Up for sale, a 1959 Airline Town & Country model 8408 in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order with a vibrant gloss Sunburst finish and gold hardware. Manufactured by the Valco company in Chicago (home to the Supro and National brands as well), this Airline was marketed exclusively through the Montgomery Ward catalog and is the top-tier model in the Town & Country range with a triple pickup design. Not to be confused with the modern "Airline" reissues, this is vintage, USA-made guitar.
The oversized single coil pickups have a classic Supro tone, with large ceramic magnets that provide a percussive, powerful attack and great midrange. The neck pickup is warm and wooly, balanced by the smooth, crisp attack of the maple body construction. In the bridge position, the tone is clear and commanding and with a bit of grit that really comes alive through your favorite tube amp. Weighing 8lbs 10oz, the guitar is acoustically resonant and well-balanced on a strap, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with comfortable action and accurate intonation, freshly restrung with 10-46 strings.
The maple neck has a substantial deep V profile carve, yet with significant roundness in the shoulders, suggesting a U shape, measuring .970" deep at the 1st fret and 1.020" at the 12th. The profile is quite manageable and comfortable, filling the palm and chording easily with original fretwire. On the dark and tight-grained Brazilian rosewood fretboard, the slender stock frets show only light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-4, playing cleanly up the 24 1/2" scale. The nut measures 1 5/8" in width, and the headstock retains the original tuning machines. These Kluson Deluxe single line strip tuners have clean gold plating and unique transparent amber buttons with sparkles molded into the plastic material. The paper foil Airline logo is also intact on the headstock face.
All of the electronics work as they should, with untouched solder joints and original Stackpole pots that date to the 20th week of 1958. The dyed maple "lightning bolt" compensated bridge is intact with floating gold-plated feet, and the gold trapeze tailpiece is notably clean. The dual Art Deco pickguards retain the majority of their white pinstriping, as well as a full complement of original knobs. Each pickup has dedicated Volume and Tone knobs, and even the small Tele-style pickup selector switch tip is present.
The warm, vibrant three-tone Sunburst gloss finish is 100% original, showing a sliver of wear through the finish on the edges of the slab body along with a few scuffs and minor marks primarily on the back and body parameter. The most interesting wear is a very faint row of numbers on the treble side upper bout (also on the back), as if a young previous owner was doing his arithmetic on the back of his guitar.
The original two-tone hardshell case is included, along with the original Operating Instructions. The case retains its original latches and handle with a red plush interior.