When Taylor Guitars was founded in 1974, its young owners knew little about running a business. Nineteen-year-old Bob Taylor was a self-described "wood-shop nerd," who used the guitars he’d made in high school as his resume for his first guitar-making job at a shop called American Dream. When the owner of that shop decided to sell out, Taylor and two other employees, Kurt Listug and Steve Schemmer, decided to buy it—as it turned out, the sale did not include the rights to the American Dream name, which was a bitter disappointment to the green businessmen.

That first year, the young entrepreneurs managed to make six guitars. By 1975, Taylor Guitars had made 36 instruments, including the 810, a six-string, rosewood dreadnought with the company’s trademark mustache-shaped bridge. Serial numbers that year began with the number 10, to denote the firm’s first full year in business. Output jumped to 168 instruments in 1976 (with serial numbers beginning with the number 20), but Taylor Guitars was struggling to make ends meet. One of its most pressing worries was the money due for a batch of Indian rosewood it had purchased from none other than Martin guitars.

But despite such concerns, 1976 was also the year of the company’s first big break. That came when McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica agreed to carry the Taylor line. The next year, Taylor came out with its 700 series guitars (they were less expensive and featured less abalone inlay than the 800s), as well as a new 900 line (a pricey, bird’s-eye maple guitar). Collectors will note that serial numbers on Taylor guitars made in 1977 do not begin with the number 30 because in 1977, the year-by-year numbering system was discarded.

In 1978, Taylor introduced two more affordable guitar lines, the 500s and 600s, both of which had mahogany bodies. Then lightning struck when Neil Young, vacationing in Florida, purchased a Taylor 12-string, an 855, at a local music shop. Young liked his 855 so much he ordered a second. Taylor Guitars subsequently gained widespread recognition when Young’s 855 figured prominently in his concert film, "Rust Never Sleeps." To this day, Young still performs with his vintage Taylors, which may explain why Bob Taylor has only one artist’s photo on his office’s wall—Neil Young’s.

Today, Taylor guitars are played by an incredibly diverse lineup of artists, from k.d. lang to Prince to Bonnie Raitt. In addition to six- and 12-string dreadnoughts and jumbos, the company also makes a line of smaller Baby Taylor and Big Baby guitars, several acoustic/electric models (the T5 has earned rave reviews), and it even has a line of solid-body electrics.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Vintage Guitars Info

Vintage Guitars Info

This great reference site features detailed sections on vintage guitar makers, including Gibson, Fender, Martin, Gr… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Guitar and Bass

Vintage Guitar and Bass

Want to see all the old brochures and ads for your favorite vintage axe? Check out this great site, which showcases… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Taylor 114e Acoustic Electric A/e Guitar Gently Used Grand Auditorium2002 Taylor 810ce Ltd (cocobolo) Acoustic/electric Guitar W/ohscBig Baby TaylorTaylor Grand Orchestra Custom Shop Bto 6 String Vintage Sunburst A/e CutawayGuild Gad - Jf30 Jumbo Acoustic Guitar Martin Strings Gibson Pick Taylor PickTaylor, 2009 Fall Limited Ltd Cocobolo Ga Ce (814/914) Will Sell ! A+ Condition!Taylor Gs MiniTaylor T5z Classic Guitar -- Made In The UsaTaylor Baby Taylor 305gb Acoustic Guitar + HscTaylor 510-ab Acoustic Guitar W/ Case – 25th Anniversary - No Reserve - Free S&hTaylor 310ce Acoustic/electric Cutaway Guitar W/hard Case Excellent!!!!Taylor 322 Mahogany Top Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar 6 String2014 Taylor Gs Mini-e Koa Gs MiniTaylor 214 Rosewood Grand Auditorium Acoustic Guitar Bundle (gce012229)Taylor Baby Bt2 Guitar W/ Taylor Soft CaseTaylor 414 Ce Acoustic Guitar Expression Pickup Beautiful Ovangkol Venetian Cut Taylor Gs MiniTaylor T5x Acoustic Electric Hollowbody Guitar Ovangkol Limited Edition T5 Taylor Gs Mini Rosewood With Gig Bag2013 Taylor 714ce Acoustic/electric Guitar Grand AuditoriumTaylor 814cTaylor 714ce Acoustic/electric Sunburst Guitar With Hardshell CaseTaylor 114 Acoustic GuitarTaylor Gs Mini Real Wood Acoustic/electricTaylor Swift Autographed Signed Guitar Pick Guard Coa Taylor 518e 2014 Fall Limited, Es2 Sn: 1106254083Baby Taylor Sapele/mahogany Acoustic Guitar And Accessories! Taylor 110 Dreadnought 6-string Acoustic Guitar NaturalTaylor Byzantine Tooled Leather Guitar Strap Rich Darkbrown - Handsome Quality! Taylor Big Baby Acoustic Guitar Left HandedTaylor 522e Grand Concert First Edition: #31 Of 100Taylor 210e Electric Acoustic GuitarTaylor T3/b Electric GuitarTaylor T3 Semi-hollow In Mint ConditionTaylor 110ce Dreadnought Accoustic-electric W/gig BagTaylor 110ce Acoustic-electric Guitar With Taylor Gig BagTaylor V-cable 18' Volume Control Guitar Cable Nib