Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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What Is It? The Lindell Wild Cat III is an electric guitar built by the Hoshino-Gakki/Tama factory which also built brands like Ibanez ...

Lindell Wild Cat III Electric Guitar

What Is It?

The Lindell Wild Cat III is an electric guitar built by the Hoshino-Gakki/Tama factory which also built brands like Ibanez (during the 1960s), Hy-Lo, Cimar, and more according to a SpinDitty article. Its actually one of the better built and playing Japanese instruments that I've owned and it doesn't sacrifice usability for uniqueness.

Here are images from a 1960s Ibanez catalog showing this model of guitar. It was known as an Ibanez no.1803 "Professional" guitar.


Like many Japanese guitars of the era, it is primarily built of Philippine mahogany (which isn't a true mahogany). The neck is Philippine mahogany with a maple center strip and, believe it or not, a beautiful, dark, Brazilian Rosewood fretboard. I've never seen Brazilian Rosewood on a MIJ guitar like this so it was an incredible surprise and it polished beautifully. The neck has a thick 70s Gibson-esque volute. The truss rod does work and is heel adjusted.

The body is incredibly cool to look at with the chrome and glitter pickups, tortoise pickguards, ivory colored rocker switches, and two-tone sunburst. The rocker switches act as individual pickup on-off toggles and the switch closest to the bridge is a treble cut. A rhythm/solo switch, which is common on Japanese guitars, is another treble cut which can be added. Treble cut switches were one of those ideas that seemed good in the 60s but never really took off among players, they just make the instrument sound bland.

It has a Jaguar-esque bridge with the original cover as well. Its got individual pickup volume knobs as well but no tone knobs. Your only tone options are the volume knobs and the tone switches. The tremolo is a more creative design and actually works pretty well for surf-y tones. Its one of the better tremolo designs I've seen on a Japanese guitar.

What Repairs Were Done?

Nearly every Japanese guitar needs a refret with planing of the fingerboard to get everything level again and this guitar was no different.

I planed the board and refretted it with standard sized fretwire and also cut a new bone nut. I removed the metal logo and applied double sided tape to the bottom to help prevent it from rattling. Then I lubricated the tuners, sprayed out the electronics, cleaned it up, and set the instrument up.

This instrument is dated to 1966 by the date stamp inside the body cavity which has the original tape covering. The date stamp is 41.1.27 which in the traditional Japanese calendar is January 27th of the 41st year in the Showa era. That places it at the year 1966 in the Gregorian calendar.

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