’97  Erlewine Chiquita Travel Guitar – Mint Condition

In the marketing of the Chiquita Travel Guitar, Erlewine Guitars says, “Ain’t No Big Thing.” I get it. But I’ve always felt it was bigger than that. Small Guitar? Absolutely. But it’s got Big Sound, and, relatively speaking, an even Bigger History.

The Chiquita is the “Original Travel Guitar” and was designed by Mark Erlewine with Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. This model has appeared in several famous movies and music videos over the years. It has also been owned and played, to varied degrees, by many well-known artists including Joe Bonamassa, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Andy Summers, Paul McCartney (a left-handed bass version), Billy Gibbons, and Pat Metheny. 

A little over 27 years ago, while traveling, I purchased this little axe (NEW) directly from the man himself: (Mark Erlewine) at Erlewine Guitars in Austin, Texas, February 3rd, 1997. The original sales receipts are still in the case. At the time of purchase, I didn’t think to have Mark sign it (I wish I had.). On the sales receipt, under “Salesperson”, he simply wrote the word “ME”. I’m not suggesting that this makes it worth any more. It’s just part of its story.

Believe me, I know how difficult it is to buy an instrument online. That said, I do my best to offer full descriptions and ample photos of the guitars I offer. So please ask me any questions you like. I will answer them. If you want additional images, I will provide them.

Oops!: I noticed, in a couple of the photos, that the "G" string has slipped off its saddle. My bad. It's back where it belongs now. :)

If you’re a practicing/traveling musician, or an avid collector, this might be a very interesting piece of Americana, and a mint-quality, musically-functional piece of history for you. You can find all the specifics below.


One remarkable aspect of this 27-year-old instrument is its condition. It is as it was the day I purchased it - 100% stock, no alterations, no imperfections, scratches or blemishes, and no play wear. You’ll know at a glance that it simply hasn’t been played. Yes. Shame on me. But perhaps, a wonderful opportunity for you.





NECK: Mahogany, Neck-Through Design, 10" radius

FINGERBOARD Bound Laurel, 23 frets

BODY: Mahogany neck-thru body construction with bound Natural Wood body and peghead

BRIDGE: Tune-O-Matic, Bad-Ass style

TUNERS:  Grover, 16:1 ratio

ELECTRONICS: Classic '59 Style Humbucker Pickup, Volume control

STRINGS: Erlewine Guitars suggests 13 – 56. (Printed on the back of the headstock). I know! This is like SRV piano wire! But it’s a short scale so the tension isn’t as high. Some musicians like to use lighter gauge strings and then dial it up a few semitones and transpose from there. Just sayin’, there’s a lot of latitude.

COLOR: Natural Wood

CASE: Original Hard-Shell Case, Black Velour-lined, original key included. (29" X 10" X 4", 7.4 lb)

GUITAR WEIGHT: 4.25 lbs. (1.93 Kilograms)

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Listeda month ago
ConditionMint (Used)
Mint items are in essentially new original condition but have been opened or played.Learn more
  • Travel Guitar
  • Mohogany, natural, high-gloss clear coat
  • 1997
Made In
  • Korea, Republic of
Right / Left Handed
  • Right Handed
Number of Strings
  • 6-String
Body Type
  • Solid Body

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Conner Guitart

Flower Mound, TX, United States
Joined Reverb:2024

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