Hondo, Chiquita Travel Guitar, 1983


Chiquita Travel Guitar
DiMarzio Distortion Humbucking pickup
The Story Behind


About the Guitar:

This guitar was designed by Mark Erlewine in the early 1980s with input from Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.  The idea was to create a short-scale electric guitar that you could take as carry-on luggage and play on a bus, plane or wherever.  The guitars were manufactured by Samick in Korea and sold by Hondo, a division of IMC.   Several different colors and styles were made, including models with swtichable double-coil and single-coil pickups.

This one is in bright yellow, same as what Michael J Fox played in the opening scene of "Back to the Future."  

ZZ Top was also using one in a video on MTV.

It features one DiMarzio Distortion Humbucking pickup mounted at the bridge. It only has a volume control and the instrument cord jack and that's it.

Due to the short scale fretboard and neck design, even though it has 23 frets, you need to tune the guitar from the key of 'E' up to the key of 'G', three half-steps. In this way the intonation and tuning are maintained, due to the shorter scale length of the strings.

Hondo printed the recommended string guages on the back of the headstock between the tuners. You can achieve a thick, full-sized guitar sound from this little beauty if your strings are on the heavier guage side of selections.

Here is the recommended string list:

E or 1st .013 / .330

B or 2nd .017 / .432

G or 3rd .022 / .560

D or 4th .036 / .916

A or 5th .046 / 1.170

E or 6th .056 / 1.423

Unfortunately, Hondo discontinued the Chiquita in 1985 and these guitars have become somewhat rare now. 

If you have any questions, please contact us