1955 Martin Factory Left Handed D-18 (D-18L), serial # 146788, manufactured 11-25-55 (verified by Martin factory). According to the current owner, this was the only Left Handed D-18 made in 1955, along with 3 other Lefty Martins.
The current owner had 2 cracks (top and bottom) recently repaired (correctly) along with a new nut installed and neck reset. If you like Low action, this guitar has it: 4/64 at High E, 5/64 at Low E (12th fret) with no buzzing. I just had it looked at by a few ex-Gibson luthiers I know who worked in the Nashville factory. New Martin MA140S 12-54 strings installed. The top has the clear coat removed, and the sides and back have been refinished poorly by the previous owner. As is, the guitar is 100% functional and plays and sounds great – it has the elusive Dry vintage Martin tone everyone wants in an acoustic.
Since the guitar was already refinished poorly, it would benefit greatly by having a complete refinish done to correct the appearance and make it look new again. If it was me, I would have someone like Lay’s Guitar Shop (who has done Excellent work for me in the past), the Martin factory, or a similar top-notch restoration repair shop do the work.
At the end of the day, it is a 1955 Martin D-18L (factory Left Handed). I own a 1954 D-18L (pictured).
I know how great and rare these guitars are. I see a factory Left Handed Martin from the 1950s about once every 10 years – Martin guitars through the 1950s are Gold!
The guitar comes with a newer Martin molded hardshell case.