Inspired by the bespoke features of the McLaren Speedtail ‘XP2’ prototype, Dean Gordon, a luthier based in Miami, Florida, has created a one-of-one custom guitar inspired by the iconic car which was displayed at the 2023 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show.
The McLaren Speedtail was introduced in 2018 as the brand’s first Hyper-GT and the ultimate McLaren road car, harmonizing sleek and seamless beauty with pioneering technologies and extreme performance. The ‘XP2’ prototype played a key role in the car’s validation process, reaching its maximum speed of 250mph more than 30 times on the space shuttle landing runway at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds.
The XP2 prototype is finished in Saragon Quartz, a shimmering champagne hue. Marking a rich contrast to the exterior is the three-seat, central-driving position cabin with full aniline leather and aniline nubuck finished in Oxblood Red. Combining with visual carbon fiber interior elements is machined aluminum trim with a brushed and polished finish.
Echoing the virtues of the Speedtail’s design, Gordon chose his Virtus guitar model, a headless style designed to be more ergonomic, lightweight, and following a sleek form. The body is made from old stock lightweight alder wood; the neck is made with master-grade flamed maple, while the lower horn of the guitar is milled from aircraft grade aluminum. The fretboard is constructed from luxurious ebony wood.
Subtle details include a carbon fiber backplate, a hand-stitched leather lower horn cover, and leather detailing seen inside the guitar’s wiring cavities that match the XP2’s Oxblood Red upholstery. The finish of the guitar’s body is inspired by the Saragon Quartz paint of the XP2, while the neck is black satin with carbon fiber laminate on the back of the headstock, to match XP2’s satin carbon door sills. The covers of the pickups are laser etched to match the Speedtail’s engine cover and rear exterior details, and additional red accents were added to the guitar to further complement XP2’s interior.
“McLaren being synonymous with cutting-edge design and pushing boundaries made it a no brainer choice of inspiration for my ‘Automotive’ inspired line of guitars. These guitars are my artistic exercise, where I not only try to make the best playing and sounding guitars possible, but to put an artistic flare on them beyond what I normally do. The Speedtail was the perfect muse.”
Dean Gordon, Owner of Dean Gordon Guitars
Limited to just 106 examples, the Speedtail’s maximum speed of 250mph is the highest of any McLaren to date, and it is the most aerodynamically drag efficient McLaren.
Much like the guitars’ design elements, the Speedtail follows the McLaren ethos of functional design that tells a visual story, crafted from lightweight materials. When viewed from above, the Speedtail has a distinctive teardrop shape, for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. Seen from the side, the Speedtail’s strikingly sleek outline ends in the elongated tail. Shutlines are kept as flush as possible with the body to minimalize turbulent air. While visually appealing, the teardrop-shaped cockpit and aerodynamically optimized body are the foundation for the Speedtail’s incredible performance.