The finish of this 1967 Gibson ES-175D would be known as Cherry Sunburst a few years later than this, however in 1967 it was just a variety of Sunburst the words "Cherry Sunburst" are not seen in Gibson literature for any model until 1971. Shipping figures and price lists for the late 1960s only list Natural and Sunburst finishes, however Ebony (black) and Sparkling Burgundy were also available at this time. Production totals for the ES-175D in 1967 are as follows: Natural - 26, Sunburst - 840. The Sunburst figures presumably include both Cherry Sunburst and the typical Gibson amber to near black Sunburst. Whether other colours are lumped into the Sunburst figures, or were simply omitted is unclear.
Typical 1967 features: one-piece mahogany neck, six-digit stamped serial number without MADE IN USA below it. Zig-zag tailpiece and crown inlay positioned above centre on the headstock. The bell control knobs with metal inserts had been in use since the very early 1960s, but were replaced with witch-hat knobs in 1967/68.
Other features unchanged from earlier ES-175 versions: laminate arched maple top, back and sides. Bound front and back, with a bound neck and split parallelogram inlays. Patent number humbucker pickups and Kluson 320-VP machine heads.
In September 1967, the Sunburst ES-175D had a US zone 1 list price of $450, $25 cheaper than the natural finished ES-175DN at $475. Cases were priced as follows: #103 (Durabilt) $14.50, #303 (Archcraft) $26.00, #515 (Faultless) $70.00.
The lighter two-tone (red/amber) Cherry Sunburst creates a real contrast against the deep Walnut brown sides - this is of course a finish, the wood is maple throughout - with the cream celluloid binding completing the look. Magnificent! Compare this guitar to one produced the year before with three-tone (black/red/amber) burst 1966 ES-175D.
The neck/headstock is largely unchanged from previous years - still one-piece mahogany with Brazilian rosewood fretboard and split parallelogram pearloid position markers. Headstock markings are mother-of-pearl, both Gibson logo and crown inlay. The crown logo is positioned above centre in this guitar - this surely must have been one of the last ES-175s shipped with this feature as most Gibson guitars had changed to a headstock design with a centrally designed crown some years earlier. It is likely that this neck (as was often the case in the early 1960s on guitars with smaller production runs) was produced some time prior to completion and shipping. The tuning keys are Kluson-made, part 320VP with plastic buttons.
Images courtesy of justgreatguitars.com
Have a closer look at some of these ES-175s
Need the value of your guitar? The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide 2023 is out now