Don't all of those modifications that Les made on his '54 remind you of the finished product of the Jimmy Page Black Beauty...can't remember if Les was still with us when that JP BB came out but it seems as though that would be a true Les Paul Custom that the man himself would have loved...except for perhaps the weight as I imagine that most are likely in the 9-10# plus range. Anyone else notice this? Quiet a few of the greats did modify their Black Beauties, like Page and Fripp for example...although the king of tinkering seems to have been Les himself (rivaled perhaps by Eddie Van Halen).
Love the thread! Interesting side note, REALLY looks like the late 60's cases are identical other than the texture of the vinyl and the lack of the name plate. Same latches too.
Were the 50's one's "Lifton" brand?