In cooperation with the Gibson Custom Shop, Epiphone is proud to announce the second in the series of “Epiphone Custom Historic USA” guitars — the 1962 Wilshire Reissue in White. Made in Nashville, Tenn., and limited to only 100 instruments worldwide, it combines impeccable attention to detail and historic accuracy. The first in the series — the 1962 Wilshire in Cherry — sold out immediately so if you’d like to get your hands on not only a one-of-a-kind collectible but also an exquisite guitar with unique tone, appearance and attention to detail, you’d better hurry.
History of the Wilshire
In 1957, in an effort to bolster their stand up bass business, Gibson purchased their arch rival — the Epiphone Guitar Company and moved production to Kalamazoo, Mich. Along with the sought-after bass tooling, Gibson acquired access to many storied models and a brand name with a history of quality and prestige. With plans to expand retail distribution by differentiating Epiphone dealers from Gibson dealers, Gibson began production of a new line of “Kalamazoo-made and designed” Epiphones in 1959.
For over a decade, from 1959 through early 1970, Epiphone solid body guitars and basses were produced in limited numbers right alongside some of the greatest Gibsons of all time. These Epiphone guitars represented some of the highest quality and best sounding instruments of their generation. They provided unique shapes, pickup arrangements and tonal signatures not seen on comparable Gibson models of the day. Under appreciated at the time of their release, numerous artists through the years have recognized the unique appeal of these guitars. Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter, Paul Gilbert and Steve Marriot are but a few of the artists who have embraced the tone and build quality of these Kalamazoo built Epiphone solid body instruments.
One such Epiphone instrument was the Wilshire. First released in 1960, the Wilshire featured two P-90 pickups, a 3 on a side headstock and a solid mahogany body and one-piece neck. It was designed to compete with the popular Fender Stratocaster™ in terms of upper fret access, light weight and playability. It is little surprise given its Kalamazoo origins that this guitar would share many features with its Gibson cousin the Les Paul Jr. However, unlike the Les Paul Jr., the ’62 Epiphone Wilshire provided two P-90 pickups and an intonatable bridge. This arrangement offered an extremely functional and versatile alternative.
With an original MSRP of $210, production of the 1962 Wilshire SB-432 was limited to only 180 guitars. Today, owners of original 1962 Wilshires are not only blessed with an outstanding instrument, but also a wise investment and a very collectible guitar. Original Wilshires now sell regularly for $5,000 to $12,000 or more depending upon their year and condition.
Estimated historical value of original 1962 Wilshire (1962-2009).
Actual value may vary depending upon condition.
To commemorate the Wilshire as well as other “Kalamazoo-made” models, Epiphone is proud to introduce the “Epiphone Historic Custom USA” collection. Available and shipping to authorized retailers starting in May 2009, this latest historic reissue includes:
- Original Style Hard Case
- Numbered Certificate of Authenticity in leatherette binder
- Vintage-style Coiled Guitar Cord
- Commemorative Picks
- Commemorative T-Shirt
- 1962-style Thin Leather Strap
- Made In: Nashville, TN USA
- U.S. MSRP: $4,832
- SKU: HB110C
- UPC: 711106202860
- Body Wood: 1-pc; Peruvian Mahogany
- Neck Wood: 1-pc; Peruvian Mahogany
- Headstock: 17 degree; 3-on-a-side tuner configuration
- Neck Joint: Set; Glued-in
- Fingerboard: Rosewood
- Scale Length: 24-3/4"
- Nut Width: 1-11/16"
- Fingerboard Radius: 12"
- Frets: 22; medium/jumbo
- Neck Profile: Original 1960's Rounded Neck Profile
- Fingerboard Inlay: Pearloid Dots
- Machine Heads: Vintage Kluson with plastic buttons
- Hardware: Nickel
- Pickups: Two "soapbar" P-90's with adjustable pole pieces
- Authentic unit base with 1960's construction
- Controls: 2-Volume; 2-Tone; 1 Three-way Selector Switch
- CTS potentiometers
- Switchcraft Toggle switch and output jack
- Bridge: ABR-1
- Tailpiece: Aluminum Tune-o-matic
- Pickguard: Imitation Tortoise with foil "E" logo
- Color: White
- Strings: Gibson Vintage Reissue (10's)
- Includes: Hard Case
- Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
- Reissue Owners Manual
- Commemorative T-Shirt
- Commemorative Picks
- Vintage Coiled Cord
- Vintage Thin Leather Strap