1965 Gretsch 6135 Corvette

CRAVE Guitars says…

Thumbs up: Cool retro looks, Burns vibrato, originality, OHSC, affordable vintage value

Thumbs down: Solid body, HiLoTron pickups, tuner configuration

Decree: A cool under‑the‑radar, little known Gretsch from the ‘golden era’

Model Description:

Compared with the classic hollow body models, Gretsch’s solid body guitars like the Corvette were generally considered to be at the affordable, student end of the range. The Corvette was produced in single and double pickup versions between 1963 and 1972 and was seen by Gretsch as a credible competitor to Gibson’s ubiquitous SG Junior and Special. The buying public didn’t take the bait, so the Corvette remains a relatively overlooked model when considered within the context of Gretsch’s more familiar and, let’s be honest, more desirable hollow body guitars like the 6120 Chet Atkins. It also couldn’t hold a candle to the more up-market Gretsch Duo Jet. Early Corvettes had a slab body but these were quickly superseded by the more familiar contoured body. Often underrated and disregarded by collectors, the Corvette exudes mid-1960s individuality from top-to-toe. Don’t confuse the original 6135 with the far eastern Electromatic ‘reissues’ – they not the same at all. Give it its due, blues/rock legend Rory Gallagher regularly played a 1963 Gretsch Corvette; who can argue with that? It is reassuring to see that Gretsch has updated the concept and has ‘reissued far eastern Electromatic models, evoking the spirit, if not vintage authenticity, of the original Corvette.

Guitar Description:

What do we have here? A fine and dandy ‘Made in USA’ solid body Gretsch Corvette (6135), born in Brooklyn, New York in 1965. It is undeniably cool, funky and quirky. At one end, the unusual 2+4 ‘reverse’ headstock is so cool (although not user friendly for traditionalists). At the other end, the uncommon Burns vibrato, equally oddball and distinctive, which provides all the vintage wobble you might be looking for. Although it isn’t practical the recessed strap button is a nice detail touch. The rosewood fingerboard is wide and flat, almost acoustic-like. The HiLoTron single coil pickups add a wide range of sounds – while critics tend to condemn them as weak ‘budget’ pickups, they have a unique vintage sound that is only now beginning to gain favour with collectors. The controls are unusual too, 2 volume controls, one for each pickup, a single tone control and 3‑way selector switch. This Corvette is in great condition for being over 50 years old – the scratchplate is warped with age (very common) and there are a few dings and bumps but that just adds a touch more authentic character. The gleaming chrome complements the deep dark cherry finish perfectly. Fancy a slice of history at a reasonable price? The Corvette may be just right for you.


  • Cherry nitrocellulose finish
  • Single piece mahogany offset contoured body
  • Set mahogany neck
  • Original nickel plated open tuners in 2+4 configuration with white oval buttons
  • Rosewood unbound fingerboard with 21 frets and dot markers
  • Scale length 24½” (622mm)
  • Chrome hardware
  • Original twin Gretsch ‘HiLoTron’ single coil pickups
  • Original two‑ply black/white plastic scratchplate (slightly warped due to age/shrinkage)
  • Original electrics comprising 3-way toggle switch, 2 volume and 1 tone controls and edge‑mounted ¼” jack socket
  • Original straight bar bridge
  • Original factory Burns vibrato
  • Original brown hard shell case


  • Rory Gallagher
  • Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age)
  • Chris Stein (Blondie)

Detail Gallery:

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