Gibson only made 98 Flying Vs in the 1950s – which makes this ’58 Flying V one of the rarest electric guitars to come out of the company’s factory

1958 Gibson Flying V
(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

Researching and authenticating guitars is clearly an enjoyable part of the job for Gardiner Houlgate’s guitars and musical instruments auctioneer, Luke Hobbs, and it’s clear that he got his teeth into a certain 1958 Flying V. 

“The guitar was purchased by the vendor in late 1990,” he tells us, “and it had been imported from America to the UK in 1989 by a collector called Julian Marsh. He used to travel to the US with vintage Vox and Marshall amps and trade them for American guitars. This Flying V had come into a shop called the American Guitar Center in Washington [DC] that was run by a guy called John Sprung, and Julian got the guitar from him, along with some of the guitar’s history.

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Huw Price

Huw started out in recording studios, working as a sound engineer and producer for David Bowie, Primal Scream, Ian Dury, Fad Gadget, My Bloody Valentine, Cardinal Black and many others. His book, Recording Guitar & Bass, was published in 2002 and a freelance career in journalism soon followed. He has written reviews, interviews, workshop and technical articles for Guitarist, Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, Acoustic Magazine, Guitar Buyer and Music Tech. He has also contributed to several books, including The Tube Amp Book by Aspen Pittman. Huw builds and maintains guitars and amplifiers for clients, and specializes in vintage restoration. He provides consultancy services for equipment manufacturers and can, occasionally, be lured back into the studio.