Sometimes called the "Jetsons model" or the "JB Hutto" (and nowadays often known as the "Jack White"), the futuristic body shape of this Airline electric guitar is instantly recognizable. Released in 1964, this Valco-made guitar appeared in the Montgomery Ward catalog simply as an "Airline" electric guitar. It borrows similar pickups and stylings from the earlier Airline Town and Country, but the bold geometry is entirely its own.
While many later examples featured "Res-O-Glass" fiberglass construction, the early 1964 examples were all wood. Sure, the "Res-O-Glass" is cool and all, but fiberglass has never been the #1 choice for tone. Because of that, the wood body versions just have more natural resonance and character.
This 1964 Airline is particularly interesting because it shows an exceedingly rare combination of classic features. 1) It has the funky and oh so cool Jetsons/JB Hutto/Jack White body shape. 2) it's a killer one pickup configuration, but the '64 catalog only offer listed 2 and 3 pickups options. 3) It's a wood body. 4) It's a sunburst instead of red. 5) It has the same pickguard/knob setup as the Town and Country. That all adds up to one extremely cool Airline. Because of this strange combination of specs, it may be among the first made. The pots date to the last week of '63 and the 20th week of '64.
This 1964 Airline is in nice condition all around, and all of its wiring, hardware, and parts are original. There is a very tidy headstock repair (easily spotted with the blacklight!), and we suspect a refret. But otherwise, it has been nicely preserved over the years. While it looks like a humbucker, the pickup is actually an overwound single coil. It's got a lot of punch and character, which makes this guitar a rock and roll machine when it hits the front end of the amp. Nevertheless, the volume and tone lend a ton of flexibility.
This 1964 Airline includes a basic, unimpressive gig bag that has no backpack straps. It's a great player with unique style and charm.