Epiphone with the Gibson Custom Shop unveil the 1963 Firebird models I and V
| February 27, 2024 |

Epiphone Announces Inspired by Gibson Custom 1963 Firebirds

USA pickups, vintage-style neck construction, and 1960s automotive design meet modern mastery—plus an anniversary Thunderbird with all the low end you could want

Do you want a Firebird™ with USA pickups and authentic vintage-style neck construction? How about some gorgeous finish options inspired by 1960s custom colors? In a thrilling fusion of craftsmanship and heritage, Epiphone and Gibson Custom have again joined forces to bring guitar enthusiasts new additions to the Inspired by Gibson Custom Collection. This time, it’s the turn of the iconic 1963 Firebird I and Firebird V.

Designed by the legendary automotive designer Ray Dietrich and characterized by bold lines and forward-thinking aesthetics, the Gibson Firebird carved its place in music history and has long been revered by legendary musicians across genres.

Now, they’re reborn in the Epiphone Inspired by Gibson Custom Collection, offering the classic specifications and soulful sounds that captivated players such as Johnny Winter, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Phil Manzanera, and PJ Harvey, but at a price point where authenticity meets accessibility.

Fully featured and ready to fire up your imagination

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I and 1963 Firebird V models are masterpieces of design, featuring authentic nine-ply neck-through-body construction from mahogany and walnut, with mahogany body wings and Kluson® planetary geared “banjo” tuners.

For players who believe less is more, the Firebird I shines with its Lightning Bar Wraparound bridge and a single Gibson USA Firebird Alnico 5 humbucking pickup. When only two pickups, neck binding, and a vibrato tailpiece pass muster, the Firebird V steps up with an ABR bridge, a Maestro™ Vibrola™ with an engraved Epiphone logo, and a pair of USA Firebird pickups.

The Epiphone Firebird I in Silver Mist

These guitars don’t just look the part. They also deliver the authentic vintage Firebird tone that captivated players in the 1960s but is still a secret sonic weapon today. In addition to USA-made pickups—the exact same units as those in Gibson Custom Murphy Lab Firebird models—they feature premium electronics in the shape of CTS® potentiometers, Mallory™ capacitors, and Switchcraft® jack sockets and switches.

The color options are straight from the 1960s, too, with the Firebird I available in Silver Mist, Heather Poly, and Inverness Green, and the Firebird V offered in Frost Blue and Ember Red.

Each instrument in the Inspired by Gibson Custom Collection comes with a hardshell case, ensuring these treasures are well-protected. Whether you’re a collector, a working musician, or someone who appreciates the finer details of musical history, there’s never been a better time to add a Firebird to your collection.

The Epiphone Firebird V in Ember Red

Who was Ray Dietrich?

Ray Dietrich, a luminary in American automotive design, left an indelible mark on the design world with his pioneering work in the early 20th century. Co-founding the esteemed custom body company LeBaron, Dietrich’s visionary design ethos was sought after by leading automotive giants such as Packard, Chrysler, and Lincoln. 

His legacy transcended automotive design, notably influencing the music world with the iconic Gibson Firebird guitar series in the 1960s. Known for his innovative use of bold lines and a progressive aesthetic, Dietrich’s designs have become timeless symbols of early automotive luxury and style. His contributions continue to inspire designers across industries, cementing his place as a trailblazer who masterfully merged practicality with unparalleled elegance in both cars and musical instruments.

The Thunderbird ’64 bass celebrates its 60th anniversary

Happy anniversary

Meanwhile, released on the same day as the Inspired by Gibson Custom Firebirds is the new Epiphone Thunderbird ’64 bass, celebrating its 60th anniversary by paying homage to the original’s groundbreaking design and thunderous tone.

This killer new bass model retains the classic nine-ply mahogany and walnut neck-through-body construction and is powered by a pair of ProBucker™ 760 Bass humbuckers, ensuring a rich, powerful sound that’s as impressive and versatile today as it was in the 60s. With modern upgrades such as the Graph Tech® nut and high-ratio Clover-button tuners, it’s a bass that marries vintage aesthetics and modern playability.

Shop the Epiphone Inspired by Gibson Custom Firebirds and Thunderbird ’64 basses today.