This amazingly rare 1965 Gibson Firebird V in Cherry Red finish came through the shop a few months ago. It is not only a fine playing vintage electric guitar but also retains all its original paperwork, case, and strap. I'm always a vintage Gibson guitar buyer but I especially love all models of the Firebird and Thunderbird guitars. Please contact me here to sell a vintage Gibson guitar

I was lucky to find this guitar for sale from the original owner. He said that his parents bought him a Gibson Firebird guitar in 1964 but that one of the wings of the body delaminated from the guitar. Since he lived only a few hour's drive from the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, his mom drove him to the factory to see if Gibson would repair the guitar. He says the factory was unable to repair the guitar so they brought out a brand new Gibson Firebird V to replace the old one. It happened to be one of very few finished in Cherry Red which was not a catalog option for the Firebird guitars. 

This rare Firebird V is a very early example of the non-Reverse body style with set neck joint. The Firebird models were introduced in 1963 with a unique neck through construction which most collectors refer to as Reverse. It was difficult to manufacture on a large scale and often had problems such as wing delamination. Gibson updated the model to the non-Reverse body style in 1965. There were four versions of the Firebird models starting with the I (1) with a single pickup, III (3) with two or three pickups, V (5) with two humbucking pickups, and VII (7) with three pickups, gold hardware, and other appointments. The non-Reverse models had fewer appointments which is why this V has dot fretboard inlays.

 Vintage 1965 Gibson Firebird V Cherry Red electric guitar

Gibson Firebird symbol pickguard

Gibson non-Reverse Firebird V headstock 1965

Gibson Deluxe Vibrola, Lyre engraved tailpiece, 1965 Gibson Firebird V guitar

Gibson hangtag 1965 Firebird #5

Gibson non-Reverse Firebird V Cherry Red 1965

Gibson Deluxe Vibrola tailpiece Lyre

Vintage 1965 Gibson Firebird V Cherry Red electric guitar

John Shults


Hey Ben! I believe this was a 50xxxx serial number range guitar if I’m remembering correctly. A very rare example indeed!

I’m excited to hear your thoughts on this Les Paul Deluxe! Cheers Ben!


Hello John,
Same Ben Schaltenbrand from Pittsburgh here with with the ‘72 les Paul deluxe pending on Reverb.
What is the serial # on this guitar? Seems a bit of a strange story!

— Ben Schaltenbrand

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