How one man unearthed the first-ever Washburn N4 production model – and ended up selling it to Nuno Bettencourt

Washburn N4 Nuno Bettencourt guitar
(Image credit: Todd Cage / Scott Legato/Getty Images)

Guitar Center’s second-hand section is a magical place. Ordinarily, you can secure a bargain on everyday electric guitars and acoustic guitars, but there's also the possibility you might stumble upon a piece of history in the process.

That's exactly what Todd Cage – a guitarist from Charlotte, North Carolina – did when he unearthed one of the most sought-after electric guitars of the past four decades: the first of only 20 Washburn N4 Nuno Bettencourt signatures to be built by Stephen Davies in 1990.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer,

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.