Dusty Hill’s ridiculous-looking 1983 Hot Rod car bass is up for auction
Dusty Hill’s quirky Hot Rod car bass guitar is currently up for auction. The ZZ Top bassist passed away back in 2021, and now his estate is selling some of his most iconic gear, including the unique axe which was used for the band’s Eliminator tour in 1983.
The Hot Rod bass was an early build from Wayne Charvel, founder of Charvel guitars. The instrument’s neck plate is engraved by him with the serial number 143, and hosts Charvel’s P.O. Box details from back in the ‘80s.
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The guitar has a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard and a single EMG pickup with Schaller tuners. It will be up for sale in December via Julien’s Auctions, and is expected to fetch between $40,000 to $60,000.
As explained on the auction website, the band were photographed posing with this particular bass, along with Billy Gibbons’ matching Eliminator car guitar, backstage at the Monsters Of Rock show in Donington Park, England on 20 August 1983. It can also be seen in a 1985 Rolling Stone magazine shoot.
The guitar comes with its original custom made wooden box with patches of carpet lining. It was previously on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
Wayne Charvel’s son, Michael, shared his childhood memories of the bass on social media following Hill’s passing back in 2021. The auctioneers have re-shared his post, which reads, “The most memorable bass that my dad built for Dusty was in 1983 for the Eliminator Tour.
“He made a Car Guitar and a matching Car Bass for Billy and Dusty. The instruments were made to match Billy’s 33 Ford three window coupe, known as ‘The Eliminator Coupe.’ The knock-offs on the wheels were the volume and tone control, and the tailpipes blew smoke. Those were some great memories; I remember Billy calling my dad at three am… ZZ Top [were] on tour in Germany. Billy said the guitars were well received, and when they shot smoke, the crowd went wild!”
The auction is taking place from 8-9 December 2023. Head to Julien’s Auctions to find out more.
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