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  1. #1

    Explorer 1976 Explorer. 6 Digit Serial Number?

    Hi all,

    So I discovered an old Explorer in a relative's basement. I'm having some difficulty trying to date it and was hoping to get some help. The serial number on the back of the headstock is 963640, which doesn't jive with the 00 serial number format of the '76s, and it's also stamped rather than inked or a decal.

    For a moment I got excited thinking it could be a long lost '59 based on the first digit of the serial, but some further research proves that's not the case. The volume pot codes date them to 1975, is it possible that there was a preliminary run of '76 Explorers that were stamped and assembled in 1975? If so, does anyone have any idea how many or how that may affect their worth?

    This reverb listing contends that there were only ever two '75 Explorers, but I don't know how accurate that info is: https://reverb.com/item/11085822-vin...escription-tab

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member guitplayer's Avatar
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    Re: 1976 Explorer. 6 Digit Serial Number?

    I think you are spot on. 1975-76. prog will chime in when he sees this,
    but I`m sure some customs left out of the factory with this # scheme in
    1975. maybe into a bit of 1976. Is Made in USA there?
    Worth ,would `nt matter much. Condition.
    " Never Mind Your Face, just show us your card"

  3. #3

    Re: 1976 Explorer. 6 Digit Serial Number?

    Quote Originally Posted by guitplayer View Post
    I think you are spot on. 1975-76. prog will chime in when he sees this,
    but I`m sure some customs left out of the factory with this # scheme in
    1975. maybe into a bit of 1976. Is Made in USA there?
    Worth ,would `nt matter much. Condition.
    No Made in USA stamp, just the serial number on the back of the headstock.

    One other question, the frets on this guy are extremely low. Is that a matter of play wear (this would be surprising since from what I understand play has been minimal) or were these shipped with very flat frets?
    Last edited by Iamnotsimon; 06-24-19 at 03:30 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: 1976 Explorer. 6 Digit Serial Number?

    There's a few of those listed here: https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...=1#post2101025

    In view of the pot codes most of these white ones were shipped in late '76, though construction may very well have started in 1975, before the LE run. That only two white Explorers shipped in 1975 is possible - 7548 is the earliest recorded pot code I've seen on those. Gibson shipping data in this period is hardly reliable though.

  5. #5

    Re: 1976 Explorer. 6 Digit Serial Number?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch D. Bunker View Post
    There's a few of those listed here: https://www.lespaulforum.com/forum/s...=1#post2101025

    In view of the pot codes most of these white ones were shipped in late '76, though construction may very well have started in 1975, before the LE run. That only two white Explorers shipped in 1975 is possible - 7548 is the earliest recorded pot code I've seen on those. Gibson shipping data in this period is hardly reliable though.
    Interesting, the pot codes on mine are 1377542, and mine seems to break the 937 pattern of the known serial numbers, along with being natural finished instead of white. Suppose emailing Gibson directly might net any more info, or is the knowledge base here deeper than theirs?

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member latestarter's Avatar
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    Re: 1976 Explorer. 6 Digit Serial Number?

    Re the frets - I’ve had Firebirds from this period along with Les Paul Customs and all the frets were low and flat.
    Otherwise known as Grant.

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