I wrote a bit about Harley Earl over on designreviews.co.uk. On there it was about his cars and the superb style he put into those futuristic road machines. Lots of unnecessary chrome, styling quirks, not to mention tail fins on everything. Harley pioneered all that which reached it’s pinnacle with the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado.
It is from the 1959 Cadillac rear end that I have borrowed some style and shape for the back end of the guitar body design you see here. For the front end I have used a low bezier count single cut swash which I think helps give a sense of speed and movement to this guitar design! For the headstock I designed a shape based on a rocket/bullet head/harpoon. I liked the idea of the harpoon headstock so I added a hole like is traditionally found in a harpoon head. Also it’s a styling quirk that perhaps Mr Earl would have approved of. An alternative would be some kind of headlight headstock, that’s an idea to play with perhaps…
All in all it looks a pretty sleek guitar design, I think. There is a scratch-plate which I envisioned as a Les Paul type angled above the body. Also the bridge might be good if it was swapped for a Bigsby unit with the logo cut out from the chrome.
The guitar body design here is visualised in silver grey, there is carving where the tail-light ‘tubes’ merge with the body and the back bumper. I’d like for the upper tail-fin to get thinner as it tapers upwards. That would also bring more comfort to playing this guitar. I always think a guitar body design should have a lower horn so that you can rest it on your leg, it’s a pretty essential design feature that has always put me off owning any ‘V’ shaped guitar. After I did this guitar body design I wondered if anyone else had merged a 59 Cadillac with a guitar before, worried! So I had a look and there were several guitars with a Cadillac name but none with the design influences I’ve been talking about, they just seemed to use the name because it is ‘cool’! But there was one exception, indeed it is a ‘V’ shaped guitar so it’s OK for standing up, it looks a lot to me like the Randy Rhodes Jackson DX guitar. A ‘V’ shaped guitar but I prefer my more surf-like guitar design, it would be more practical and if made well would be a bit of a beauty I think!
If anyone is interested in this guitar body design I can send them a vector Illustrator or PDF file so it can be scaled and printed at actual guitar body size. Just let me know in comments below, I’d love this guitar design to be made/manufactured! Stay tuned for more guitar body and headstock designs! Cheers, Mark