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    

2009 Taylor 414ce Acoustic Electric Guitar Original Hardshell Case Free Ship!Taylor 300 310ce Acoustic/electric GuitarKawai S-180 Vintage Hound Dog Taylor Guitar2013 Taylor 814ce Grand Auditorium Acoustic/electric Guitar - Near MintTaylor 410ce Dreadnought Acoustic Electric Rh Guitar W/taylor Hard Shell Case NrTaylor 2001 314ce Acoustic Electric Guitar - Needs Neck-brace Repair1990 Taylor 812 Electric Acoustic Guitar With Hard Case Very Nice!- No Reserve!!Wow! Zager Ez-play Zad80ce Acoustic Electric Guitar 1$ And No Reserve !! TaylorTaylor 12-string 455ce Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor 614-ce 614ce Grand Auditorium Acoustic-electric-6 String / Right Handed2013 Taylor 814ce Grand Auditorium Acoustic/electric Guitar - Near MintTaylor Custom T5-c Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor Custom T5-c1 Acoustic / Electric GuitarTaylor 456ce 12-string 2014 Spring Limited Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor 110 6-string Acoustic Guitar W Gig Bag E/2567 Baby Taylor & Gig Bag UsaTaylor 814ce Acoustic/electric Guitar1995 Taylor Ga-rs, Beautiful Grand Auditorium Acoustic! Ohsc!Taylor Gs Mini-e Rw Rosewood Guitar W/bag Pristine - A Real Beauty1994 Taylor 710, Very Nice Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar! Nice Tone!6 String, Drednought, Right Handed, Special,taylor 510 Accoustic/electric GuitarTaylor Ns32ce Nylon/classical Acoustic-electric Guitar ~take A Look Taylor Gs Mini Acoustic Electric Spruce/koa Guitar Taylor Model Dn8 Acoustic Guitar W/original Case Taylor 816ce Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor Grand Auditorium 214ce Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor Gs MiniTaylor 414ce Acoustic/electric Guitar (left-handed, Lefty)Taylor Acoustic Guitar Model 110 CaseTaylor Gs Mini Reduced Scale Grand Symphony Acoustic Guitar (left Hand)Taylor Liberty Tree Guitar Ltg #344 Taylor 714ce Grand Auditorium Guitar/fishman Prefix Preamp/pink Poodle CaseTaylor Grand Symphony Acoustic Electric Guitar Model 516e-fltd Blem Save!Taylor T5 LimitedTaylor 900 Series Ga-ws 1995 #42 Of 150Taylor 414ce Right Handed 6 String Acoustic Guitar- NatTaylor Solid Body Classic Elec. Guitar, Transparent White, Hard Shell CaseTaylor 210e Rosewood/spruce Dreadnought Acoustic-electric Guitar Natural Taylor 214ce Acoustic/electric Guitar Excellent Condition1999 Baby Taylor Acoustic Travel Guitar With Original CaseTaylor 414 Ce Acoustic/electricTaylor 1984 510 Dreadnought Acoustic GuitarTaylor 310-ce - L7 Acoustic GuitarTaylor 312ce Ltd Koa Sprint Limited. With 3 Extras Sets Of Martin Light StringsTaylor Gc Hardshell Accoustic Guitar CaseTaylor 6 String Classic Player Dreadnought Right-handed 110ce Acoustic/electricTaylor 114c Acoustic Electric Guitar + Gig Bag2001 Lefty Left Handed Taylor 414 Ce Ltd Acoustic/electric Legends Of The FallTaylor 400 410ce Acoustic/electric Guitar2010 Taylor 812ce Fall Limited Grand ConcertTaylor Guitars K4 EqualizerTaylor Grand Symphony Acoustic Electric Guitar Model 516e-fltd Blem Save!Taylor 712 Grand Concert Guitar With Barcus Berry Electric PickupTaylor 114ce Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor Big Baby Model 307-gb UsaTaylor Big Baby 307-gb Acoustic Guitar Needs TlcElectric Guitar Bass Stickers Martin Mxr Dean Taylor Morley Randall Cordoba PrsTaylor 100 114e Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor Guitar Expression System Pickups And Wiring HarnessTaylor 615ce Acoustic Guitar 2005 Beautiful!