Vikings

With less flash than a Falcon and more features than a Country Club, the Viking was all set to plunder and pillage the mid-60’s marketplace. It didn’t exactly work out that way, but the Viking was still a pretty nice guitar, especially for fans of Gretsch gadgetry.

The Viking was second only to the White Falcon in the 1964 Gretsch lineup. Fittings and finish on the 17-inch guitars were the best Gretsch could offer, and it came complete with a full complement of the unusual Gretsch offerings of the day, such as the “Floating Sound” unit and “T-zone tempered treble” upper frets.

Vikings were offered in 6187 (sunburst), 6188 (natural) and 6189 (Cadillac Green) variants, with the 6187 being the most common, and the 6189 being the rarest.

SuperTron pickups were also standard on all Vikings. It was the first guitar to feature them.

With gadgets being the Vikings main claim to fame, of course Balwin began dropping them. By the early 70s, there was little to distinguish the Viking from a Country Club. For 1973, the Viking was re-designated 7585 (sunburst) and 7586 (natural), and then it was unceremoniously dropped from the lineup for 1974.

It didn’t even get a Viking funeral.

With less flash than a Falcon and more features than a Country Club, the Viking was all set to plunder and pillage the mid-60’s marketplace. It didn’t exactly work out that way, but the Viking was still a pretty nice guitar, especially for fans of Gretsch gadgetry.

The Viking was second only to the White Falcon in the 1964 Gretsch lineup. Fittings and finish on the 17-inch guitars were the best Gretsch could offer, and it came complete with a full complement of the unusual Gretsch offerings of the day, such as the “Floating Sound” unit and “T-zone tempered treble” upper frets.

Vikings were offered in 6187 (sunburst), 6188 (natural) and 6189 (Cadillac Green) variants, with the 6187 being the most common, and the 6189 being the rarest.

SuperTron pickups were also standard on all Vikings. It was the first guitar to feature them.

With gadgets being the Vikings main claim to fame, of course Balwin began dropping them. By the early 70s, there was little to distinguish the Viking from a Country Club. For 1973, the Viking was re-designated 7585 (sunburst) and 7586 (natural), and then it was unceremoniously dropped from the lineup for 1974.

It didn’t even get a Viking funeral.

With less flash than a Falcon and more features than a Country Club, the Viking was all set to plunder and pillage the mid-60’s marketplace. It didn’t exactly work out that way, but the Viking was still a pretty nice guitar, especially for fans of Gretsch gadgetry.

The Viking was second only to the White Falcon in the 1964 Gretsch lineup. Fittings and finish on the 17-inch guitars were the best Gretsch could offer, and it came complete with a full complement of the unusual Gretsch offerings of the day, such as the “Floating Sound” unit and “T-zone tempered treble” upper frets.

Vikings were offered in 6187 (sunburst), 6188 (natural) and 6189 (Cadillac Green) variants, with the 6187 being the most common, and the 6189 being the rarest.

SuperTron pickups were also standard on all Vikings. It was the first guitar to feature them.

With gadgets being the Vikings main claim to fame, of course Balwin began dropping them. By the early 70s, there was little to distinguish the Viking from a Country Club. For 1973, the Viking was re-designated 7585 (sunburst) and 7586 (natural), and then it was unceremoniously dropped from the lineup for 1974.

It didn’t even get a Viking funeral.

The Gretsch-GEAR database includes nine different models and 19 examples in the Vikings family, including and Viking models.

Guitar models in the Vikings group

6187 Viking
Documented years: 1964 to 1970

The 6187 was the sunburst-finished version of 618x Viking family, and was easily the most common of the Vikings.

6188 Viking
Documented years: 1966

Natural finish

6189 Viking
Documented years: 1966

Cadillac Green

7585 Viking
Documented years: 1972

70s-era sunburst-finished Viking

7586 Viking
Documented years: None

70s-era natural-finish Viking.

7587
Documented years: 1975

The 7587 is an unusual beast, and so uncommon we're not exactly sure what it was even called. What we do now is in late '74 and early '75 a handful of these escaped the factory with a mix of very late Viking and Deluxe Chet/Super Chet features. They had ...

7588
Documented years: 1974

Much like the near-twin 7587, the 7588 is a bit of a mystery. What we do know is in late '74 and early '75 a handful of these escaped the factory with a mix of very late Viking and Deluxe Chet/Super Chet features. It appears the 7587 was the red-finished ...

7685 Viking
Documented years: None

None

7686 Viking
Documented years: None

Natural finish