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Fender Stratocaster, '61

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Tahitian Coral, Serial # 59930.

Nothing conjures up images of a ‘60s Rock n’ Roll beach party like a cool custom colored Fender Strat. Custom colors don’t get much hipper than this example.

 

This Strat has a penciled neck date of 3-61, and has all the features typical to Strats that year. These include: a “slab” Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with clay dots, a small headstock with “spaghetti” decal including 2 patent numbers, and a greenish Nitrate 3-ply pickguard with a metal shielding plate underneath. The neck profile is very flat and comfortable like most of the early “slab board” necks.

 

Besides having all the classic characteristics that make early ‘60s Strats appealing to players and collectors, this one has an ultra-rare color. According to an old piece of masking tape attached under the pickguard, the color is Tahitian Coral (a color of the same name was used by Chrysler in the late ‘50s). This non-standard color was not mentioned in any Fender catalogs (The closest official Fender color at the time was Shell Pink listed from 1960-1963).  An undercoat of Desert Sand can be seen where the top color has worn off. Proof that this color is factory original can be seen after unscrewing the neck. An area of paint from the body has stuck to the neck leaving a bare spot in the neck pocket that is an exact match to the glob stuck to the neck.

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