Coming from a family that has almost as many musicians as it does entrepreneurs, means that naturally I have a strong interest in music and instruments. My father was an avid collector of guitars but not for the value they could bring dollar-wise, but the value they could bring musically. He frequently played his guitars at family gatherings and cared for them as though they were also his children. He owned greats from - Fender, Dobro etc. so when I had the opportunity to do some research on these guitars I took it.
I picked up the Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars "bible" - George Gruhn is widely known as one of the top Collectable experts in his field and by all rights, the way this particular book is put together, there is no doubt of that.
The book is over 500 pages in length, including Index, and covers every possible guitar manufacturer, style of guitar and history that an avid collector might have interest in - from Epiphones to Fenders, through to lesser sought after instruments such as those from Guild and National. The information about each is in easy to read, easy to locate format.
So, what did this book tell me about my father's guitars? Well, just about everything - unfortunately though the book is not set up as a fully complete reference for the Guitar Collector due to the fact that it would be quite impossible to indicate "current" values of each without the book becoming very dated. Another author deals with that issue quite well though by putting out a regular magazine that offers numerous price values every year.
Guitars, for those who don't collect them, are probably one of the most solid investments that you can make, particularly today with the economic ups and downs that exist. Guitars rarely if ever lose their value and although they may remain at the same value for a few years, overall, as an example the 1990's guitars have increased on average, 12% per year with a number of them actually increasing up to 1000%, to date.
From what I've learned, my father's Dobro, a pre-war Steel, is worth approximately $2600 today, perhaps more. The Fender Stratocaster is according to the book, a highly sought after collectable for those from the 50's and 60's era. The Stratocaster my father loved was purchased by him the year I was born. I've seen mention that these particular models could be worth over $25, 000 today! That might explain why I've suddenly had a few relatives inquiring about my father's guitars...hmmmm.
If you are into collecting and guitars are one of your choice collectables, this particular book will provide you with not only a little history but a lot of facts about Vintage guitars. If you should happen to be in a position such as I am, where someone is suddenly interested in your collection hoping to garner it for themselves? You'll be one step ahead and wise enough to know that maybe ... just maybe... you have a guitar that is worth a lot more than you thought.
As for my dad's guitars, I value the sentimental far more than the dollar and for that reason they would never become a part of someone else's collection but I am glad that I was able to educate myself on them with help from this particular book.