Maton ‘Sharkbite’ Fyrbyrd

Ladies & gents…. the coolest guitar on the planet.

So, everyone knows about my infatuation with the Maton Fyrbyrd. This guitar to me embodies 60’s garage cool and excess… heaps of chrome, switches, fins, stickers, bakelite, gold. It’s basically a guitar version of an EK Holden.

Anyway, a friend of mine, Marty, has been working on the new Mad Max movie. (I know! How awesome is that!!!) He’s been based in Broken Hill and his job includes a lot of driving around to awesome locations all around the country. On one of these trips, Marty found a huge junk shop that was made up of at least 5 sheds full of crap… er, I mean, collectables. Rummaging around, Marty saw a beaten up guitar case sitting on a couch. He opened it up and… well, you know that scene in Pulp Fiction when they open up the suitcase and that golden glow comes out? I’m imagining it must’ve been like that.

Inside was a completely original sharkbite ’63 Maton Fyrbyrd. In it’s original Stanford case. Covered in dust, filth, bird poo and who knows what else. It’s the most beautiful thing ever.

Marty then had to go off to work god-knows-where for 8 MONTHS and I didn’t hear anything back from him. Where was this guitar?! Had it been sold?! Howe much was it?!!! Finally this week I got a call from Marty. The guitar was still there (after 8 months! amazing!) and the price was even more amazing. 2 days later, this beauty was sitting on my couch. Thank you Marty!!! YOU RULE!!!

It’s in need of a total refurb, but it’s an excellent example of the model. All the parts are there, including the rare cast Bigsby moustache bridge and Bigsby tremolo. And those switches! They look like they come from a 1950’s rocketship! I’ve only seen another Fyrbyrd with those switches, and that’s Brad Shepherd from Hoodoo Gurus’ guitar. I have no idea why Maton put these on only a few guitars… all the Fyrbyrds I’ve seen sport the regular Fender Jag type switches. I’m guessing the early Fyrbyrds had these and were switched later, as they do get in the way while playing. I love them, though.

The body still sports the rare Fyrbyrd sticker. These are getting very hard to come by. There was a time when you could call Maton and they’d send you one as they had a stash in a drawer somewhere… now after 50 years I think their supply might be running PRETTY low.

The headstock still sports the original tuners. 3 of the tuners have lost their posts, but they’re sitting in the case pocket, along with the gears so they should be easy to put back together. Look at that headstock design… pure art.

The guitar has led a pretty rough life. It’s covered in nicks, rubs and scratches and the white has mellowed to a beautiful cream/nicotine colour. Pure aussie mojo. The neck strap button is missing and looks like it was hacked out. Easy fix.

And that case. These Stanford cases are beyond rare. You literally cannot find a Maton Stanford case. So for this forgotten beauty to still be enclosed in it’s original case is amazing and so, so very lucky. The purple velvet lining is gorgeous. It so damn… cute.


This axe is currently at Tym’s getting fixed back to fighting condition. After 10 years of sitting in a dirty shed, it’s going to be great seeing the ‘byrd in action again.