Friday, November 13, 2009

1960's Kay Vanguard K102 Guitar

This is probabaly a late 1960's Kay model based on the information I've found. It is a Vanguard model K102 with two DeArmond pickups (sometimes called the Vanguard 2) and they also came as the K100 with a single DeArmond pickup. Kay also produced these guitars for the Western Auto chain and badged them with the Truetone name and for Spiegel Catalog and badged them with the Old Kraftsman name.

Kay became the second-largest producer of inexpensive guitars and related instruments in Chicago behind Harmony. Both Harmony and Kay mass-produced many thousands of instruments under catalog brand names such as Silvertone (Sears), Airline (Montgomery Ward) and many others. The original Kay Musical Instrument Company in Chicago went out of business in 1968, but the name is still active, licensed to a line of cheap instruments from Asia.

You can find a lot of information on Kay guitars at the
King Of Kays



Anonymous said...

My first guitar was the Montgomery Ward version of this instrument. It was sold by them packaged with a little tube amp. I played it from the time I got it for Christmas when I was ten, until after I graduated from college. With all volume controls wide open, it had wicked, smooth distortion. I'm almost 57 now, and I wish I still had it! Thanks for the great photos!

Guitar Hunter said...

I'm glad I could put a smile on your face and help you reminisce. That's one of the things I like about making this blog and having people leave comments.

Anonymous said...

i have a guitar that looks just like this except with only one pickup, its red and it says truetone. could you tell me anything about this guitar?

Anonymous said...

do you know what model the pickups are, i have one of these guitars and i'm trying to find a replacement for the bridge pickup

Anonymous said...

you know my dad just gave me a guitar similar to this one, i cant find the exact make and model its close to this one but not exact im trying to restore it now and its a pain! haha but thanks for your help if you know of any where i cn find more information let me know!

W said...

This post helped me to identify my Kay Vanguard. I have had this guitar since I was born, passed down from my father. Thanks so much for the information.

JAM said...

Although I haven't had opportunity to see or play one of these, the glitter/Elmer's glue name on there cracked me up.

I was a danger around our home if I happened to have Elmer's glue and glitter at the same time.

Thanks for sharing. Love looking at these old guitars.

Anonymous said...

I need to find some replacement parts for a guitar like this except it is a single pick up I need the pick gaurd and chrome cover over the strings any one who knows where to find these let me know thanks

Sanctioned Buffoonery said...

Looking for parts for the old Vanguards? eBay is dripping in them. But it'll cost ya a little bit.

darren brown said...

i own this guitar now

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