1961 Epiphone FT-45 Cortez


“Cortez: Distinctive in appearance with a beautiful golden shaded flat top and traditional shape. Distinctive in features with a mellow, resonant tone and a fast, low action. Top is specially selected Spruce providing a fine sounding board, back and rims are Mahogany. Mahogany neck with adjustable truss rod. Rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays. Rosewood bridge. Large shell celluloid pickguard. Nickel played enclosed machine heads. Choose this guitar for Epiphone quality at a very modest price.”  –1961 Epiphone Catalog

Make and Model: Epiphone FT45 Cortez, (Made in Kalamazoo, MI by Gibson, 3 1/2 years post-buyout)

Year of Manufacture: 1961, serial A-4xxx

Specifications: Sitka Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, 14 1/2″ wide body, X style top bracing, 24 3/4″ scale length, short headstock with bikini style metal logo, 1 11/16″ nut width, neck depth at first fret = .80″, depth at 12th fret = .96″, weight 3lbs 140z, Action at the 12th fret = 7/64″ bass side and 5/64″ treble side.

Condition: Excellent, a professionally playable instrument. This vibey example shows wear from time including thorough finish checking, nicks, dings, scratches, and the name “Joe” lovingly inscribed in the top next to the pickguard. Repairs include a neck reset, a few braces reglued, bridge reglue, pickguard reglued, 1960 era Kluson tuners installed, bone nut, fret dress and polish.

Originality: All parts are original to the guitar except for the bone nut, era correct vintage Kluson tuners, strings, and bridge pins.

Playability: Excellent. No repairs, modifications, or set up necessary.

Notes: I’m completely smitten with this inspiration machine. It’s a lovely sounding example that’s perfect for fingerstyle or light strumming. The tone is reminiscent of those old 1960s records except that this guitar tunes well and intonates properly. I’m including this properly fitting hard shell case with your purchase. I’m confident you’ll love this 1961 Epiphone FT45 Cortez!

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