Browse Dave’s Collection
“Welcome to the guitar collection. On the second floor of our store we have on display over 300 guitars and more than 50 amps that I’ve accumulated over the years. The friends and customers that have visited us seem to really appreciate being able to view this, so we thought we would share it with our online friends and fellow guitar enthusiasts as well. Enjoy!”
- Dave Rogers
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Lake Placid Blue, Serial # 269107.
Cherry, Serial # L29571.
Lake Placid Blue, Prototype.
Sunburst, Serial # 259125.
Candy Apple Red, Serial # L83602.
Fiesta Red, Serial # 49005.
When the Fender Stratocaster was introduced in 1954, one of the main special features was a built in vibrato unit called the “Synchronized Tremolo”. A non-tremolo version was also available at about $30 less. A non-tremolo Strat (nicknamed “hardtail”) had the same string through the body set up as a Telecaster, except it kept a six-way bridge for better intonation.
Custom Color Strats were available almost from the beginning, but a standardized color list didn’t appear until 1961. The Custom Colors resembled the colors offered on automobiles at the time.
The example from the collection shown in this article is a Fiesta Red Hardtail Strat dating from 1960 (George Fullerton mixed up the first batch of Fiesta Red at a paint store in 1957). According to an early ‘60s Fender pricelist, a non-trem Strat cost 259.50. There was a 5% up charge for a Custom Color, so this Strat would have been about $272.47 (still $17 less than a sunburst tremolo version).
This Strat has a beautiful early “slab” fingerboard of Brazilian rosewood. The Kluson tuners on the headstock were replaced at some point with “double line” mid-‘60s Klusons. The undercoat below the Fiesta Red (seen through the scrapes and dings) is the color Desert Sand, which was the color of Duo Sonics and Music Masters. This color was often used as an undercoat for Custom Color guitars in the ‘50s and early ‘60s.
Hardtail Strats are seen less often than the tremolo versions, and are favored by Bluesman Robert Cray, and Rocker Ron Wood.
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.
Sunburst, Serial # 60492.
Fiesta Red, Gold hadware, Serial # 74434.
Very figured Maple neck, A fellow brought this one in to the shop about 17 years ago and just wanted to know what it was worth. He said he'd had it forever and he'd never sell it. When I told him the dollar amount, he just got quiet for a bit, then said "Well, I'd sell it for that"!
Burgundy Mist, Serial # L11394.
Purchased locally from the wife of the original owner. He was kindly gentleman who brought this guitar into my first store back in '82 for a restring & set up. I flipped when I saw the guitar and I told him if he ever wanted to part with it to please think of me. He said he'd never part with it as it was the best playing guitar he ever had his hands on. Over the years he became a good customer & friend and he would drop in often just to say hi. Then I got the call from his wife telling me that he had passed. It was a sad time for me indeed. The one thing that he made clear to his wife was that he wanted to make sure that I got the guitar after he was gone. I'll treasure this one till my dying day, just like he did.
Refinished in Natural, 2 piece Korina body, Serial # L14737.
We know that Fender was experimenting with woods during this period, and we've seen some Mahogany body Strats & Teles from that era. Now here is proof that Korina was also used. You can also see the tooling holes on the back of the body. A guy had called me a long time ago and said that he had an old Strat but it wasn't put together. The body was stripped and he was going to refinish it but he just never got around to doing it. He had all the parts in a box and he asked if I was interested. We agreed on a price and I bought it. I just sprayed a clear coat over the body and played this one for a few years.
Blond, Serial # L19865.
Black, Serial # L27250.
Lake Placid Blue, Serial # L20674.
This guitar is a gorgeous custom color Fender Strat. Besides having a stunning Lake Placid Blue finish, this February 1964 guitar has other features that make it very desirable: Spaghetti Logo (phased out in ’64), clay dots (replaced by pearloid dots in ’65), single line Kluson Deluxe tuning machines (replaced by double line Klusons during ’64),and a greenish celluloid pickguard (replaced by white in ’65).
The guitar’s previous owner acquired it in 1967 while serving in the U.S. Marines. His Commanding Officer had a gambling problem and was forced sell the Strat and an Epiphone amp for $175 to help settle his debts. The guitar has been played quite a bit since then, but was also very well taken care of.
Sunburst, Serial # L36630.
Candy Apple Red, Serial # 116384.
Charcoal Frost Metallic, Serial # 107518.
Ocean Turquoise, Serial # 107632, This is a nice custom color Strat with some honest playing wear. It is pictured on page 41 of the Vintage Guitar Book by Mac Yasuda.
Lake Placid Blue, Serial # 101113.
Sunburst, Serial number L90333, This Strat has a maple cap fingerboard and it does not have the walnut skunk stripe on the back of the neck. We have seen this same fingerboard and neck configuration on a few Tele Customs from the same era. It would be safe to say that there are not many of these out there. This is certainly one rare and cool guitar!
Olympic White, Serial # L86093
Dakota Red, Serial # L64322.
This one has been in the collection for a very long time and was purchased back when clean custom color Strats were affordable, This one does have the previous owners social security number engraved on the neck plate and the fingerboard still has the grime from when it was out being played. What a great guitar indeed!
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