1971 Gibson Flying V Medallion Website This website is current and up-to-date as of January, 2019
Additions for 2019: 95, 172. Additions for 2018: 351, 311, 261, 39, 54, 21, 239. Additions for 2017: 61, 187, another Coinless, 252, 65, 342, 162, 333.
Note: I am looking to by 1971 Medallion Flying Vs and 1967-1969 Flying Vs.
My personal collection from 2014 is pictured below: I have since sold two of them and kept coin #130 which is near mint.
History of the '71 Medallion Flying V:
The 1971 Gibson Flying V Medallion is one of the coolest and most sought-after guitars in the world. There are very few of them left on the planet that are totally original and completely unmolested. As you would expect, serious collectors want the unmolested ones, but there just aren't that many available. Gibson only made 353 Medallion Flying Vs in 1971. They were designed and built to commemorate the 1972 Olympic Games. Each guitar had a gold coin affixed to the upper wing that specified the Medallion number (1 - 353). Of the 353 guitars that were built, I have accounted for 132 of them in the past 20+ years. 128 of them are pictured on this website (see below). All 353 guitars were finished cherry. It was rumored that a few were finished in sunburst, but none have ever surfaced. It was also rumored by more than one Gibson employee that there were gaps in the Medallion V production quantities, meaning that far less than 353 were produced. This is possible since only 132 have surfaced in the past 20 years. Of those 132 only 24 are "survivors," meaning they are still 100% factory original, unmolested and unbroken.
The bodies and necks on the Medallion Flying Vs were made out of mahogany and the fret boards were made out of rosewood. The bodies were two-piece with a center seam while the necks were three-piece. The nut width was 1 9/16 inches. The tuners were Gibson Deluxe double-ring tuners. The humbucking pickups had the PAT number decal stickers on the bottom. All of the hardware including the ABR-1 bridge, Stop bar tailpiece and pickup covers were chrome. The pickguards were all 3-ply plastic while the truss rod covers were all 4-ply plastic. Additional detailed pictures and information about the case, pickups, pickguard, electronics, hardware and body wood routes, etc is below.
Most of the Flying V Medallion guitars have been significantly modified, refinished, broken or repaired. Some have been trashed and thrown away over the years and are now lost forever. The most common mod was to swap out the tuners with Grover or Schaller tuners. By doing so, the tuner holes had to be bored-out or additional screw holes had to be drilled into the back of the headstock. The other common mod was to remove the pickup covers and add pickup mounting rings.
I bought my first Gibson Flying V Medallion, coin #110, in 1976. Since then I have owned, or still own, nine others. I have been formally tracking Flying V Medallion guitars for almost 20 years and as previously mentioned, I have accounted for 132 of them of which 24 are survivors. The survivors are pictured below first. Many of these survivors have never been seen before and are now pictured for the first time. If you are one of the few owners on the planet of an all original and unmolested survivor, congratulations, you are extremely lucky. You own a true treasure. If you want me to post pictures of your Flying V Medallion, or if you have questions or comments, or if want to sell yours, contact me at: email@example.com
As of January 2019,132 Medallion Vs have been accounted for. 24 are Survivors. __________________________________________________________________________
The Survivors: All original and unmolested: 267, 151, 83, 126, 156, 130, 96, 88, 284, 287, 301, 238, 20, 263, 353, 225, 13, 36, 240, 147, 74, 308, 39, 311. See pictures of all of these Medallions below.
The Other Medallions: 6, 10, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22, 25, 28, 29, 30, 37, 38, 41, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 61, 63, 65, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 76, 78, 79, 87, 91, 95, 98, 105, 108, 110, 111, 118, 119, 120, 122, 124, 131, 132, 140, 145, 148, 150, 155, 158, 160, 162, 166, 169, 172, 173, 177, 180, 186, 187, 188, 194, 197, 200, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 218, 223, 224, 229, 232, 233, 235, 237, 239, 243, 252, 254, 257, 261, 268, 269, 280, 283, 290, 300, 306, 317, 323, 326, 327, 333, 335, 340, 342, 345, 348, 351, 354* (*case coin that was roughly etched with bogus 354, which does not exist), and four that are coinless, one of which is painted light blue. All of the Medallion Vs in "The Other Medallions" section (here) are featured on this website after "The Survivors". ________________________________________________________________________
Flying V Medallion #267 (All original and unmolested, very clean. Surfaced in Switzerland in 2014 and was purchased by your web host from the daughter of the original owner)
Flying V Medallion #151 (All original and unmolested, very clean. Sold by the original owner to your web host in 2001)
Flying V Medallion #83 (All original and unmolested, near mint. Sold by the original owner in 2005)
Flying V Medallion #126 (All original and unmolested, exceptionally clean)
Flying V Medallion #156 (All original and unmolested, very clean. Sold by the family of the original owner in 2010)
Flying V Medallion #130 (All original and unmolested, near mint. Sold by the original owner to your web host in 2002). This is the cleanest Flying V Medallion I have ever seen.
What a beauty ! This one is a lifetime keeper !
Flying V Medallion #96 (All original and unmolested, exceptionally clean. Surfaced and sold in Japan in 2011)
Flying V Medallion #88 (All original and unmolested, except the pickup covers were removed). Still in possession of the original owner.
Flying V Medallion #284 (All original and unmolested, exceptionally clean)
Flying V Medallion #287 (All original and unmolested, very clean)
Flying V Medallion #301 (All original and unmolested. Owner still has the original receipt)
Flying V Medallion #238 (All original and unmolested, exceptionally clean)
Flying V Medallion #20 (All original and totally unmolested, near mint). The current owner of this guitar bought it brand new in 1971. Used by permission. Thanks Dean. Posted Jan. 2015
Flying V Medallion #263 (A little rough, but it is still all original and totally unmolested). Purchased by a collector in Switzerland from the original owner in 2008.
Flying V Medallion #353
All original and totally unmolested. Note: Medallions #351, 352 and 353 were all sold by the same Gibson dealership store.
No Pictures are available
Flying V Medallion #225
All original and totally unmolested, exceptionally clean.
Flying V Medallion #13
All original and unmolested. Pickup covers were removed and the nut was changed (Still qualifies as unmolested in my book).
Flying V Medallion #36
All original and completely unmolested. This beautiful Medallion V was purchased used by the current owner in 1972 in Cleveland, Ohio for $625. In 1976 he offered to sell it to buy his wife's engagement ring but she said "keep the guitar". That was 40 years ago. Thanks Jonathan. Posted March, 2016
Flying V Medallion #240
All original and totally unmolested. Near mint. This incredible Flying V was purchased new by the original owner in Oakland Calif. in July 1972. He still has the guitar and the original receipt. Thank J. Bradley. Posted March 2016
Flying V Medallion #147
As of the early 2000's this Flying V was still totally original and unmolested, with the exception of the added gold knobs. It has a 6 inch gash on the neck from when a symbal fell over and hit the guitar. The guitar was sold in early 2000's. Thanks Scot. Posted June 2016.
Flying V Medallion #74
All original and totally unmolested. Posted Nov. 2016
Flying V Medallion #308
All original and totally unmolested. This is one of the cleanest Medallion Vs on the planet. The current owner bought it from the original owner in 2014. According to the current owner this V is in nearly unplayed condition. Thanks Kim. Posted Nov. 2016.
Flying V Medallion #39
All original and totally unmolested. The second owner of this V, Slobodan Bodo Kovacevic, purchased it in London, England in 1975. Slobodan was a famous guitarist from Yugoslavia and Sarajevo that passed away in 2004. The guitar is still in the possession of the Kovacevic family. The original case is missing but so what. Posted September, 2018. Thanks Dusan.
Pictured below: Slobodan Bodo Kovacevic playing Medallion V #39. This picture was most-likely taken in the 1980s.
Flying V Medallion #311
All original and totally unmolested. As you can see, this incredible guitar is near mint with only a few dings. Posted October, 2018.
The unmistakable Medallion Flying V case. Each case had a Medallion coin affixed to the top of the case.
Close up view of the case medallion coin. The case coins were identical to the coins used on the guitars except they were not etched with the guitar number.
Close up view of the pots and other electronics. Notice the black ground wire tubing shield. Some Medallions had this protective shield for the ground wire, some had a single bare wire, some had a double bare wire and some had a coated wire.
Close up view of the PAT # sticker pickups and QA stamp. All Medallion V pickguards have this QA stamp.
Close up view of the neck tenon hump and neck joint.
Close up view of headstock (front).
Close up view of headstock (back).
The Other Medallions (in numerical order)
Flying V Medallion #6 (Shaved off volute due to headstock break and subsequent repair. Schaller tuners added. Pickguard replaced with late 1970's pickguard, strap button added to upper wing, Gibson embossed pickup covers installed.
Flying V Medallion #10 (Tuners changed to Grovers then later replaced with original Gibson Deluxe tuners, headstock crack)
Flying V Medallion #14 (newer pickguard installed, strap button added to upper wing)
Flying V Medallion #16 (pickguard replaced, strap button added to upper wing, pickup covers removed, pickup mounting rings added)
Flying V Medallion #18 (cherry finished completely stripped, Bigsby tremelo added then later removed, Gibson harmonica bridge added, Grover tuners added, pickguard replaced)
Flying V Medallion #21 (Harmonica bridge added in the 1970's. Also, has non-original Schaller tuners and broken corners on the pickguard). Added Feb. 2018. Thanks Scotty.
Flying V Medallion #22 (Refinished, newer pickguard installed, pickup covers removed, pickup mounting rings added. This one also has a peculiar second Gibson logo on the headstock indicating the neck may have been replaced)
Flying V Medallion #25 (Schaller tuners installed, newer late 1970's pickguard installed, pickup covers removed, pickup mounting rings added)
Flying V Medallion #28 (Grover tuners installed then later replaced with original Gibson Deluxe tuners, special custom oversize bushings added. Rear pickup mounting ring added then later removed and holes filled in)
Flying V Medallion #29 (newer pickguard installed, pickup mounting rings added, Schaller tuners installed then later replaced with newer Gibson Deluxe tuners)
Flying V Medallion #30 (Original pickguard painted black, Schaller tuners added). Thanks Paul
Flying V Medallion #37 (headstock crack, Dimarzio pickup installed at bridge position)
Flying V Medallion #38 (Schaller tuners added, two coil-tap toggle switches added)
Medallion V #41 (Schaller tuners added)
Flying V Medallion #53 (This one has undergone some changes in its life. The guitar is pictured in the late 1970's when it was in all original, clean condition. A more recent picture shows that Grovers were added, pickup mounting rings were added, large washer added at input jack due to cracked pickguard. This one was signed by Rudolph Schenker)
Flying V Medallion #54 (Schaller tuners installed, late 60's Maestro Vibrola installed. These changes were done prior to 1977. The pictures below were taken around 1977. The guitar was sold soon after that and has not surfaced since. Posted March 2018. Thanks Roger.
Flying V Medallion #55 (Grover tuners installed then later replaced with original era Gibson tuners and newer flat bushings). Notice the Grover tuner remnant marks on the front of the headstock (chipped paint and circular bushing imprints). Also has missing corner on pickguard and headstock crack). This guitar was sold on e-bay in March 2015. The Grover marks had been touched-up at that time. See pictures and web link below that show the headstock before it was touched-up. Posted February 2015.
Flying V Medallion #56 (This is the famous Medallion Flying V that Michael Schenker used on the first 3 or 4 UFO albums. He is pictured on the back of the "Force It" album playing this guitar. In the mid 70's Michael had it painted black, then white then it disappeared. It surfaced about 15 years ago and had been refinished to the black and white flip flop color combination that he started using in 1979. No one is really sure if this guitar was actually painted in the black and white flip flop combination way back in 1979 or not. He had a 75 Flying V that had the black and white flip flop combination. It is said that he got the idea for the black and white flip flop color combination from the German V-2 rocket. Michael originally borrowed this guitar from his brother Rudolph in 1973 and never returned it.
Flying V Medallion #57 This one has added pickup rings, added mid-70's harmonica bridge and Schaller tuners. Thanks James. Added July, 2015.
Flying V Medallion #61 (All original except routed for Grover tuners. Grover bushing marks are visible on the front of the headstock which is typical from the Grover mod, pickup covers also removed, Rhythm - Treble ring added). Posted Sept. 2017)
Flying V Medallion #63 (routed for a third pickup, harmonica bridge installed then removed, Bigsby tremelo unit added then removed, strap button added to upper wing)
Flying V Medallion #65 (Headstock repair, knobs changed to gold top hats). Added April, 2017. Thanks Buddy.
Flying V Medallion #66 (Grover tuners added then later replaced with original Gibson Deluxe tuners). This guitar was sold by Heritage Auction House in 2012.
Flying V Medallion #68 (Pickup rings added, strap button added at V crotch, Rhythm/Treble disk added and rear pickup cover removed)
Flying V Medallion #69 (pickup mounting rings added)
Flying V Medallion #70 This one was refinished with a lighter shade of cherry. The headstock was also refinished the same color. Pickup rings added, gold hardware added, Grovers added. Posted Nov. 2016 (dealer photos).
New information as of September 2018: #70 has been purchased and has now been partially restored. See new picture below. Thanks Garth.
Updates to #70 as of September 2018: The headstock has now been refinished black, original tuners added, replacement guard installed and the gold hardware removed.
Flying V Medallion #71 This one was refinished black. A third pickup was also added sometime down through the years. Posted Sept. 2016
Note: There is also a fake burgundy Medallion with a 71 coin that was built in Japan.
Medallion Flying V #73 (pickup mounting rings added, pickup covers removed, large washer added at input jack due to crack)
Flying V Medallion #76(pickup mounting rings added, pickup covers removed)
Flying V Medallion #78 (Cracked headstock, four additional strap buttons added, pickup mounting rings added, support washer added at input jack). This guitar recently sold on E-bay in July 2014.
Flying V Medallion #79 (This one is owned by blues guitarist Jimmy Thackery. It has been extensively modified over the years. The guitar has been autographed by lots of notable individuals over the years.
Flying V Medallion #87 (Schaller tuners added, newer pickguard installed, routed for Kaylor tremelo unit.....the large hole for the Kaylor tremelo unit is visible under the stop bar tailpiece. The owner (Dean) also owns #88, #235 and #269)
Flying V Medallion #95 (thin wood inlay added to back of headstock to hide headstock crack and repairs. Neck refinished in Natural. Pickguard replaced. Original pickguard not shown, but it has a hole for a Toggle-tap switch which has now been removed. Crudely re-stamped with Made In USA. This is one of the few Gibson guitars that has the black plastic beauty rings around the stop bar studs, probably due to damage at the factory. I have seen this before on other models but it is fairly uncommon. Thanks Lee. Posted January 2019.
Notice the thin wood inlay on the back of the headstock. There is also a clever repair on the neck side of the volute.
Flying V Medallion #98 (Grover tuners added and pickup covers removed in the 1970s. Headstock was also broken and repaired in the 1970s).
Pictured below: Headstock repaired, original pickup covers added and original tuners installed. Oct, 2018.
Take a look at the below picture....There are now no signs that this V ever had Grovers.
Flying V Medallion #105 (cherry finish stripped, changed to natural, locking tremelo installed at one time, bridge and tailpiece both replaced with non-original parts, EMG pickups added, newer pickgaurd installed)
Flying V Medallion #108 (Medallions 100 - 109 were shipped from the Gibson factory to John's Just Music store in Chicago in 1971. The Service Manager, Billy grabbed #108 and had it refinished white and added a Maestro Vibrola unit. Years later he had the Maestro removed and the guitar refinished back to cherry. He also installed Grovers at one time but put double-ring Klusons back on. Two non-original pickguards have also been installed over the years. Still owned by Billy, the original owner. This additional info was added August 2018. Thanks, Billy
Flying V Medallion #110 (Grover tuners installed, pickup covers removed, pickup mounting rings added). This picture was taken by your web host in 1976.
Flying V Medallion #111 (Grover tuners installed then later replaced with original tuners with mid-1970's large bushings)
Flying V Medallion #118 (Original pickguard was replaced with one from a 1975 era Flying V. Pickup covers replaced with post-1977 covers, the case is a late 60's Flying V case). Added Dec. 2014.
Flying V Medallion #119 (Grover tuners installed, Maestro tremelo added then later removed, pickup cover removed, pickup mounting rings added)
Flying V Medallion #120 (refinished in burgundy, later refinished in white, headstock repair, Grovers added)
Flying V Medallion #122 (Maestro tremelo installed then later removed, Grover tuners installed, coil tap toggle switch added, pickup mounting rings added, Dimarzio pickup installed at bridge position, truss cover removed and bell truss cover installed, 1958 Gibson Flying V style logo added to headstock, speed knobs installed). Posted May, 2015.
This same V (Medallion 122) underwent a restoration that put it back to original in 2018. It looks really good now (pictured below). It still has the tremelo holes and filled in holes on the pickguard. The restoration work that was done to the headstock is superb.
Flying V Medallion #124 (Refinished ember red in the mid 90's. Refinished dark blue sometime around 2008. It has late 70's pickguard installed, Schaller tuners installed, pickup covers removed, pickup mounting rings added)
To see Flying V Medallions #131 - #354, click here -----> More Medallions
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