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 T5 Standard Honeyburst Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor 214ce Acoustic/electric Guitar With CaseTaylor 714ce Cedar Top Grand Auditorium Acoustic-electric Guitar W/ Hsc - As-isTaylor Acoustic Guitar2015 Taylor 814ce Es-2 Acoustic Electric Guitar S/n 1103065080 Taylor Gs Mini Mahogany W/ Soft Case1995 Taylor 615e 615 Expression System & Fishman Pickup Orig Case Free Shipping!Taylor Gs Mini Mahogany Right Handed Acoustic Guitar In Soft CaseAcoustic Guitar With Hard Case Taylor 410-ceTaylor 810b Acoustic GuitarTaylor 200 214ce Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor 2008 Cocobolo Gs LimitedTaylor 214ce GuitarTaylor 322e Acoustic Guitar W/ HscTaylor Baby Big Acoustic Guitar W/ Gig BagTaylor 6 String Acoustic Guitar 214cc-sb In Beige Soft CaseTaylor 100 Series 110e Dreadnought Acoustic-electric Guitar Natural Left-handedTaylor 712-ce Acoustic/electric Guitar Rosewood Solid Body With CutawayTaylor Dn 3 Acoustic Guitar Right HandedTaylor Baby Big Acoustic GuitarTaylor T5 Custom - Beautiful Koa TopTaylor 900 914ce Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor 914ce Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor Koa Guitar Rssm Richie Sambora Signature Model Taylor 356 Ce 12 String Guitar W/ Original Hard Shell CaseTaylor Baby Guitar Model 301 W/ Hard Shell CasepTaylor 322ce Seb 2015 Excellent Condition W/ohscTaylor Koa K26ce Acoustic Guitar .. Excellent ! Low Reserve!! Free Shipping !!Taylor Baby Acoustic GuitarTaylor Gs Mini Acoustic Electric Guitar Es-1 SystemTaylor 200 214ce Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor Gsmini Parlor Guitar In Beautiful Condition With Factory Case SignedTaylor K-14-ce Guitar,koa Wood,acoustic Electric,beautiful,plays Great,no Reserv2016 Taylor 214ce Deluxe Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor 814ce Acoustic/electric Guitar 2009John Taylor 2006 Limited Edition Peavy Liberator Series Bass Guitar W ExtrasTaylor 514ce With Original CaseTaylor T3/b Semi-hollowbody Electric Guitar With Maple Top, Orange W/ HscTaylor T5c Limited Edition Aztec Gold 2006Taylor Baby Bt2 Acoustic GuitarTaylor Swift Signed Guitar Autographed Acoustic NiceTaylor Baby Taylor Bt2, Mahogany, Sapele Back And Sides, Backpack-style Case.2009 Taylor 414ce-ltd-r Rosewood Fall Limited Edition Acoustic Electric Guitar2015 Taylor 614ceTaylor 210ce Acoustic Electric Es-2 System Dreadnought Cutaway 2015Taylor Suede Taylor Logo Guitar Strap (honey)