Auction Block Will Ray's eBay Strategies: Auction Item: 1982 Gibson Moderne Winning Bid: $510

By Ray, Will | Guitar Player, January 2004 | Go to article overview

Auction Block Will Ray's eBay Strategies: Auction Item: 1982 Gibson Moderne Winning Bid: $510


Ray, Will, Guitar Player


This is one of the strangest guitars I ever purebased on strangest It's an early '80s Gibson reissue of the Moderne--a model originally designed hi tim 1950s by Ted McCarty's team at Gibson who also brought us the Flying V, Explorer, and Firebird. Legend has it that the original Gibson Moderne prototype (reportedly worth between $100,000 and $500,000) is still floating around somewhere like a ghost, occasionally, surfacing to excite collectors worldwide

As I'm fascinated by the Moderne's futuristic shape--which is a cross between a Flying V and a great white shark--I've always wanted to own one. Most reissue Modernes on e Bay go for $1,400 to $2,000, depending on the condition. This particular one was listed as a "player's guitar," which is always a sign of trouble.

The auction description said it had a Korina body that had been painted over with a refrigerator-white primer another sign of trouble), and the bridge, tailpiece, and neck pickup were taken from stone old, undisclosed 1969 Gibson guitar, More had news: a broken headstock (thai had been professionally repaired), a missing Gibson logo, various parts of the body "filled in with wood filler," [Figure 1] and "bullet holes" in tim upper neck that had been filled with rosewood dowels [Fig. 2]. The bridge pickup was a '58 Gibson PAP reissue, with new Gibson pols, tuners, and a selector switch thrown in. That was the good news.

[FIGURE 1-2 OMITTED]

Everything I read should have sent me packing, but there was something about the guitar that kept me hanging on. …

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Auction Block Will Ray's eBay Strategies: Auction Item: 1982 Gibson Moderne Winning Bid: $510
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