NOTE: These are not our guitars; just saving the images for history and showcasing what's out there.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fender Stratocaster Vintage Prototype

images via this auction

"This Prototype Fender Stratocaster was purchased from an employee in the early eighties. This strat is a collectors piece, this is not a players guitar. THIS IS A PURE INVESTMENT GRADE 1 ONLY EVER MADE STRATOCASTER. The employee provided a letter of authentication. You can figure out who the employee worked for. A picture of this letter is included in the pictures and it is signed by director of quality control at the time. This guitar was never sold to a guitar store. It is a "one of" prototype from the old Fender Fullerton California factory. Built in 1982. At that time Fender was considering several new colors for their line. There were five or six bodies painted with the color candy apple green. This guitar was built from one of these bodies. Fender never used this color and this is reportedly, by the employee , in his letter, the only Fender guitar ever built using the color candy apple green. This guitar was obtained by being in the right place at the right time. One of the pioneer's of the 1st stratocaster was in a booth at a guitar show. actually, the original seller stopped by to say hello to this person or i would never have had the opportunity to obtain it. It was because of this close knit relationship , i was able to obtain it. It never made it to a dealers sales floor to be sold. it had the nick on it when we got it. BECAUSE OF THE CHANGES IN THIS TIME ERA AT FENDER, THIS IS ONE OF THE LAST BIG HEADSTOCK STRATS POSSIBLY MADE IN THE ORIGINAL FENDER FULLERRTON FACTORY. AS DAN SMITH CAME ON BOARD CHANGING FOREVER FENDER'S APPROACH TO THE MARKET,--HE WAS AWARE OF WHAT PLAYERS WANTED. STRATS WITH SMALL HEADSTOCKS, LIGHTER WEIGHT BODIES, AKA -DO IT THE WAY LEO FENDER AND BILL CARSON DID OR GET DARNED CLOSE & SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THE REST IS HISTORY. A FLOUNDERING CBS OWNED FENDER, NOW TURNED THE SHIP AROUND AND HEADED TOWARDS RECORD GROWTH . A LOT OF FOLKS CALL THE 2 KNOB STRAT THE SMITH MODEL AND IT WAS A GREAT GUITAR. WE ACTUALLY HAVE ONE OF THE FIRST STUCK BACK IN THE VAULT COLLECTION, A GUITAR THAT LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THE SMITH ERA 1962 REISSUES. SMALL HEADSTOCK, NICE PETITE BODY, 3 TONE SUNBURST, WHITE DOT MARKERS, LITE WEIGHT, RESONANT, BUT WE CAN'T FIND ANY DOCUMENTATION THAT FENDER ACTUALLY LABELED THIS ONE A REISSUE AS IT HAS ALL THE EARMARKS OF THE FIRST REISSUES BUT DOESN'T HAVE THE RE-ISSUE DECAL. NICE GTR., REALIZED IT WAS A UNIQUE PIECE AND FOR NEARLY 10 YEARS I BASICALLY FORGOT IT. ENOUGH ABOUT THAT AS WE AREN'T TRYING TO SELL IT. THE POINT WAS THAT THE ERA OF SMALL HEADSTOCKS HAD BEGUN & NO LARGE HEADSTOCK USA GTRS. WERE IN THE LINE UP.THE WE COULD SAY , IT'S EVEN POSSIBLE IT COULD HAVE BEEN THE LAST LARGE HEADSTOCK STRAT. THAT POINT IS MOOT, AS IT HAS NOT BEEN DOCUMENTED BY THE ORIGINAL SELLER.

By 1982 Fender was under new management and Dan Smith was the Director of Marketing. However, unlike other Smith era Strats, this guitar has a larger headstock more like that found on Strats produced before 1981.

There are some other unique features about this prototype. The serial number beginswith a G and Fender has never used G for its production line instruments. A PREFIX OF S MEANT 70'S, E MEANT 80'S,N MEANT 90'S, Z 2000 ERA SERIAL #'S. PROBABLY THE MOST LOGICAL SERIAL # SYSTEM ANY MFG. EVER DEVISED. The neck is similar to a Tele Deluxe with a flatter radius and larger frets than the stock instruments at the time. The large headstock, bullet truss rod adjustment and three bolt neck mounting were all standard for the Tele Deluxe at the time in 1982. The unusual decal, THE STRAT, was put on the headstock to make sure this guitar was not mixed into the regular day-to-day production guitars. The pickups, hardware, and pickguard are all stock items for the strat at that time period. WE CAN ONLY GUESS THAT THE G PREFIX WAS FOR GREEN? THE LETTER OF DOCMENTATION DOESN'T GIVE A CLUE AND WE WERE SO EXCITED TO GET THE GUITAR, PLANNING NEVER TO LET ANYONE EVEN SEE THE GUITAR , LET ALONG OFFER TO SELL IT, IT DIDN'T MATTER."

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