Gretsch-GEAR Vikings 6187 Viking

1965 Gretsch 6187: 703XX

Owned by
Body style
Double Cutaway Hollowbody
Ebony with Neo-Classic (thumbnail) inlays
Bone with zero fret
Grover Imperial with "Kidney Bean" buttons
  • Master Volume
  • Neck pickup volume
  • Bridge pickup volume
  • Master Tone (knob)
  • Pickup selector switch
  • Standby Switch
  • String Mute
  • G-Arrow knobs
Telescoping arm Bigsby

I found an original white plastic cover with original screws for underneath the back black snap-on pad.

I attached the tremolo bar with a gold strap knob and a threaded hex pin. I also found a black plastic cover for the end of the extension bar.

I found an unused 1960's Gretsch pickguard and used the broken orignal as a template to have it cut and drilled to fit.

To fix the pad on the single muffler system, I purchased 3/8" wide x 1/4" thick Neoprene Closed Cell Rubber Foam Tape with peel and stick adhesive on one side.

Unusual factory features

This early Viking was never set up with the tuning fork bridge, and there is no hole for it on the guitar.

Gretsch Jimmie Webster telescoping tremolo bar.

The broken original gold pickguard does not have Viking on it, only Gretsch.

Added to Gretsch-GEAR
3 years ago Last modified 2018-10-06 14:39:48

I bought this guitar from a gentleman in New Jersey. He was the second owner. 50 years ago he was at a guitar lesson with his father. The next student brought it in and declared it was for sale. His father bought it for him.

The debut batch of the Viking model starts at (or very close to) #70350. So this example is one of the first to hit the market. Cool!

I am very new to this. What should I use to clean the guitar? Apparently the guitar went through some sort of fire during its time with the original owner, I think the heat caused the finish to crack.

Can I clean or do anything to help preserve the original case?

I am searching for a pickguard and the nut that holds the telescoping arm. I imagine it will be a long tough search. If anyone can tell me the thread or the size, maybe I can get something temporary that will work.

I think the insides need to be cleaned and either a neck reset or tune up. I would like to know how to find a good luthier.

Switches all seem to work, both in the up position sounded pretty amazing. The action is a bit high, from the bridge side. The mute felt does not tough the strings, but the rocker knob does work.


Lacquer finishes crack, the degree of that is often dependent on how often the guitar was exposed to substantial heat changes. But even in the best conditions… lacquer cracks. I don’t really “clean” my vintage guitars, beyond wiping them down with a soft cloth. There a re several guys on this site that can make you a very authentic looking pick guard. The nut that holds the arm will be a crap shoot. Best bet would be to find something that works, and not get too hung up on having original vintage nut. GDP member “Curt” is well known for his work on vintage Gretsch guitars. He’s located in northern NJ.

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