was about to go bust. I realized that this was indeed a very rare 1983 Gretsch model, one that did not command high prices, probably due to the Baldwin legacy. My guitar carries the model number "7676", not "7176", which is also used for the Southern Belle model, as in these pages. But it is nevertheless a well made, nice sounding, beautiful Gretsch that I love very much. I'll never part with my Southern Belle...

I saw and played this guitar! I can’t recall the name of the guitar store, but it was one of those vintage stores across the street from that huge Guitar Center store. At the time, I think the price on this guitar was either $900 or $1300. The workmanship on this guitar was very good and it played beautifully. You’re a lucky guy!

Thank you! It’s a small world, isn’t it? Yes, I believe it was some kind of vintage store, like you say. And the price seems right, after what I can remember. The guitar is very well built, so Baldwin got this one right, probably the other Southern Belles as well. The production of these guitars is a fascinating story, but after the disappearance of the Country Gentleman name, Gretsch renamed the model Country Squire for a short period. Has anyone ever seen one of these, and were they actually produced and put on the market? Try finding a photo of a Country Squire on the net…

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