Sometimes you just get lucky and a unique guitar becomes available at an attractive price. Thank you Craigslist!
The Martin D-62LE (Limited Edition) was Martin's custom-built Guitar of the Month for October 1986. Only 48 were made. It features flamed maple back and sides with a Sitka spruce top, scalloped forward-shifted X top bracing, tortoise-shell binding, style 42 snowflake fingerboard inlays, and a label hand-signed by C.F. Martin IV. Not only is this apparently Martin's first maple dreadnought model, but this model has a wider neck that measures 1-7/8" at the nut, unusual in a 14-fret guitar. My online alerts had flagged this listing, but it was originally being offered on the high end of Blue Book value at $2,250. Several price reductions later to below Blue Book, my interest was piqued.
I drove 45 minutes to check it out and it did not disappoint. Maple has a warm quality, which was amply evident in this 30+ year-old guitar. The action and crispness of the sound at both the high and low ends of the register were perfect. The tuners and pins had been upgraded and the frets dressed. The Sitka top had aged to a pleasing honey gold tone. With only very minor dings and some limited finish crazing this was a lightly played and well-cared for guitar. The original Martin case, a sound-hole humidifier, and couple sets of new strings rounded out the package. I paid the asking price.
I think I'll be holding on to this one!