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Gorgeous custom guitars made from classic cars

Custom guitars made to complement classic cars -- and even incorporate car parts -- embody the very soul of rockabilly.

Ali Kat

As any guitarist knows, your axe is a deeply personal thing, and many dream of the day when they can own a one-of-a-kind custom instrument perfectly created to match their personality style.

For Dave Gartland of Ali Kat, based in Adelaide, Australia, that style is the 1950s, and the retro icons of rockabilly: grinning devils, licking flames -- and, of course, the elegant, swooping lines and glossy colours of classic cars. Although the luthier makes guitars of a few different styles, it's those modelled on the latter that truly stand out as stunning.

So far, Gartland has built several electric guitars in the Classic Car range, incorporating style elements and even parts from some of the cars, taking up to 165 hours to create a single instrument, with all welding, polishing, painting and assembly being performed by hand.

Ali Kat

The FJ Holden model, for instance, incorporates a working taillight into the body, and the 1957 Chevrolet Belair's body features the car's ridged aluminium side panels. Gartland has even created a guitar modelled on the original 1960s Batmobile.

He hasn't limited his creations to cars, either: his most recent range is inspired by sports cars and motorcycles.

Because they're all custom-built by hand, you can't just buy one off the rack. However, you can work with Gartland to get one made to your own specifications, starting at around AU$3000 (which converts to US$2,800/£1,640). Check out the Classic Car range here, and visit the Ali Kat main page to see more of Gartland's work.