Custom Alfa Romeo-inspired Guitar Redefines High Performance

Harrison Custom Guitar Works is crafting only eleven “Alfa Romeo” guitars, one for each decade of the storied Italian marque's history. While the awesome axes pay homage to Alfa's performance on the racing circuit, Harrison's use of high-end and exotic materials ensures these rare instruments will perform with equal flair in concert halls and recording studios.

“As a concept,” explains Guy Harrison, owner of Yorkshire, UK-based Harrison Custom Guitar Works, “the 'Alfa Romeo' guitar seeks to mirror the passion, the curves, the sportiness, and the occasionally unconventional designs you get with Alfa Romeo through the grille shape, the use of high quality materials and the sleek body.”

Even from a distance, the guitar reflects the automaker's classic brand identity beginning with the triangular grill and the engraved Alfa Romeo badge, the latter doing double duty as as the guitar's volume dial. The bars of the “grill” along with the pick-ups, tail piece and bridge are milled from high quality solid aluminium (that's British for “aluminum”) billet. A a special carbon-fiber composite is used extensively on the guitar's back and interior.

Like many Italian automobiles of the 20th century, Alfa Romeo was known both for their performance on the racetrack and their exquisite, some say artistic, beauty. “I also wanted to use materials that were evocative of the brand's designs,” concurs Harrison, “so the carbon fibre for the back, an Alfa Red (painted) body, the aluminium components – bringing out all those beautiful qualities that Alfa Romeos have.”

While the guitar itself is electric, it's constructed using an open design and 25 inch scale length more typical of a heavily made acoustic guitar. The semi-hollow body is built from Poplar with a Maple cap and a neck crafted from Korina, the latter carbon-reinforced with a two way adjustable truss rod. The 12-inch radius, Ebony fingerboard features medium fret wire and aluminum/coral inlays. A whimsical touch – a green malachite Quadrifoglio Verde (Alfa Romeo's symbol, a four-leaf clover) – gleams from the third fret.

“I'm an Alfa Romeo driver,” admits Harrison, “so to be able to design a guitar around a brand that I already buy into was fantastic and this project has been a joy to work on.” This amazing Alfa Romeo guitar makes its public debut on June 24th, at a special invitation-only screening of Dave Grohl's Sound City documentary.

The event takes place at Olympic Studios and will feature a live performance by Tim Burgess and Mark Collins of The Charlatans. After that, the guitar will “go on tour” at an ongoing series of events up until the end of 2014.

Potential purchasers should contact Harrison Custom Guitar Works to place an order, but be advised each of the 11 hand-built guitars takes about 8 months to compete and costs £4,000 each. (via AutoEvolution)