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 912c Acoustic Guitar, No Reserve, 100% OriginalTaylor Big Baby Taylor Acoustic GuitarTaylor 314ce Grand Auditorium Acoustic-electric Guitar - Cutaway - No Reserve!2004 Taylor 310 Dreadnought Style Acoustic Guitar W/caseTaylor Gs Mini Gs Acoustic GuitarTaylor Big Baby 6-string 3/4 Size Acoustic Guitar - Natural, With Gig BagRare!!! Baby Taylor 301-b-gb Bubinga Acoustic Guitar With Hardshell Case Usa2014 Taylor 414ce-sltd (414ce Spring Limited) Acoustic Guitar With Taylorsense!Taylor Baby 301-m-gb Acoustic Guitar W/ Case Excellent Condition, Made In Usa2013 Taylor 454ce 12 String Expression System California Made No ReserveTaylor Gs Mini Gs Acoustic Guitar Left HandedTaylor 400 414ce Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor 310ceTaylor 200 214e Acoustic/electric GuitarTaylor 410 Dreadnought Accoustic Guitar With Delux CaseRare!! Baby Taylor Bubinga Acoustic Guitar 305-b-gb With Hardshell Case UsaTaylor 214ce With Custom Artwork And Hardshell CaseTaylor 612ceTaylor Gs Mini MahoganyBaby Taylor 301-m Mahogany Acoustic Guitar Usa 3/4 SizeTaylor Ns32ce Nylon String Acoustic Electric Guitar W/caseTaylor Baby Big 307-gb Acoustic Guitar Usa 2003Taylor 814ce-n - Natural Nylon String Cutaway Classical Acoustic Electric GuitarTaylor 214e Deluxe Dlx Grand Auditorium Acoustic Electric Guitar W/ Case MintTaylor Suede Guitar Strap Ts1 Honey Slightly Used Taylor Solidbody Classic Sb1-x Electric Guitar With Ohsc And Extras Taylor 355 12-string GuitarTaylor 110 Acoustic Guitar With Road Runner Hard Case * No ElectronicsTut Taylor Crafters Of Tennesee Square Neck Dobro -- Californian Model, OhscTaylor Guitar Sticker LogoTaylor Guitar Sticker (pack Of Five)