He's one of Auckland's best-known street musicians - his unique style of guitar playing and quirky pearls of wisdom making him a hit with passersby in Queen St.

But Luke Hurley, who lives in the Auckland suburb of Sandringham, has had a $3800 guitar specially made for him taken from the back of his car.

"I could never afford to buy a guitar like that myself. I was lucky enough to have a supporter of my music give it to me," Hurley said yesterday.

He announced the theft on his Facebook page, saying it had been "borrowed for an unspecified amount of time, without permission".

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Fans of the artist, who has recorded six albums and performed around the world, have got behind his effort to find the instrument. But by yesterday, despite the post being shared 275 times and receiving more than 50 comments, it was still missing.

"It's easily identifiable so if anybody has it I'd appreciate it if they'd drop it off at a police station, no questions asked," Hurley said.

The guitar, a shallow-bodied 12-string with a sunburst body, was custom-built for Hurley by Dunedin-based luthier Steve Barkman and has "#156 made for Luke Hurley by Stephen M Barkman 03/2012" inscribed on it.

Hurley said the theft wouldn't stop him making music, though, and instead he would change his approach.

"As the 17th century Japanese poet Mizuta Masahide said, my barn having burnt down, I can now see the moon," he said.