Wandre guitars are coveted by a very small group of people, but those who do are crazy about them. In 2002 I was not one of those people Now, almost ten years later, I can certainly raise my hand and be counted in the crowd. How big is the crowd? That is an interesting question. I think for every vintage Fender fan there are… wait, for every 200,000 Fender fans, there may be one of us. Then again, probably for every 20 million Fender fans might be more accurate.
Antony Wandre Pioli made guitars from the late 1950’s through the 1960’s. His claim to fame was an aluminum neck, but the attraction to most of us was the crazy body shapes. The guitars were musical sculptures, works of art. But this is not a story about his history – you can read about him on the internet – it is a story about how I came to become a Wandre junkie.
So as to best of my memory in late 2002, I found a curious guitar on EBAY that nobody seems to be paying any attention to – a Wandre Doris. “What the hell is that thing?”, was my first thought. 30 seconds later I’m thinking,.. “damn, I gotta have it”. It is an inexplicable phenomena that guitar buyers go through, but we’ve all experienced it. So I contact the seller, make him an offer (at the time I was cursing myself for spending so much) and we arrive at a deal. Two weeks later I get this beauty in the mail:
Wow. What a cool, fragile, ridiculously lightweight, spectacular, completely individual, personal, like-no-other-guitar-I-have-ever-held, sexy body shaped, weird?, big switched, comfortable, cozy, guitar. It was a piece of art… I mean a guitar. No, art. Whatever. I was hooked. Can you tell?
My first reaction was to tell everyone I know about this fantastic discovery! How did that work out? Kind of like telling everyone you know in grade seven that liver and onions is the best food on the planet. I started thinking the guy who sold it to me is telling everyone he knows that Mike at www.myrareguitars.com thinks liver and onions is the best food on the planet.
But fear not, I simply loved that thing. So much so that I photographed it from every angle and did some detailed drawings (yes, in my earlier years I was a draftsman, although that name sounds odd these days) so that I could catalog it for future use. Which I did in 2006 when we released the EASTWOOD Wandre to great fanfare.
However, back to the story of this specific guitar. There I was in my office about a year later when one evening the phone rang. “Hi, I see you have a Wandre Doris on your website”, said the caller. “Yep, cool isn’t she?”, said I. It was not for sale. I did not have a price on it, just listed on the 1960’s guitars pages that I’d been updating for reference. “I’d like to buy it”, said the predator. For the next 30 minutes we had a great chat about our guitar collections, how much we loved collecting guitars, where we both lived, families, friends, and all things that guitar fans have in common.
One of the great things about this job is you meet people every day that share your passion for guitars. This guy was one of those people. Yet he was a persistent fellow. “How much did you pay for it?”, he asked. I told him. “Can I offer you three times what you paid for it?”. I think, “WTF?” to myself. “no, I love this thing, really don’t want to sell it”. So we chat for another 15 minutes about other guitar stuff, then he says, “I’m thinking you’d be pretty stupid to refuse five times what you paid for it”. And of course I reply, “I’m not that stupid”. or something like that. Thirty seconds later my email pops up with a message, “You’ve Got Money” from PAYPAL.
Yes, it is in the amount of five times what I paid for it… plus shipping.
The next morning it got filed under THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.
VIEW EASTWOOD WANDRE DORIS TRIBUTE FOR SALE
14 thoughts on “Back Catalog Memories: 1960’s Wandre Doris Guitar”
Well, i’m a Davoli/Wandré fan to! I contacted you a year ago to ask you if you planned to make a Davoli Cobra I reissue, the one with the bat headstock…
Please give us some great news!!!
Bye and thanks for your work.
Cool body shape–kind of a mutated Burns/Baldwin Jazz Split-Sound–but, darn it, I think the Eastwood version looks a lot more practical hardware-wise, and is a lot more reasonably-priced to boot!
still no plans for the Cobra, but we are doing the TRI-LAM !
My first playable guitar was a Noble. It had a similar aluminum neck like this guitar and a plastic body, black with gold flecks. That’s been 50 years and I have never heard of the brand nor seen a similar guitar since. I’m quite sure it was Italian.
Anybody got a clue?
Yes, Noble was the US import name for Wandre Italian guitars.
I love my Airline Wandre, it is a great interpretation of a truly unique guitar.
Thanks so much for producing these.
Yo tengo una esas… y si la venderia a 5 veces mas de lo que la pague… al alguien le interesa?
Hi, Just came across your story. I’ve had a Wandre “Teenager” since 1994. It’s powder blue and unique in a lot of ways. It has no bolts holding on the neck to the headstock. It also has a gold coloured badge. Rare I think. Some guys in Italy think it’s probably late 50’s-60. Nice axe. I’ve used it for recording but it’s not practical for live work due to the lead from the pickup isn’t unplugable and quite short. I would attach a pic but can’t I guess. then again, you know what they look like.
Just got my Eastwood Wandre Tri-Lam about a month ago and have played it on many a stage since then. Great comments not only on the looks of the thing but the tone as well. I got the blue one.
HI, MY NAME IS MARIO ALBARRACIN FROM BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA. I HAVE THE SAME GUITAR, IN RED!!! WANDRE DORIS!!! NEAR MINT!!! AND I WANT TO SELL IT!!! . IF U HAVE INTEREST I CAN SEND U PICS!!!
Could you send me some pictures?
J’ai prêtée ma guitare Doris Wandré à un certain H.G. qui a disparu avec .Si il lit ces lignes il devrait
facilement se reconnaitre .Et au besoin je peux préciser bassin minier….et Johny…..et 2 roues . Tu
peux faire signe …car comme tu le vois je ne suis pas encore mort et ….je joue toujours et plutôt
mieux et heureusement depuis le temps !
HI, I M THE OWNER OF A FANTASTIC WANDRE DORIS RED GUITAR. ALL ORIGINAL AND WORKING WELL, OK. NO NOISES. ALL IS WORKING FINE! IF YOU NEED PICTURES OF MY WANDRE DORIS JUST ASK FOR IT TO email@example.com ADRESS OR CALL ME TO BUENOS AIRES ARGENTINA MY PHONE NUMBER OR WHATSUP IS +54 9 11 32195544 – IM READY TO HEAR YOUR REASONABLE OFFER!!!
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