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1958 Corvette Car Guitar

The Corvette car guitar is one of my all time favorite guitars that's ever come out of the shop. It is a replica carving of a 1958 Corvette convertible, which is one of my absolute favorite cars in the world. I have a client, Daniel, who lives in New York and has purchased around 12 Mcswain guitars over the years. Daniel is an art gallery curator, as well as the owner of a design firm. I became friends with him in Los Angeles, as he would fly out to see and purchase my guitars. The Corvette was one of the many he bought, along with a 1967 GTO Car guitar and a 1957 Thunderbird car guitar. Each one of these is around 19 inches long by 18 inches wide, and they are hand carved out of Alderwood. Alderwood is said to be an American version of mahogany due to it’s similar grain consistency, but it does have a slightly lighter appearance.


I bought a 1:18 ratio of a diecast model of a 1958 Corvette, and placed it on my bench to use for reference as I carved. I carved most things, such as the bumpers, individually and glued them together. I painted the piece with a Chrome paint and metal-flaked the car with Hot Rod car paint to make the guitars as realistic as possible. Additionally, on several cars I painted details like ghost flames. The wheels on each car are hand-carved doughnut shaped pieces of wood covered in rubber that I have inserted remote-control tire rims in the middle. I bought a busted tail light from a body shop and made the headlights and tail lights for the guitar, so that when you pull the volume knob up it switches on a nine-volt battery, connected to LEDs, to illuminate the headlights and tail lights. The windshield is made out of plexiglass that has been cut and heated to shape. There is a wooden carved frame that surrounds the plexiglass. The aluminum trim on the windshield is inlaid into the neck which was candy apple red flake painted as well. The guitar has a really good sound, and one of my favorite moments was when George Lynch came by the shop, played the guitar, and couldn’t believe how well it played. It was pretty awesome to have a big time rock n’ roller like George Lynch giving props to my car guitar.

Starlingear Cusomt Metal Guitar
'58 Corvette McSwain Car Guitar (lights on)
'58 Corvette tail lights
'58 Corvette headlights on (side)
'58 Corvette (bumper-headlights-windshield in progress)
'58 Corvette Guitar (shaping the body)2
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