Erroneously referred to over the years as "budget models' and "poor-man's Gibsons," the Epiphone electric guitars manufactured at the Gibson factory in Kalamazoo, Mich., between 1959 and the early 1970s have long represented some of the greatest values around in quality American-made vintage instruments. That is, until the world discovered what a clever few guitarists had long understood – that these Epiphone electrics were not only a bargain, but also great playing and sounding guitars as well. That's when the values of these early Epiphones started to escalate on the vintage market.
From the time of its introduction, the solid-body Epiphone Wilshire has been a favorite "undiscovered classic" among those in the know, but the fact that so few Epiphone Wilshire Model SB-432 guitars were ever produced — only 180 in 1962 — combined with its unerring quality, playability and tonal versatility, has sent its value soaring from its humble introductory price of $210 to upwards of $5,000 to $12,000 on today’s vintage market, depending upon year and condition.
Earlier this year, Epiphone debuted the 1962 Wilshire in Cherry as the first model in a new series of reissues known as the "Epiphone Historic Custom USA" collection. The limited 100-guitar run of Cherry Wilshires sold out so quickly that Epiphone decided to introduce a new White 1962 Wilshire, also available as a limited 100-guitar run. Made in Nashville, Tenn. in cooperation with Gibson Custom, these 1962 Epiphone Wilshires combine impeccable attention to detail and historic accuracy. They are welcome additions to any serious guitar collection.