Detroit-based Wallace Guitars joined forces with Jeep to release a guitar that pays homage to the carmaker's heritage and to the Motor City. The firm's first Jeep-branded instrument is built by hand using wood sourced from the ruins of the Packard Plant on East Grand Boulevard.
Founded in 2016, Wallace Guitars specializes in building guitars using wood from 100-plus-year-old buildings in Detroit. It notes that it normally uses pine taken from old-growth forests, and it stresses that it only gets wood from properties that can't be renovated. For better or worse, the Packard Plant ticks this box; it hasn't built a Packard since 1956, and it has been largely in ruins for decades.
Wallace's Jeep-inspired guitar features a Fender Telecaster-esque body made with the aforementioned pine, a maple neck and fretboard, a white pickguard, and chromed hardware. On the front, there's an army star applied with a branding iron. Flip it over, and you'll see the Jeep logo surrounded by a hand-painted topographical map of Detroit. It's an instrument that appeals to musicians, car enthusiasts, and cartophiles alike. One of the coolest design details is that the Jeep seven-slog grille appears framed by round headlights on the humbucker.
Musicians can order the Jeep-branded guitar online. Each instrument is hand-made, a process that can take up to 90 days, and pricing starts at $2,900. There's no word yet on whether production will be limited, but the 42-acre Packard Plant is not an endless supply of lumber. It's also for sale after its renovation got side-tracked again, and it sounds like at least part of it will be demolished by the next owners.
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