Fender Musical Instruments Corp. teamed with Reverb to release five archival Stratocaster guitars that served as the original templates for some of the brand’s most popular vintage-inspired lines. The Fender Certified Vintage Reverb Shop launched on Sept. 9, giving musicians and collectors the unique opportunity to buy an authentic vintage guitar built in Fender’s historic Fullerton, Calif., factory in the 1950s and 1960s, from the brand.
“Aside from being in near-museum-quality condition, these Stratocaster guitars are special because they aren’t reproductions. These are the actual vintage instruments that were used to spec out not only our American Original and Vintera offerings, but also hundreds of Fender Custom Shop guitars,” said Mike Lewis, vice president of product development at the Fender Custom Shop. “The DNA of these guitars can be seen across nearly every guitar we’ve crafted, and we’re proud to open up our vaults to give musicians and collectors the chance to own a piece of Fender history.”
The five guitars in the Reverb Shop have been “Certified Vintage,” which means that each instrument was inspected and prepared by a Fender Custom Shop Master Builder to determine which parts are original, which parts may have been repaired or replaced and more. Uniquely, each guitar will carry a limited two-year warranty and any service required during that time will be carried out by the Fender Custom Shop. The Fender Certified Vintage Reverb Shop features:
- A rare 1954 Fender Stratocaster assembled by Gloria in June 1954 (as evidenced by a masking tape label in the control cavity.) According to Lewis, the original nut was replaced, but nearly everything else—the wiring, the pots, the deluxe Kluson tuning machines, the white pickguard and knobs — is original.
- A practically untouched Fender Stratocaster that shipped from the Fullerton factory in March 1957. The electronics are all-original — even the solder connections are untouched, showing that the pots and switch were never replaced. The deluxe Kluson tuning machines have the single-line logo on the back.
- A 1965 Lake Placid Blue Fender Stratocaster that “could have been found in a time capsule,” according to Lewis. The only change from “stock” is that the original gray-bottom bobbin single-coil neck pickup has been rewound.
- A 1965 3-Color Sunburst Fender Stratocaster that has “miraculously survived unscathed through the decades,” according to Lewis. Every component on the instrument is original. The dates on the pots, gray-bobbin bridge, and middle and neck pickups indicate that the guitar comes from the legendary period when Abigail Ybarra was winding pickups (and possibly were wound by the famous winder herself.)
- An original 1965 Candy Apple Red Fender Stratocaster that is one of the earliest examples of the classic finish sprayed over a gold undercoat as opposed to the silver undercoats used in 1963 and 1964. The legend “C A Red” was carved on the body under the pickguard before the guitar was finished, an indication that this instrument was certainly something special.
Each guitar will include an initial inspection and setup from a Fender Custom Shop Master Builder, including a hand-filled inspection sheet, as well as a Fender Certified Vintage certificate of authenticity and factory case candy in the original cases. As an added bonus, buyers can request that the guitar be hand-delivered to any location within the continental United States.
“We help musicians find their dream gear on Reverb every day and for vintage guitar players and collectors, these Stratocasters are truly what gear dreams are made of,” said Jim Tuerk, director of business development at Reverb. “We’re excited to partner with Fender to give musicians the rare opportunity to own the original vintage instruments that served as the templates for some of the most iconic guitars in the industry.”