According to The Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars, the Gibson C-1 classical guitar was manufactured in various forms from 1957 to 1971. Gruhn’s Guide and Vintage Guitar Price Guide basically agree, although there is some disagreement as to specific features. Like most classical guitars, it’s smaller than the dreadnought or jumbo series, measuring 39” long, 11” at the upper bout, 9 5/8” at the waist, 14 ¼” at the lower bout, and tapers from 3 ½” to 4 ½” deep. While it may have been designed more for the coffee house of the 1960s folk music scene or classical performance than for the blue grass stage, it still has enough carrying power for anybody and is a beautiful example of Gibson craftsmanship.

The C-1 features a solid spruce top with mahogany back, sides, and neck in a light natural finish, a rosewood wrap-around bridge, and a 12/19-fret (including a zero fret) rosewood finger board with a 25 ½” scale. This one has a wide patterned rosette Gruhn says was added in 1964 and tortoise binding on the top and back. The slotted classical headstock has the Gibson script logo decal (also added in 1964). The faint serial number (805661?) dates it as either 1966 or 1969, but since it has the nickel tuners with plastic buttons which were replaced with chrome keys in mid 1966 and the serial number is rather low in the sequence, I’m assuming it was made in early 1966.

After 57 years of making music, there are a few cosmetic and structural concerns: there is of course some crazing or cracking in the finish, but very little wear at the frets and fretboard (presumably due to its nylon strings). There is advanced crystallization of the binding throughout, but it has been stabilized with acetone and is now solid. There are numerous dings and four repaired cracks in the top: one along the top seam at the bridge, one below the fretboard extension, and two small ones above the sound hole; all have been glued and are solid. The action is rather high for my taste, but I understand that nylon-string guitars usually have higher action than steel-string guitars.

And, of course, playing music for almost sixty years has made that Gibson sound even better, more resonant, and more powerful. Given its well-worn condition, this guitar is not for a collector to put in a museum; this is a player’s guitar, and I sincerely hope that its next owner is someone who will play it well and often.

The case is definitely not original. It actually is a vintage chipboard dreadnought case which is rather large for this guitar’s dimensions, but it is in very good shape, inside and out, with hardware which functions perfectly. It affords adequate protection for this vintage guitar, but sooner or later you’ll probably want a classical case.

Buyer pays a flat rate of $55 for insurance and shipping to the lower forty-eight states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashiers and personal checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.

I have tried to be perfectly clear and accurate in describing this vintage instrument, so its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was somehow misrepresented in this listing. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions you might have before offering to purchase it.

Thank you for your interest in this veteran Gibson guitar.



Gibson C-1
9 Years
Online Only
10:20 PM
24/7 by e-mail: I'm old; I don't sleep much.

Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.

From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is $55 due to constantly rising shipping costs unless a specific listing says otherwise; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.

I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.