SUPRO
Model Search
Select Category There are no categories for this manufacturer
SUPRO
See chapter on House Brands.
The Supro trademark was the budget brand of the National Dobro company (See National or Valco), who also supplied Montgomery Wards with Supro models under the Airline trademark. National offered budget versions of their designs under the Supro brand name beginning in 1935.
When National moved to Chicago in 1936, the Supro name was on wood-bodied lap steels, amplifiers, and electric Spanish arch top guitars. The first solid body Supro electrics were introduced in 1952, and the fiberglass models began in 1962 (there´s almost thirty years of conventionally built guitars in the Supro history).
In 1962, Valco Manufacturing Company name was changed to Valco Guitars, Inc. (the same year that fiberglass models debuted). Kay purchased Valco in 1967, so there are some Kay-built guitars under the Supro brand name. Kay went bankrupt in 1968, and both the Supro and National trademarks were acquired by Chicago´s own Strum ´N Drum company. The National name was used on a number of Japanese-built imports, but not the Supro name.
Archer´s Music of Fresno, California bought the rights to the Supro name in the early 1980s. They marketed a number of Supro guitars constructed from new old stock (N.O.S.) parts for a limited period of time (source: Michael Wright, Vintage Guitar Magazine).
Some of these Valco-built models were constructed of molded fiberglass bodies and bolt-on wood/metal necks. While Supro pickups may sound somewhat funky to the modern ear, there is no denying the '50s cool appeal. Play 'em or display 'em. Either way, you can´t go wrong.
Supros are on the higher end of desirability as far as House Brand Instruments and are generally priced between $350 and $750, depending on color and amount of knobs. Look for more individual model listing in upcoming editions of the Blue Book of Electric Guitars.

From Blue Book Publications:


No part of this information may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, by photograph, mimeograph, fax transmission or any other mechanical or electronic means. Nor can it be broadcast or transmitted, by translation into any language, nor by electronic recording or otherwise, without the express written permission from the publisher.