1985 PRS Vintage Yellow NAMM 20 Prototype
It simply doesn’t get any better or more historic than this — 1985 NAMM 20 Prototype in iconic Vintage Yellow.
This is where it all began for vintage yellow addicts across the globe — the very first VY Custom 24 seen by the public. Paul created the NAMM guitars to generate interest and financing for his brand new company — Paul Reed Smith Guitars.
This hand-carved beauty sports prototype Schaller tuners with chrome wing collars and string-release direction arrows. The vibrato bridge was built by John Mann and has smaller saddle adjustment hex screws than on later production models.
The neck carve is completely unique to this guitar — it’s a little smaller than a Regular carve but with a similar shape. She has a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, Honduran mahogany body and a two-piece flamed maple top. The body and neck are finished in a Harley-Davidson color originally called “Brick Red”.
You’ll also notice there is no serial number on the back of the headstock because this was Paul’s handmade original prototype.
Here’s a great story from the current owner about how he landed this masterpiece –
“I got the guitar from a friend who received it from Paul after Summer NAMM (July ‘85 in New Orleans). He also bought a ‘57 Strat, and his wife told him that one of them had to go. He offered it to me a few months later, telling me that he had to have what he paid for it, which was $1,200.00 — a lot of money at the time.
After playing it, I knew that not having the guitar wasn’t going to be an option.
He told me that the guitar was a prototype, but I honestly didn’t care much about that. I just loved the way it felt and played. It was like the guitar was made for my hands! I was floored by the quality and the way it spoke to me. It took me a few weeks to come up with the cash, and I remember that I didn’t sleep very well until I had it. I’d never been so excited about a guitar before or since.
I knew right away that this Paul Smith guy was going to be a big player in guitar making. Having this guitar has really been a wonderful experience and I feel honored to own it.”
Paul himself said this particular guitar was “the finest example of the original guitar that exists in the world”. You won’t get any argument out of me or anybody else that loves PRS guitars.