Production of the FIREBIRD III began in 1963 and ended in 1969. For their Les Paul and SG line, Gibson used the terms Junior, Special, Standard and Custom to indicate added features. For the Firebird Gibson used the Roman numerals I, III, V and VII - so the Firebird III was one up from the most basic model - the Firebird I. The Firebird III had two humbuckers, banjo tuners and a stud bridge & tailpiece or Gibson Vibrola. The through body neck had dot inlays and binding. From 1965 to 1969, Gibson introduced "non-reverse" models after failing to achieve commercial success with the unusual reverse-body design.
Around 2,546 Firebird III guitars were made between 1963-1965, and that total includes a few “non-reverse” Firebirds in the transition period that marked the end of the rare, original “reverse-body” styling. Johnny Winter once owned an unusual Firebird III with reverse body but non-reverse headstock - possibly a model from this transition period in 1965?