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Corvette Condor Impala

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The Hagstrom UK Corvette can be found
by clicking the picture below:

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SEE A CLOSE UP OF THE CORVETTE / CONDOR SWITCH ASSEMBLY HERE

SEE A VIEW OF THE SLIDER VOLUME MECHANISM HERE

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Another Canadian entry - Mike Williams, originally from Liverpool in good old Blighty, 5th December 2001

From: mike.vw@shaw.ca   To: webstrom 

Subject: info Hi, My name is Mike I live in British Columbia Canada. I am looking for information about my Hagstrom. I bought it used in 1974 it has a few small nicks in the body, I don't play it at all in fact it has the same Fender super light sstrings I put on when I bought it. I am trying to find how old it is and what kind of value it might have? The serial number is 689182, I am attaching a picture of it that I took yesterday. I would appreciate any information you might be able to give me. Thank you in advance. Yours Truly, Mike Williams.

It's a really well looked after Corvette. (Click the pic)

Looking quickly in the records, I can't tell which year it was made from the serial number given. Not a worry by any means as the records have known to be wrong! Looking at other models too this specific batch isn't listed but as they are not strictly chronological, I would say it was 1966-7. A quick scout around the circle of friends (thanks Rob) and I was able to outline the variety of prices these go for. This one might have been pretty high on any list.

This was also known as the Condor after a glitch with Gretch - (Not General Motors!)
The Basses were The Coronado, or Futurama Basses in the UK - confusing eh?

Hagstrom once mixed the texts for the Corvette and the Impala in an advert and thus confused a lot of people. These three-pickup guitars are Corvettes in most countries but in the US they became Condors. 

The Impala is a two pick-up model, and never had to change name.

See Jeff's example further down the page...

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Randy's Condor - is a Corvette - is a fine example!

This Hagstrom Condor is mint condition. I've had one in my closet for almost 35 years -- bought it new in 1967.


Actually, I'm loaning my Condor a friend on Saturday, so I probably won't have time to get a shot of it before then. I will keep the it in mind, however, and will send you a shot soon upon its return. May be a month or two.
(He's a good friend.)

I last played it in the 80s, and even though I took it apart and cleaned all the moving parts and button areas as best I could, a few of my buttons are "iffy," as I recall.

But other than that, it sounds wonderful and the finish is mint. I've concentrated on acoustic since the 70s.

But I'm still in love with the look of the Condor, and the memories of the late 60s when I was playing it. Best regards, Randy

      

David, Hey, I bought some film last night and snapped a few shots. Here are the promised photos of my 1967 Hagstrom Condor. Best regards, Randy Scott St. Louis, MO USA

That's what I like - a sense of duty - yes folks, get your pictures in to me, add a bit of background, and hey presto, here they are!
Thanks Randy, it's a really gorgeous looking example - make sure your friend takes care while enjoying one of the best players from Hagstrom!!

 

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Here's an Impala!

Jeff Yoho brings us a special selection from the early and pioneering days.

See also his Hagstrom Deluxe from a batch of 300 over 1960-61 - a Bright Blue Sparkle - still is too!

But here is a pic of my impala you asked me about. as you can see it's got a show of years. i bought this guitar around 1980 from an acquaintance for $30. he wanted money to buy a watch for his daughter's birthday. he had originally gotten it in trade for a 10 speed bicycle. if only he knew......

 when i received it the frets were trashed, the trem arm was missing, a tuner cover was missing, string tree gone, a few pole piece slugs on a pickup were missing, there was no bridge, and the electronics were so dirty some functions would not work. it does have the original softshell case, though. i immediately fell in love.

over the years i have scoured and found all the origional parts here and there, cleaned, refretted, and played alot! (since this pic was taken i found a hagstrom string tree and original vibrato arm). as far as i can tell she's back to stock, unless you can tell me something i may have missed.

there is no crown logo on this guitar, and it has the curiously squared pickups i was asking about earlier. i can send the serial # later if you want, right now this guitar is at band practice and out of town. not long after i got it i was soooo tempted to add a third hagstrom pickup since there is a connection for it under the pickguard* and make it a corvette. i'm so glad sanity returned and i left her alone.

this is still one of my favourite guitars and i've probably had her the longest. i let my 1966 rickenbacker 375 go that i had for 20 years but this one stays with me. thanks again for your help, and for your web site! cordially, jeff yoho

Hi again Jeff, A great guitar, and favourite of many of the collectors, the current value means you have made a few thousand percent since purchase. Better than most shares at the moment! 

I see what you mean about the pickups, very interesting! There are quite a few curious aspects to the Hagstrom story, variations and combinations that don’t always follow an obvious timeline, so the serial would be good when you can - thank you very much.

My own Corvette had to be refretted as it was the constant companion of a German danceband player for 25 years! As for the general condition of yours, I have seen many a lot worse, and they still command a reasonable price at auction, even if Hagstrom prices don’t achieve what they deserve… yet. 

Thanks for your continued interest. Kind regards, David

*Nice little piece of info there.   Fortunately I was able to give a tip on the Kings Head logo, so if anyone has a real problem there, let me know...

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Now our friend Henry Telstar from Belgium and Holland and (well he gets around a bit...) is back,

First it was his H8 Bass - current stage axe - then a great acoustic twelve, and now... well now... Heck I wasn't sure...


But yes definitely Corvette-esque... It is the "automatic" version

"One of the rarest Hags ever. The two upper switches are a bit special, the inner is for standby and the outer one is for activation/deactivation of the tone control! The three lower switches are for selection of pickup. In a way much safer than the Corvette/Condor/Impala layout where it is quite easy to stand there with no signal output because you hit the wrong-, or too many switches accidentally." (super quick detail provided courtesy of our good friend Anders Karlsson)

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Just when you thought it was safe to get into gear,
(sorry, use the "shift stick" for our US visitors)
here comes A DIFFERENT Corvette Automatic!
***
Featuring in a Selmer UK catalogue a 1963 model:


>>> See the update story below these pics <<<



>>> See the update story below these pics <<<

>>> See the update story below these pics <<<

"In ’63 Ben Davis, the owner of the Selmer Company in London, devised a cross between the Corvette and the Impala called the Automatic. Accommodating his wishes, Hagstrom produced the Automatic exclusively for Selmer, London, between ’63 and ’65".
See the Hagstrom History Pages

No Kings Head sticker, no Hagstrom name anywhere to be seen
the former Manchester UK owner of this one didn't realise it had anything to do with Hagstrom...

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***>>> UPDATE <<<
To compliment the example featured above, I recently (Dec 2006) came into contact with Rob, who also owns one of these Selmer models. It is enlightening to know that the original Selmer catalogue page wasn't so wrong after all! These actually did have the acrylic fretboards! What is more, the speculation that there was some confused information in the catalogue turns out to be an apology to all concerned at the time...

These were really called the Futurama Coronado Automatic - no mistake! No Condors, Corvettes or Impalas involved. Selmer wanted the bass and the guitar of their (special request) stock to be called the same! Now all that remains is the questions about reference to Duo-Sonic pickups on these? Surely they were not special one-off pickups on the guitars???

As a user of the above example for many years, Rob has promised much more detailed info soon, the mod's he's tried over the years, a schematic to add to the collection... and we'll be sure to give you all the facts on a page right here!

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This Corvette just can't stop driving a good gig!

Hi...   My Corvette looks to be in the same condition as the one you have on your website.... It's certainly interesting to see it on-line and to know that someone has one just like mine....It's the only other one that I've ever seen... I thought that these things were totally extinct... I love the guitar and would never consider selling it.... I've had it since it was new and still play it in a 60's band. It plays as good as the day I bought it..... I'll be happy to take some pictures and send them to you, if you'd like. I'll be checking back to your site from time to time just to drool over the interesting material. Thanks, and Best Wishes... Robert Valentine

Hi David.... Here's a shot of me holding that guitar in 1966..... after we won a local battle of the bands....Our drummer Richie Corey is holding the trophy......the picture is quite depictive of the time.....LOL....This picture was taken for the newspaper and was a featured item.... There's an article that went along with it and brought much popularity to the group.....I'll be scanning some other pics and articles anything that shows the Hagstrom "Corvette" I'll be sure to include to you.... The band is back together after 35 years of absence.... We began rehearsals a year ago, this month.... It's been quite a trip reliving some of our youth.......We've done several gigs over this last year and is certainly a blast from the past........

Cheers Bob, a great story, rumour has it you also drive it's namesake, now all we need is to see the car and the guitar together!

Thanks for the pics and info.

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Please note: although I will try my best for an occasional request, this site is not an official price record site,
it all depends on the person who wants to sell and the person who wants to buy.
I am no dealer, and therefore can not provide a firm expectation considering the above.
Be patient if you're looking for the right Hagstrom!

There is no price list any more!

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Don't be put off now... please send your Hagpics* for sharing with the net !!!

There must be loads of pics around from the last forty years, why not share them with us!   
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There's nothing like a REAL original Swedish made Hagstrom (and there are loads around), but if it 'floats your boat', or you can't find an original then who are we to say?

Plenty has been said already and
will be said forever forward probably.
Only you know what's right for you!