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Gibson first designed the reverse body Thunderbird II bass in 1963. It featured a neck through body design and a one pickup configuration.

Other 1963 reverse body Thunderbird II characteristics: Two tone painted headstock, Gibson logo on black plastic truss rod cover, Kluson no-name riveted clover reverse tuners with slot head screws, serial number on headstock back, unbound rosewood fretboard with pearloid dot fret markers, one nickel pickup with two height adjustment screws, removable nickel pickup cover, white beveled edge pickguard, curved ebony thumbrest under G string, two silver top/gold hat shaped knobs, four saddle adjustable bridge, removable nickel bridge cover, three screw tailpiece, input jack on body front, strapholder on upper bout, plastic controls access cover on body back, Honduras mahogany body and neck, standard sunburst finish, rectangular black tolex case with yellow interior.

Gibson records show a total of only 2 reverse body Thunderbird II's were shipped in 1963! For 1963 serial numbers see the "Gibson Serial Number Chart". For more precise dating cross reference the serial number with the instrument's potentiometer codes.