The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

National Val Pro 82 Vermillion Red, 1962

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The National Val Pro 82 was the single-pickup version of the ‘Map Body’ Val Pro line, built during 1962 and 1963 by Valco in Chicago, Illinois. 

National itself began in 1927 with the invention of the Resophonic guitar, but in 1928 the original builders – the Dopyera brothers – left to form Dobro, and in 1932 the Dopyera’s bought a controlling interest in National and merged the two companies. In 1940, the principals reorganized the company into Valco, and that turned into a large concern, building Airline, Supro, National, Dobro guitars and some models for Gretsch, Harmony and Kay. Amplifiers were a big part of Valco’s production. Valco and Kay merged in 1967, but folded shortly after in the face of offshore competition.

At the time and as now, most guitar companies were looking for ways to reduce production costs and offer new, exciting designs. National – Valco – presented the ‘Map Body’ designs, so called because it roughly approximates the shape of the continental United States. But wait, there’s more! These guitars also introduced a fibreglass version named ‘Res-O-Glas’, with light wooden cores or frames.

Here we’re looking at a National Val Pro 82 in Vermillion Red – the only colour available – built during 1962 in Chicago. It’s in very nice condition, with not a lot of wear, considering its age. It features the Res-O-Glas ‘Map’ body design, with a Maple neck. The fingerboard and bridge are Brazilian Rosewood. The head plate is white/black/white plastic and carries a silver-finish National logo. The pickup mount and knobs are white plastic, while the pickguard is clear plexi, with its pinstriping and National Val Pro shield logo intact. Fret wear is moderate to heavy, particularly in the low positions. The frets appear to be original, even the zero fret. The pickup looks like a humbucker, but is in reality a single coil.

One construction detail of the National Val Pro 82 is that this has a bound Brazilian Rosewood fingerboard, but the binding is cut through to make fretting fast and easy (and reduce construction costs). Now, Brazilian would only be found on the highest priced guitars, but at the time, it was extremely common. Cutting through the binding would now not be done.

This guitar plays well, and it’s quite comfortable. Its scale length is about the same as a Gibson, but the geometry moves the neck in a bit closer to the body and that makes for a shorter reach to the low positions.

The original fibre (cardboard) case is included.


 

Price: $1750 CAD
  • Model: Val Pro 82
  • Year: 1962
  • Finish Vermillion Red
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: T 76058
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 15/10/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including original Soft case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.66lbs 3.48kg
  • Scale Length: 628.6mm 24.75in
  • Nut Width: 42.5mm 1.67in

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