1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Pelham Blue
Posted on September 17 2022
I'm thrilled to have found another 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Standard in original Pelham Blue finish! This model debuted in the catalog in June of 1965, but the earliest examples were made in 1964 with wide neck and nickel parts. The earliest examples I've found with rare Pelham Blue finish date to 1966 but it's possible that earlier examples exist (contact me if you find one). Gibson's Pelham Blue finish was not listed as an option in the price list or catalog and the total number of examples is unknown.
As a Gibson guitar collector, it's my goal to collect and catalog the nicest examples of vintage Gibson guitars like this Trini Lopez Standard Pelham Blue. If you're considering finding a buyer for your vintage Gibson then you can contact me here: Sell a Gibson.
How many Trini Lopez guitars did Gibson make in 1966?
How much did a Trini Lopez Standard cost in 1966?
Or you can check out another example I had earlier this year here: Gibson from Mexico City.
Gibson Trini Lopez Standard model description: 16" wide thinline electric archtop guitar with maxium depth of 2 1/4", solid Maple center block, hollow wings with bound diamond shaped sound holes, and two humbucking pickups with patent number stickers. Trapeze style bridge with Rosewood insert and black plaque engraved with "Trini Lopez Model". Black painted six on one side headstock with gold silkscreened Gibson logo, 22 fret neck with 19th fret body joint, pearloid split diamond shaped position markers. Gibson's catalog lists only the Cherry Red finish option but examples can be found with original Pelham Blue or Black finishes.
How many Trini Lopez Standard guitars did Gibson make in 1966?
Gibson kept very thorough production records and shipment totals from the 1930s through the 1970s. The production totals are not separated by color, only by model and year. Gibson's shipment records indicate that 485 Trini Lopez Standard guitars were shipped in 1966 compared to over 2,500 ES-335 guitars in the same year.
Do you have a Trini Lopez from this time period? I am looking for them: Sell a Gibson.
How much did a Trini Lopez cost in 1966?
The best place to look for the price for Gibson guitars for each year is in the surviving price lists. The zone 1 price list for Gibson guitars released on April 1, 1966 indicates that the Trini Lopez Standard model offered in Cherry Red finish was $375 without a case. It's unclear how much the Pelham Blue color would add to the price since it's not listed as an option for this model. Elsewhere in the catalog, Gibson custom finishes are offered for an additional $15.
If we account for inflation, the price for a 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez today would be about $3,427.91. The values for these guitars have far exceeded inflation especially for this in custom color finishes like Pelham Blue or Black. You can contact me here if you're looking for help with the value of a vintage Gibson: Appraisal.
Important Trini Lopez Measurements
It's my goal to collect and catalog the best examples of all of the 1950s and 1960s Gibson electric guitars. Here are the measurements that I find important when inspecting a vintage Gibson Trini Lopez:
Nut width = 1.60", 1 39/64", 40.7mm (typical Gibson "skinny neck")
Nut material = Corian
Neck profile at first fret: 0.85", 21.5mm
Neck profile at 12th fret: 1.01", 25.7mm
Year Identifying Features
It's easy to date this Gibson Trini Lopez to 1966 since we have the actual shipment ledger, but we can also use certain year identifying features to determine what year it was made. Here's a good source for dating similar guitars: how to date an ES-335.
This 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez shipped on July 20th, 1966 according to Gibson's day book from this serial number range.
Potentiometer code: 137 6607 where 137 = CTS, 66 = 1966, and 07 is the 7th week of the year
Neck width: skinny (post-1965)
Knobs: Reflector (until transition to witch hat shape in 1967)
Hardware finish: Chrome (after 1965)
Nut material: Corian (after 1965)
Story of this 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Pelham Blue
I drove down to Orange Beach, Alabama to meet the seller of this 1966 Gibson Trini Lopez Standard in original Pelham Blue finish. He was selling it for his uncle who purchased it second hand at a pawn shop in 1970. It seems that his uncle had a thing for Pelham Blue since he also had a Thunderbird bass from the same time period with Pelham Blue finish. I was not able to buy the Thunderbird but was happy to come home with this guitar.
The Pelham Blue Trini Lopez is in remarkably good condition with light ambering of the clear coat and few dings. Gibson's Pelham Blue finish starts to turn green over time as the clear coat starts turning yellow (yellow+blue = green). Pelham can turn so green that is often listed as the very rare Kerry Green custom color, but the color will be much bluer in areas which haven't been exposed to as much light and oxidation.
I am looking to buy the nicest examples of vintage Gibson Trini Lopez guitars: Sell a Gibson.