Vintage Guitar - July 2016 - Open - 39
ad in a 1967
6 & 7) The bass and 12-string versions of the Swept-Wing semihollow. The latter was refinished by Bill Gruggett.
"It's the only one I've ever seen like
that," he said. "I wonder if it was built for
someone special, or did they run out of
'66 pickups that day? It's anybody's guess."
In 1967, Hallmark began to make semihollow Swept-Wing guitars and basses
(labeled as "acoustic" on an order form)
by routing solid bodies and covering them
with a veneer of marine-grade laminated
maple. It also brief ly f lirted with making
a Swept-Wing for a brand called Epcor,
started by Ed Preager, who otherwise
used thinline hollow bodies imported
from Italy with symmetrica l cutaway
horns (similar to
a Gibson ES-335).
Though a prototype was made, it went
Hallmark tried advertising its line in
appropriate periodicals, and one ad in an
issue of Hullabaloo magazine proclaimed
the Doors used the brand. By the time that
periodical changed its name to Circus in
1969, Hallmark had already foundered,
as had the Gruggett brand. Mosrite's
chronology would continue through the
ensuing decades and ultimately include
factories in North Carolina and Arkansas.
Shade is still fascinated by such brands
and models, and still seeks examples from
the Bakersfield area's unique place in
American guitar history.
Special thanks to Bob Shade for providing photos.