The Hagström Viking was the first semi-acoustic guitar manufactured by Hagström. It was originally launched in 1965 and was built until it was discontinued in 1979 a few years before Hagström closed down their manufacturing in Sweden. The Viking is currently being reproduced in China by new owners of the Hagström brand.
The Hagström Viking was the first semi-acoustic guitar built by the Hagström company. It was launched in 1965 alongside Hagström's new 12-string guitar and two bass guitars. Two years later there was a twelve-string model launched simple called the Viking 12 and the Viking II Deluxe which featured gold plated machine heads and adjustable bridges. In 1967 Hagström player Frank Zappa's "Nifty Tough & Bitchin" advertising agency was hired to promote the Hagström brand in the USA. This resulted in three print ads: "Nifty", "Long and Slippery", and "Folk Rock is a Drag", and a radio spot: "Long and Slippery".
In 1968 Hagström got much publicity when Elvis Presley played a Hagström Viking at the Elvis Presley Comeback Television Special for N.B.C. in the USA. Al Casey played a Viking II in the orchestra and was asked by producer Bones Howe if Elvis could borrow the guitar for the appearance. According to Elvis's drummer Hal Blaine it was considered a lucky charm by Elvis. To take advantage of this Hagström used pictures of Elvis with the Viking in ads until Elvis's manager advised them not to.
The Hagstrom Viking was manufactured from 1964 - a two pickup guitar very much in the style of a Gibson ES335 or Guild Starfire, however structurally quite different. With its bolt-on neck, hollow body (no central block) and Fender style headstock it is actually more akin to other guitars such as the Fender Coronado (although it precedes this model by several years).
The late sixties saw the introduction of a short-lived deluxe model, the Viking 2 - famously played by Elvis Presley during his '68 come back performance. Functionally identical, however with finer trim; gold plated hardware, bound neck, body headstock and f-holes, ebony fingerboard with block inlays.
Shortly after the discontinuation of the V-2, the V-1 model was redesigned to have humbucker pickups, three way tone switch, and a new Hagstrom headstock. This was designated V-1N, or during Ampegs tenure as US distributor, the Scandia or HG802.
Finally from 1978 the model reverted to its original name - simply the Viking, however it kept its humbucking pickups, but now gaining a Fleur de Lys headstock inlay, and the central maple block of the Gibson ES guitars.