Vintage Gretsch Guitars

What Year Is This Firebird?

26

Here's a pic from when I reset the neck on my '55, as you can see the joint isn't very long, ends about the 17th fret which is where you'd want to inject the steam. I think this one went back to the factory for a super early reset - there were dowels going downwards under the 17th fret marker and the one going across into the body that you can see in the pic. I read somewhere thats what they were doing before the screws.

I think Gasmoney's theory makes the most sense since a screw there isn't affecting anything other than the tongue. Still curious about that short block inlay - is there a ton of filler or does it fill the cavity? We need more pics!!!!

27

What a ridiculously cool guitar! I'm going to agree that it's a 1955 because of the block fret markers. I learned that from Ed Ball's book.

28

Thanks for the shout-out Buddy! What am I missing here... is there not a serial number available? That's typically the best way to determine the model year (referring to the aforementioned book of course!).

29

A cautionary tale here.

My friend John Limanni...the guy in the picture in the original post was hit on his motorcycle last night while making his way over to meet me.

An Amazon truck didn't see him when it was making a turn. Trashed his Moto Guzzi, but he's fine, thank God.

Guys and gals on bikes, be careful, be watchful, and pay attention to your surroundings, because they're not looking out for you.

30

Did '55's come with Bigsbys?

I thought that they were an optional add on?

– crowbone

According to the Grestch 1955 catalog ("Guitars for Moderns") the only models that came with Bigsbys "stock" were the 2 Chet Atkins models.

31

Geez, John. Glad he's alright. That could have gone real wrong.

32

A cautionary tale here.

My friend John Limanni...the guy in the picture in the original post was hit on his motorcycle last night while making his way over to meet me.

An Amazon truck didn't see him when it was making a turn. Trashed his Moto Guzzi, but he's fine, thank God.

Guys and gals on bikes, be careful, be watchful, and pay attention to your surroundings, because they're not looking out for you.

– crowbone

My BMW has been gathering moss the past few years because it’s not worth the risk anymore, with all the inattentive drivers. Maybe if I was in a more rural spot,

33

A cautionary tale here.

My friend John Limanni...the guy in the picture in the original post was hit on his motorcycle last night while making his way over to meet me.

An Amazon truck didn't see him when it was making a turn. Trashed his Moto Guzzi, but he's fine, thank God.

Guys and gals on bikes, be careful, be watchful, and pay attention to your surroundings, because they're not looking out for you.

– crowbone

I've been riding off and on for 41 years (I took a long layoff, due to a lack of storage space for a motorcycle from the early 90s, until 2013). I learned to my dismay after a couple of close calls as a teenage rider, to treat EVERY CAR AND TRUCK LIKE THEY ARE MY ENEMY, when I'm on a motorcycle. Even with that mindset, I still had a bit of a scare on my previous bike (a BMW R1200R) last year, when some yahoo decided to pull out into the intersection from a road crossing the county highway I was motoring down on my way home from work, when I was less than 50 yards from him. I ended up having to go into the opposite/southbound lane (I was going north), to avoid the driver, and the stupid driver didn't realize his or her mistake, until he or she was in the middle of the intersection, and stopped.

I rode my current bike to work (an Indian FTR1200 - no, it's not a cruiser, it's a naked sport bike) today, since when the weather is decent, I commute on 2 wheels. I may have ridden on the freeway for part of the ride this morning, due to traffic being light, but there is no way I'm going to joust with cars at 75-80 mph in heavy freeway traffic - I'll stock to the back roads for the 25 mile commute home.

34

Drivers with cell phones + motorcycles = bad things.

35

Total thread hijack, but Ellen, how do you like the FTR?

36

to treat EVERY CAR AND TRUCK LIKE THEY ARE MY ENEMY

Sort of along this line, as a bicycle guy, part of a sector that experiences the same sorts of things that plague motorcyclists, I always proceed on the assumption that I am invisible.

37

It's a fun bike. I also liked my previous bike - a 2016 BMW R1200R. The only problem was, that within the next year or so, it was due for a valve adjustment (which requires pulling the overhead cams), and nobody local had the specialized BMW diagnostic tools to do it, and guess what? The local BMW motorcycle dealership called it quits late last year, and didn't bother to tell anybody - I found out by accident. The next nearest BMW dealership is 55 miles away ugh! Just what I need - ride 55 miles, only to be told "you can pick it up in 3 days." Ummm, no thanks. So the BMW went bye-bye, and when I found out that "hey, somebody's actually making an American made sport bike!" (remember Buell went out of business in 2007), I got interested. I stopped off at the local Indian dealership, took a chilly test ride on February 28, and bought my FTR1200 the following week.

It's not as light as a Yamaha R1, but still not too bad (about 503 lbs). The power puts any "tough guy" Harley to shame (even the so-called badass Milwaukee 8 [which only makes about 80 hp]), at 123 hp. It's basically a streettracker, since it's loosely based upon Indian's flat track racer, so the wheelbase is a bit on the long side, but it still handles pretty well. The tires (Dunlop's rendition of a flat track tire for the street) are so-so, but I can live with them, until they are worn enough for replacement. All in all, I like the bike. I use it for my 50 mile round trip work commute, and it's a great stress reliever as a back roads burner, after a crappy day at work.

Here's a photo of me with my FTR1200, on the day I bought it home in early March. It was only 37F, so it was quite the chilly ride home, hence the reason why I was wearing a winter jacket, instead of my usual sport riding jacket (complete with elbow armor, and spine protector).

38

Cool! I thought the repro Indians were the dressed up Chieftains and Scouts. That looks badass!

39

I love street trackers. I gave up on sportbikes on the street because you just can't use their potential anywhere but a track and expect to live through the week. Sort of like a full stack as a bedroom amp.

That FTR and things like Street Triples and Monsters are about the only new bikes that appeal to me at the moment. They, too, have tons of performance potential, but it's so much more useable than a race replica.

40

Here's an old Jet Firebird just to get this back on the rails.

Sorry for the derail, but when Ellen said "FTR 1200" I got all bike nerdy.

And sorry about your friend's Guzzi. Glad he's ok, though.

41

I love street trackers. I gave up on sportbikes on the street because you just can't use their potential anywhere but a track and expect to live through the week. Sort of like a full stack as a bedroom amp.

That FTR and things like Street Triples and Monsters are about the only new bikes that appeal to me at the moment. They, too, have tons of performance potential, but it's so much more useable than a race replica.

– wyowill

I agree, I prefer my sportbikes to also be of the naked variety, like the BMW Roadsters, Triumph Speed and Street Triples, Ducati Monsters, Aprilia Tuono, etc. Race rep motorcycle riding positions suck comfort-wise for real world riding, and I can't stand the sit up and beg riding position cruisers, baggers, and full dressers have, which I also find uncomfortable, and which are ill suited to boot, for spirited back roads riding. Also naked sport bikes typically have more low rpm horsepower than the the race reps (complete with GPesque full fairing) motorcycles - it gets old having to scream the engine to get any get up and go out of it.

Back to our regularly scheduled guitar discussion.

42

Crowbone- Sorry to hear about your buddy's accident. Glad he's okay. Sorry about his Moto Guzzi getting wrecked. As a rider, hate to hear these stories. The Jet is super cool, btw..


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