The Futura was a suitably futuristic name given to a precursor of the Gibson Explorer in 1957; it was never a production model. The name was used again, however; it was given to one of the lesser-known Gibson guitars of the early 1980s; short-lived, and like it's 1950s namesake, stylistically unique (although soon to be followed by a cut-down model, the Corvus). It was described as follows in the 1983 Gibson catalogue
An uncommonly graceful shape, contoured to fit the player firmly. Neck-through-the-body construction to allow unimpeded access to all 22 frets. Evolved from two decades of engineering excellence, the Futura is the shape of things to come
Produced in the USA at Gibson's Nashville plant, the Futura had a maple body and, as mentioned above, a through-neck design; a combination unlike other Gibson solid-bodies at the time. It had a mix of high and low-end features: twin humbuckers, the TP-6 bridge (or super tune vibrola) and gold hardware throughout, but without fancy position marker or headstock inlays. It was mid-priced; the 1983/84 list price being $699 ($899 with the optional vibrato) which placed it alongside the Les Paul Studio - or $100 more than the SG Deluxe and $100 less than the SG Standard.
It was short-lived though appearing in price lists from January 1983 through June 1984. By 1985 it was gone.
Standard finishes listed from 1983 were Ebony (black), Ultra Violet, and Pearl White. In January '84, these standard finishes changed to Ebony, Red, and Alpine White, with three custom finishes offered at an additional $85: Night Violet, Plum Wineburst and Pearl White.
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