Eddie Van Halen's 1986 Kramer Custom, used on the 5150 tour, goes up for auction

Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

Three hand-signed Eddie Van Halen-owned and -played guitars have gone up for sale at online auction house Gotta Have Rock and Roll, with the late electric guitar legend’s heavily-played 1986 Custom Kramer Striped guitar from his 5150 tour among the models being sold.

The custom-made, instantly recognizable guitar, which was handmade and hand-striped by Van Halen in the early ‘80s, was one of his main stage guitars during the decade, and featured heavily throughout the 5150 tour.

Previously owned by Van Halen’s guitar tech Kevin “King” Dugan, the hand-signed Kramer was gifted to Dugan after the conclusion of the tour in 1986. After being stolen for a brief period, the retrieved guitar was re-painted and re-signed by the legendary guitarist, hence the 1995-dated scrawl.

Alongside the historic model comes a letter of authenticity written by Dugan, who outlines the guitar’s illustrious and decorated history, detailing how the guitar was stolen from a recording studio in Cleveland, Ohio, and how it was eventually retrieved.

As well as sporting Van Halen’s signature, the message on the guitar reads, “To my buddy Kevin!! V.H. ‘95”

The guitar in question was recently loaned to Tyler Larson of the Music is Win YouTube channel, and you can watch the online guitarist put the iconic axe through its paces above.

Other models in the lot include a Van Halen-played Kramer Frankenstrat copy, which was custom-made and hand-striped by Dan Handerson from original Kramer parts prior to his time working as an EVH stage tech.

Eddie Van Halen guitars

Kramer Frankenstrat Dan Handerson copy (Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

Despite being unable to play Kramers onstage due to his endorsement with Ernie Ball Music Man, Van Halen wielded the axe during soundcheck for a show during the 1995 Balance tour, and adorned it with the burn marks from two cigarettes. The guitar is signed, “Nice copy Dan!! ‘95. Not for Resale.”

The final two guitars from the lot are Van Halen's "Tic Tac Toe" Charvel and his studio-played custom "No Bozos" guitar. The former was one of the first models to be made as part of the limited edition series of guitars inspired by EVH.

Eddie Van Halen guitars

Eddie Van Halen Charvel Art Series "Tic Tac Toe" (Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

Wielded during a show in Phoenix, Arizona, with identifying photograph to match, the guitar is hand-signed by Van Halen and is described as "the most iconic Charvel art series guitar".

Eddie Van Halen guitars

Eddie Van Halen Custom "No Bozos" (Image credit: Gotta Have Rock and Roll)

As for the "No Bozos" guitar, this particular model was custom-made by a fan, who went to the 5150 studios and presented it to Van Halen to be played and signed. The guitar, which is signed, "Marcus!! Rock & Roll & Tennis = Yeah!! Van Halen '88", also comes with a video of the guitar god signing the axe.

Van Halen's heavily-played 1986 Custom Kramer striped guitar is expected to sell for between $600,000-$800,000, while the hand-signed Kramer copy is expected to go for $100,000-$150,000.

The "No Bozos" carries an estimate of $20,000-$30,000, with the "Tic Tac Toe" model expected to sell for $200,000-$250,000.

To find out more about all the EVH models up for auction, head over to Gotta Have Rock and Roll.

These three models are the latest Van Halen-related guitars to have hit the auction block, with an EVH-owned Steve Ripley Frankenstrat, previously gifted to Leslie West, recently selling for $50,000.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a 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.