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    

1994 Taylor 810 Acoustic Guitar W/ohscCustom Soudport 2007 Taylor 510-ce Acoustic Electric Guitar Dreadnought W/hscTaylor 300 Series 312ce Grand Concert/auditorium Acoustic Electric Guitar W/caseTaylor Standard T5-s Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor 910 Acoustic Guitar2011 Taylor Custom Floretine Gc Bear Claw Top Acoustic Electric Guitar AmazingTaylor 8-string Acoustic Baritone Guitar814ce Taylor Guitar1997 Taylor 410ce Dreadnought Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor Gs Mini - Taylor Gs Mini - Koa2011 Taylor Fall Limited Edition Koa Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor 314ce Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor Gs Mini-e Rosewood Es2 Acoustic/electric Guitar Taylor 210 Acoustic Guitar (for Repair Or Parts)Taylor T5z Pro Acoustic Electric Guitar Dec-2014 Excellent Condition No Reserve!Taylor 410 Acoustic Guitar Excellent FlawlessTaylor Gc Bto Premium Adirondack Spruce Top 12 FretTaylor Gs Mini Ltd RosewoodTaylor Gs Mini - KoaGorgeous Taylor 355 12-string Acoustic Guitar Gently UsedTaylor 710 L9 Short Scale Acoustic Guitar With Ohsc (2004 Limited Edition)Taylor Model 301 Baby Acoustic GuitarTaylor T5-cTaylor 814ce Acoustic Electric Guitar OhscTaylor 800 816-ce Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor Baby Big Acoustic GuitarTaylor 615Taylor Ddx Doyle Deluxe Acoustic Electric Guitar2002 Taylor Top Of The Line Rosewood 812-ce Acoustic Electric Guitar Very NiceTaylor K22e Shsm Grand Concert Koa Limited Edition Susanna Hoffs 2003 MintTaylor Gs Mini GuitarTaylor Swift Signed Guitar Autographed Guitar Nice AcousticTaylor 150e Acoustic-electric Guitar Mint With Expression Audio Pickup SystemTaylor Gb 110 Acoustic Guitar And Taylor Gig BagTaylor Gs Mini Gs Acoustic Guitar- Left Handed Taylor Gs Mini Rosewood Acoustic Electric Guitar