Fender Coronado II, '68
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Wildwood I Finish, Serial # 214758.
While Fender had pioneered the solid body guitar in the 1950s, the changing trends of the 1960s caused the company to switch gears and try to expand into other areas of the electric guitar market. The British Invasion bands popular at the time were using hollow, and semi-hollow guitars offered by Gibson (ES-330, ES-335), Epiphone(Casino), Gretsch (Country Gentleman), and Rickenbacker(330, and 360). Fender’s double cutaway hollowbody was released in 1966 and was known as the Coronado.
The Coronados were designed by Roger Rossmeisl, who had been hired by Leo Fender a few years earlier to design a flat-top acoustic. Rossmeisl had experience with these types of guitars as he had designed the Rickenbacker Capri line in the 1950s.
The Coronados were produced at Fender’s separate acoustic guitar plant. The line initially consisted of the Coronado I with one pickup, and the Coronado II with two pickups and optional tremolo. The pickups were made by the DeArmond Company.
The guitars were originally offered in Cherry and Sunburst finishes, but by 1967 Wildwood I (Rainbow Green), Wildwood II (Rainbow Blue) and Wildwood III (Rainbow Gold) also became available. These Wildwood finishes were obtained by injecting colorful dyes into beech trees. In 1968 the Antigua finish was also offered.
The Coronado did not prove popular, and was discontinued by 1972.