les paul standards from the 1950s are the kings of the collectibles market, regularly selling in six-figure territory. overlooked junior models from the same period have recently appreciated in value.

1970s and ’80s kramers
range: under $1,000
kramer guitars boomed in the 1980s, thanks in part to an association with guitar god eddie van halen. kramer folded in 1990 (the brand name was resurrected in 1997; van halen now endorses peavey guitars), putting a finite limit on original models. look especially for models with “pointy” headstock. garnering little attention today, ­kramers might be a risk that pays off when, say, a wealthy business owner who drank his first beer while rocking out to “runnin’ with the devil” becomes a sentimental 50-year-old with money to burn.