Anybody seen one of these?

I have an acoustic guitar I bought in 1974 that is Japanese in manufacture, but there is no manufacturer name in or on the guitar. The sticker inside the guitar says it was imported by Crown City Imports, that it was made in Japan, and has a model # of FW618R. The logo on the head piece is the letters "IC" or "CI" overlayed one on top of the other -- looks kind of like a cent sign. The guitar is a very dark walnut-looking finish on top, back, and sides with pearl inlay along the edges on top. Still sounds great with nice action. Paid $300+ for it originally (in 1974), so it was not a cheapie. I am trying to find out who made the thing -- what it really is. Anybody have any clues?


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Did a search on that serial number and came up with a web site that was listed as the unofficial Harmony Web Page. copied the pertinate paragraph which is pasted below. Hope this helps.

Many Harmonys I've seen incorporate an Hxxx in the serial number. The numbers after the H indicate the model. The numbers before might indicate the sequence number. Dating them seems to be a little more complicated. Some guitars seem to have an F-66, FW-59 or similar number stamped inside the guitar, along with "Made in the USA." This number will indicate the year of manufacture, but it doesn't appear all the time. The F indicated the Fall manufacturing run for the Xmas season. The S indicated that they were being made for the Summer run of instruments. It confirmed the dating of some guitars I have, with what I surmised to be their date of production.

Evidently Harmony was farming out production to Japan by the time yours was made. Nothing wrong with that there are some fine values for the money being made in Asia.

I just acquire an IC crown city imports Martin clone yesterday. the model # is FW-617. It looks like it might have been made by Takamine in the 70's. It has a solid spruce top, solid rosewood back and sides with pearl purfling around soundhole and top of body. Sounds and plays great. Very well made.[/img]

Popiel, if you tried to put up a picture image of the guitar and it didn't work out, please get back in touch. I should be able to get it successfully posted for you.

Here's a pic of the guitar.

I just picked up another older Japanese Martin copy from Japan. It's an "ELVIS" brand, Made by Daiwa-Gakki, Tokyo, Japan. I never knew Daiwa made guitars. It's one sweet axe. I'll post pics soon.

I have a similar guitar as well. My mom bought it for my dad in 1976. I'll go home and check the serial number in a bit, but it looks identical except that the headstock on mine doesn't have that inlay.

Welcome here, Nate. Does yours also have the odd dot-markings?

Yes I have one and the model number is FW 613T.

I'm new here but decided to register to give y'all some info on the Crown City brand. I inherited a Crown City Martin knockoff a couple of years ago and searched for some time to try and find out what it was.

The guy who owns the Truetone Music guitar store in Santa Monica CA finally solved the mystery for me. There is a Pawn Shop in Pasadena CA called Crown City Jewelry and Loan (I think) and in the 70's (and maybe 60's) he was selling huge amounts of guitars. At some point he decided to simply start importing guitars under his own company banner. Hence the name Crown City imports. Don't know who actually manufactured them but this is, apparently, for whom they were manufactured. Pasadena's nickname, by the way, is the Crown City.

My Crown City acoustic is a relatively nice acoustic that stays in tune pretty well and is fun to play. I don't use it often but usually take it if I'm going camping or knocking around and don't want to bring one of the nicer guitars.

I hope this helps to solve this little mystery.

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