A strong brand can be used to sell just about anything and surveys show that Jeep is one of the strongest.

The iconic off road outfit has been part of the American motoring scene since the 1940s and although based in the state of Ohio, it is now turning out vehicles in Motor City itself — Detroit.

Detroit, also known as Motown (portmanteau of motor and town), is probably even more famous for its music and home to many platinum-selling artists.

Perhaps, in an endeavour to forge stronger ties with the city, Jeep has lent its name to a range of guitars, in conjunction with Wallace Detroit Guitars and the music management Cherrytree Music Company.

Wallace Detroit Guitars is renowned for recycling wood from the city’s old buildings and industrial sites which it uses as the body for its electric guitars.

Detroit has more than 70,000 abandoned buildings and for Mark Wallace they represent buried treasure.

He not only enjoys making the instruments but also playing them.

“It feels great, as an instrument. It’s also great to know that it’s something I built and something that came out of the city of Detroit,” he said.

The refurbished wood, usually over 100 years old, gives each custom piece a vintage sound available only in older instruments.

And the thoughtful combination of neck, pickups, and electronics provide a wide range of tone with great sustain.

The guitar bodies are cut on a CNC router and finished by hand.

Each body is completely unique in its color and grain pattern.

Wherever possible, historic stains, nail holes and scars are left in the wood to showcase its history.

“People love the history of Jeep and the brand has always been known for customization and details, so it was extremely fun from a creative side to bring some of those historic elements into this guitar,” Wallace said.

Jeep brand and music enthusiasts can pre-order a one-of-a-kind, custom-built guitar crafted by Wallace Detroit Guitars using historic old-growth wood sourced from historic Detroit buildings.

Cherrytree’s Detroit Dreamers has even created a custom track, Dreamers, and accompanying visualizer  to mark the launch.

Wallace Detroit Deluxe Jeep Guitar is made from the wood sourced from the old Packard plant and features:

  • Graphic of the iconic Jeep version of the U.S. Army star on the front of the guitar, hand applied by a branding iron
  • The back of the guitar is as remarkable as the front, featuring engraved and hand-painted Jeep brand logo and Detroit topographical map
  • Humbucker (trademark symbol here) neck pickup with the iconic Jeep grille graphic
  • Maple neck and fretboard
  • Deluxe beveled edge white pickguard
  • Chrome hardware with traditional bridge and controls
  • Single coil bridge pickup
  • Guitar straps that come with every guitar are made from recycled car seat belts
  • All guitars also come standard with a Gator hard-shell guitar case
  • Hand-applied oil finish
  • [WU1] 100 per cent handmade in Detroit of Detroit for the Jeep brand
  • Each guitar will be individually numbered as part of custom build

Consumers can order one of the custom guitars, priced at $2900, at www.wallacedetroitguitars.com.


CHECKOUT: Jeep ‘patriotic’ . . . but where’s the Patriot?

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Jeep guitar a bridge to the past


Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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