Wednesday, 13 March 2013

One-off 1980s Route 66 guitar from Wilkes Guitars
I'll let route66don, the eBay seller of this bizarrely-shaped Route 66 guitar, tell you all about it:
Unique one-of-a-kind route 66 guitar made as a showpiece for us by Doug Wilkes of Wilkes Guitars of Stoke on Trent, UK in the mid 1980s. Built to the highest spec it has a maple body and neck with an unbound phenolic resin fingerboard with side dots, EMG active vintage style strat pickups, Leo Quan Badass bridge/tailpiece and vintage Kluson Sealfast nickel banjo style machine heads. It sounds and plays great although the shape is of course somewhat clumsy to hold. Used but in very good condition. Paintwork has 'yellowed' a little and it has 2 tiny dings on the top of the '66' horns. Comes complete with a pro quality foam lined aluminium flight case by T&D cases of Hull. For sale due to my retirement at £1000.
I'm guessing his band was called "Route 66". It's just a hunch I have. [Edit: it looks more likely that "Route 66" was the name of his music shop - see the comments below.] And when he says it's "somewhat clumsy to hold" I think he means it's not very ergonomic.The banjo-style machine heads are a nice touch though.

Doug Wilkes, of course, is a luthier never afraid to experiment; regular readers might recall Wilkes' "The Answer" guitar with sliding pickups.

The Route 66 guitar is currently being offered for sale on eBay UK with a starting bid of £1,000.

Of course we've previously looked at another completely different Route 66 guitar. Curiously, it is also UK-made.

G L Wilson

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  1. There is also a music shop called Route 66 in Stoke, so it could have been made as a promo for that, especially as the owner is called Don Clayton ("route66don"). Small feature with a pic of the man in question here:
    (Scroll half way down the page)

    1. Ah, now that would make much more sense!

  2. Although growing up mere blocks from its starting point in Chicago, for my generation Rte. 66 had almost completely faded as a cultural influence by the time I was born in 1959. For WWII generation parents however, it seemed an endless source of mythical fascination, even having its own [ short lived ] television show. I've read it was officially closed in the mid-80's, perhaps the catalyst for this guitar's creation?

    Yet its commercial exploitation continues unabated. Someone should write a SONG about it!



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