1952 Martin O-18 for $96…



The 1952 Martin O-18 Acoustic Guitar.

It might as well be the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Not because of the way it looks, but because of the way it plays…

My friend, Bill Benoit bought it in 1977 when he was 19 years old at Grandpa’s Lumber, outside of East St. Louis.  That’s right, a hardware store….  for $96.  Grandpa’s was a general store, with a rack of guitars out back and on that day in 1977 was this Martin, hanging there, all beat up.  It was patched up with bondo (for auto body repair).  The pegs were actually glued in with epoxy, and there is also some fire damage on the body (see below).

In 2006, Bill took the guitar to E.U. Wurlitzer in Boston, in the original location, downstairs on the corner of Mass Ave and Newbury Street.  They reset the neck and frets, put in a KLK pickup and changed the bridge and tuners to period correct replacements.

All I can say is it plays and sounds as good as any guitar I’ve ever picked up.

Not bad, Grandpa…


Matt Becker

Live from Matt’s House

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