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Author: Subject: early 60s Explorer ??? SOLD $611,000.00

Zen Peach





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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 02:32 AM
A new guy at work popped in from Fla this week. Turns out he has an Explorer, natural finish,body is ash, he bought new as a teenie bopper in 1963. He had a Bigsby tailpiece installed when he bought it ... no
Serial number 8 4548 How can I find the production date for him...the guitar is in absolutely great shape. Feels so sweet to have it in your hands. Any idea on dollar value ? Its not for sale but he's curious as well as me as to what this beauty might be worth.

[Edited on 7/19/2006 by Haisija]

[Edited on 7/20/2006 by Haisija]

[Edited on 10/15/2006 by Haisija]

[Edited on 10/15/2006 by Haisija]

[Edited on 12/6/2006 by Haisija]

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 09:13 AM
quote:
A new guy at work popped in from Fla this week. Turns out he has an Explorer, natural finish,body is ash, he bought new as a teenie bopper in 1963. He had a Bigsby tailpiece installed when he bought it ... no
Serial number 8 4548 How can I find the production date for him...the guitar is in absolutely great shape. Feels so sweet to have it in your hands. Any idea on dollar value ? Its not for sale but he's curious as well as me as to what this beauty might be worth.
Dial 1-800-4GIBSON for customer service. They can probably tell you production date by the serial number. Explorers were made of korina wood, not ash. Look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_Explorer

[Edited on 7/19/2006 by bendaway]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 09:26 AM
Thanks bend !

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 10:48 AM
Gibson customer service...now THAT'S an oxymoron.
 

Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 11:20 AM
Gibson came out w/ the Explorer, along w/the Flying V & Moderne, in 1958 & produced them until 1959 & didn't resume production until sometime in the 70's. If your friend bought his new in 1963, it was more than likely a model that hadn't sold & was still on the selves. Not uncommon for those guitars since they were quite a departure from the "norm" of that era. If your friend's story is correct, he has a true collectors item on his hands & the $$$ value will be HUGE.

George Gruhn, in Nashville TN, is the foremost vintage guitar expert in the world. He does appraisals & would be more than willing to assist your friend. Here's a link to his website.

http://www.gruhn.com/

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 01:04 PM
quote:
Gibson came out w/ the Explorer, along w/the Flying V & Moderne, in 1958 & produced them until 1959 & didn't resume production until sometime in the 70's.Not uncommon for those guitars since they were quite a departure from the "norm" of that era. If your friend's story is correct


I kinda thought production of the Explorer went that way...Thanks for the input smokinpop.

 

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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 01:04 PM
from the gibson website serial number info page it looks as if your friend has a 58'. http://www.gibson.com/Files/downloads/bluebook/GibsonSERIALNUMBERS.pdf too sweet!

 

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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 01:11 PM
quote:
Gibson came out w/ the Explorer, along w/the Flying V & Moderne, in 1958 & produced them until 1959 & didn't resume production until sometime in the 70's. If your friend bought his new in 1963, it was more than likely a model that hadn't sold & was still on the selves. Not uncommon for those guitars since they were quite a departure from the "norm" of that era. If your friend's story is correct, he has a true collectors item on his hands & the $$$ value will be HUGE.
Production of the Gibson Explorer was stopped in '59 and not started again until the mid 70's, but Gibson did manufacture Flying V guitars in the 60's. Jimi Hendrix had three of them, and one was even custom made left-handed. It is actually debatable if the Moderne was ever anything beyond some prototypes. Tinsley Ellis has been pictured with a "Moderne" but it is a reissue.

[Edited on 7/19/2006 by bendaway]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 01:19 PM
I should be able to get some photos Thursday night . This guitar made it through 2 hurricanes when much else was lost. He lived in the town which took a direct hit from Hurricane Andrew.
This gent is really nice guy, original Chicago native, moved to Florida about 16 years ago and now will settle in Fort Worth.
The guitar hasn't been played in decades, we have a guy setting it up. This baby feels so sweet.
Thanks for the input everybody. My jaw kinda dropped when he told me what he had and he brought it into work for a looksey yesterday.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/19/2006 at 03:29 PM
If it was mine, I'd never leave it with a guy to set it up. I'd be right next to him. Be very cautious.

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 7/20/2006 at 12:33 AM
If it's a korina explorer.....

you're looking at some serious cash. SERIOUS

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/20/2006 at 02:28 AM
quote:
If it was mine, I'd never leave it with a guy to set it up. I'd be right next to him. Be very cautious.


We are all friends and work together. The guy who sets up for everybody where I work should be on the road with a top notch picker.

He said when he andhis dad went to get it, the sales guy told him that it had been sitting in a warehouse area for a few years because it wasn't big seller. Seems like my friend walked in at just the right time. He hadn't played it in probably 20 years. He just transferred to our base last week and found out 1 out of every 2 tool boxes has a guitar stashed in it. So he says, I used to play a bit and I have a Gibson Explorer I got back in 1963.
JAW ON FLOOR.
This thing is a real beauty, unfortunately he had a Bigsby installed on it when he bought it.
The original area for the tailpiece is covered up with a small plate that says a little jargon, 2 small , very small brads holding it on. Unfortunately he doesn't have the original tailpiece. We have one on the way and the Bigsby will be removed.
Hope to get photos of it at the set up guys house tomorrow night...gonna go see Joe Bonamssa and Rocky Athis.

 

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  posted on 7/20/2006 at 03:12 AM
http://www.gibson.com/products/custom/1995/historic/electrics/1958.html

check that out

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/20/2006 at 07:22 AM
Holey Schmoley...under 50 shipped ? ...and I held one ! maybe shold be 4 dollar signs
Thanks for the link.


[Edited on 7/20/2006 by Haisija]

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 7/20/2006 at 09:21 AM
quote:
This thing is a real beauty, unfortunately he had a Bigsby installed on it when he bought it.
The original area for the tailpiece is covered up with a small plate that says a little jargon, 2 small , very small brads holding it on. Unfortunately he doesn't have the original tailpiece. We have one on the way and the Bigsby will be removed.
Hope to get photos of it at the set up guys house tomorrow night...
Installing a Bigsby on there years ago is like what Lonnie Mack did to his Flying V.

 

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  posted on 7/20/2006 at 12:15 PM
This thing could be so valuable that if I were you I'd hold off on removing the Bigsby, take it as it is and drive straight to Nashville and Gruhn Guitars and consult with them before making another move. I mean literally six figures valuable.

[Edited on 7/20/2006 by nitelite51]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/20/2006 at 06:26 PM
quote:
This thing could be so valuable that if I were you I'd hold off on removing the Bigsby, take it as it is and drive straight to Nashville and Gruhn Guitars and consult with them before making another move. I mean literally six figures valuable.




Yeah, whew we're doing more and more research and finding out a lot of pretty interesting facts about this model. Looks like a 62 made from the stock of 58's , nickel hardware and an SG style tune-o-matic. Axe still looks like it will be worth some serious cash. Thanks for all the input. I'm pretty excited for my buddy !

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 01:51 AM

Even if it wasn't worth a bundle, I'd love to have it. Feels so sweet.



We were told tonight its 1963, person knew by the hardware and knobs...he told me to pass on to my bud, don't sweat it because its still a $$$,$$$.00 guitar. Time will tell.

 

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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 02:01 AM
quote:

We were told tonight its 1963, person knew by the hardware and knobs...he told me to pass on to my bud, don't sweat it because its still a $$$,$$$.00 guitar. Time will tell.




i've always heard that korina explorers were up there with '59 LPs and such in terms of worth. Thats got to be a sweet one to hold. Have you guys plugged it up recently?

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 02:21 AM
quote:
i've always heard that korina explorers were up there with '59 LPs and such in terms of worth. Thats got to be a sweet one to hold. Have you guys plugged it up recently?



Believe it or not, we haven't plugged it in yet. Been about 20 years since it has according to the owner. Would have tonight but we needed to scoot off to go see Joe Bonanmassaassassassasssassa. His words were the 59 LP is gonna fetch the most mulah, but this one...heh heh...Very cool for my bud. He's in shock over it.

 

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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 02:37 AM
quote:
quote:
i've always heard that korina explorers were up there with '59 LPs and such in terms of worth. Thats got to be a sweet one to hold. Have you guys plugged it up recently?



Believe it or not, we haven't plugged it in yet. Been about 20 years since it has according to the owner.


Just what exactly are you guys waiting for?

PLUG THE S.O.B. IN AND LET IT RIP

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 02:49 AM
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----

quote:
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i've always heard that korina explorers were up there with '59 LPs and such in terms of worth. Thats got to be a sweet one to hold. Have you guys plugged it up recently?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----


Believe it or not, we haven't plugged it in yet. Been about 20 years since it has according to the owner.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----



Just what exactly are you guys waiting for?

PLUG THE S.O.B. IN AND LET IT RIP


Probably next week at work. Set up guy will bring it back as is. This calls for something other than the herd of solid state amplifiers stashed at work.

 

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Peach Master



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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 09:03 AM
quote:
We were told tonight it's 1963, person knew by the hardware and knobs...he told me to pass on to my bud, don't sweat it because its still a $$$,$$$.00 guitar. Time will tell.


The serial number says it's a 1958. The guy who looked it over may have checked the codes on the pots (what the knobs are connected to), and decals on the underside of the pickups. They are both good indicators of age. The guitar appears to have a "Custom Made" plaque between the bridge and Bigsby - that's usually a factory installed item and would indicate that Gibson installed the Bigsby. And finally, the tuners look very yellowed and aged (possibly shrunken?) which would indicate that they are from 1958-59.

There are a lot of anomalies about this guitar - I agree that your best bet would be having George Gruhn or another respected authority look over the guitar. Unmolested '58 Explorers have sold for well over $100k, and that was many years ago.

 

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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 09:25 AM
I certainly would second everybody's remarks around here i.e. DON'T TOUCH THE GUITAR UNTIL SOMEBODY I.E GRUHN APPRAISES IT!!! LEAVE IT ALONE!!! If You can sell it and pay off your mortgage, you can buy yourself any one of many great player guitars out there. As a devotee of Antiques Roadshow, it's interesting to see the owner's reaction when the appraiser says, "Gee, this item would have easily be worth 10x and 6 figures if you hadn't of refinished it." Hate to see y'all rocket scientists make the same mistake.

[Edited on 7/21/2006 by Charlesinator]

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 7/21/2006 at 09:30 AM
No mods will happen to it. My buddy thanks yall for your input.

 

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