Gibson-inspired Triumph Bonneville T120 is a rock-themed one-off

Gibson and Triumph pooled their talents to celebrate their respective heritage while raising money for charity. Working together, they created a one-off Les Paul Standard Reissue and a one-of-a-kind Bonneville T120 that are each inspired by a predecessor released in 1959.

Both companies consider 1959 a milestone year. Triumph released the Bonneville T120, one of its most emblematic models, in 1959, while Gibson notes that the 1959 version of the Les Paul Standard has become one of the most coveted classic guitars. In an odd twist of fate, the original Bonneville T120 was powered by a 649cc two-cylinder engine while Gibson made under 650 units of the Les Paul Standard in 1959.

There exists no real connection between Gibson and Triumph, except the fact that some Gibson owners are also Triumph owners and vice versa, so the companies focused on design — and, against all odds, both still make in 2022 a version of the collectible model that they launched in 1959. On the Triumph side, designers gave the Bonneville T120’s fuel tank a hand-painted sunburst-like finish called Iced Tea Burst and an accent shaped like the neck of a guitar, and they added a gorgeous leather-upholstered seat with pockets for guitar picks. Gibson-themed detailing also appears on the side fairing and on the rear fender, while the classic look is complemented by chrome accents.

Meanwhile, at Gibson, the 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue received a sunburst finish that matches the Bonneville T120’s fuel tank and a jet black scratch plate with lines added as a subtle nod to the Triumph engine’s cooling fins. Triumph’s logo appears on the headstock and on the lower pickup cover. And, a commemorative plate is present on both: it’s on the back of the Les Paul and on the T120’s alternator cover.

The project’s goal wasn’t simply to honor the past by leveraging design and craftsmanship: Triumph and Gibson will jointly offer their one-off creations as a reward to the highest fundraiser at the 2022 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, an annual event that unites motorcycle riders and enthusiasts from around the world to raise money for (and awareness about) men’s mental health issues and prostate cancer research. The 2022 edition of the Ride is scheduled to take place on Sunday, May 22, though fundraising started on March 28.

The guitar and car (or motorcycle) worlds collide every now and then, and the results are usually spectacular. Earlier in 2022, Hot Wheels and Fender created a line of diecast model-inspired guitars that includes the Stratocaster, the Jaguar, and the Precision Bass. Lexus and Fender built a blue Stratocaster in October 2021, while Wallace made a Jeep-themed guitar built with wood from the old Packard Plant.

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