Under the leadership of company president, Ted McCarty, Gibson proceeded to take everything it knew about building great guitars and use that to create something wildly untraditional. The result was a trio of designs: The Flying V with its twin “tailfins,” the lightning bolt-inspired Explorer, and the mysterious Moderne. Two of the designs were actually put into production and in 1958, the guitar-buying public got its first look at the Flying V and Explorer (the Moderne never went beyond the prototype stage, and maybe not even that far). Early Flying Vs weren’t really taken seriously, but after the discovery of just how good a pair of humbuckers could sound when played through an overdriven amp, both originals and reissues from the late-60s suddenly found favor with some players. Now, in 2008 – 50 years later – Gibson has unleashed what could best be called a Flying V in reverse. In fact, its official name is the Gibson Reverse Flying V Limited Edition, and only 300 of these guitars will ever be built!
Available in Natural, Classic White, and Ebony, the Reverse Flying V sports a solid mahogany body (the originals were constructed of African limba wood that Gibson called korina), a solid mahogany neck with a 1950s rounded profile, a 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with classic pearloid dot markers and a 24 3/4-inch scale. Just like the original Flying V, this reverse version comes with a pair of humbucking pickups and a three-way toggle switch. However, because of the limited space on the white pickguard, the Reverse Flying V comes with only a single volume control. A tune-o-matic bridge is standard and just like the original, there’s no stop tailpiece, but rather a special string-through-body “V” tailpiece. The headstock is actually more like the one that first appeared on the ’58 Explorer, forming a “V”shape of its own. Green Key machine heads complete the picture, and as befits a limited edition instrument, all of the hardware is gold-plated. Obviously, the Reverse Flying V isn’t for traditionalists, but for collectors who take note of the limited run, as well as guitarists with a taste for something unique, here’s a Gibson that might be quite desirable. Naturally, like almost everything we sell, the Reverse Flying V ships in a deluxe hardshell case absolutely free to your door via FedEx!