SOLD! - 1964 Gibson Firebird III "Love Bird" Tobacco Sunburst
Fresh out of a large vintage collection of rare 1960's Gibson Firebird's this STELLAR SOUNDING '64 Firebird III is a piece of music history.
We've come to call this the "love bird" around the shop due to the "love" sticker affixed to the pickguard. The previous owner's daughter put the sticker there 30 plus years ago as it was her favorite guitar of her father's. We didn't have the heart to take it off...
If you're looking for a vintage bird with vibe here's one that just has it. You'll notice in the pictures the beautifully aged sunburst finish which we think has had an overspray. In blacklight however it looks exactly the same as our other '63 and '64 Firebirds. Anyway there are no breaks, cracks or repairs and she is all original. POT's date to late 1963. The vibrato arm and tremolo plate are missing but if needed very good aged replica's are around as well as original 60's replacement arm's and plates. Like so many Firebird III's she spent most of her life with the tremolo bypassed and strung as a wraparound.
The Love Bird ships in a 1960's Firebird hardshell case with changed lining/interior.
A little history on Gibson's Birds
In 1962 Gibson president Ted McCarty decided that a bold new guitar was needed to compete with Fender’s popular Jazzmaster. For a fresh, all-new concept, McCarty sought outside help and hired well-known automobile designer Ray Dietrich. After 50 years of designing for such top companies as Lincoln, Packard, Ford, and Chrysler, Dietrich had recently retired to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Gibson was headquartered at the time.
The new Firebird line—the name was suggested by Dietrich—was introduced in the spring of 1963. The series comprised four guitars, the Firebird I, III, IV, and VII, and two basses, the Thunderbird II and IV. Boasting a unique neck-through-body construction that ran from the tip of the headstock to the bottom strap button, as well as a pair of asymmetrical “wings” attached to either side of the neck’s center section, the guitar had a unique, irregular look. To complete this visual impression, the headstock sported six banjo tuners located on the opposite side of Fender’s familiar headstock.
The unusual construction of the Firebirds made them difficult and expensive to produce. Once the guitars had shipped, the headstock/neck area was found to be weak and easily broken. Unfortunately, the heavy banjo tuners exacerbated this problem.
These issues, along with poor sales and pressure from Fender about copyright infringement on its “offset waist” design, caused Gibson to revamp the entire Firebird/Thunderbird line using more conventional and less costly construction methods. The overhauled versions used a traditional glued-in neck on a more conservative offset body that looked like a flipped over—non-reverse—edition of the earlier guitars
The original price for a Firebird III was $249.50. The current value for one in excellent all-original condition is far over $10,000