Video: Fender Is Selling 5 Pristine Vintage Stratocasters From Its Vaults on Reverb

Every guitarist holds out hope when searching through a yard sale or helping out at an older relative's house that they'll stumble upon a closet find—an exceedingly rare vintage specimen that was bought in the '50s or '60s only to be stashed away, in near-perfect condition, for decades.

Today, we present the closet finds to end all closet finds. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation is selling five vintage Stratocasters—ranging from 1954 to 1965—that have remained nearly untouched for more than half a century. The Fender Certified Vintage™ Reverb Shop is open now, giving collectors an opportunity to buy an authentic vintage Strat straight from Fender.

"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," says 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."

You can hear the Stratocasters in action in our video above, and hear more from Lewis about what makes them so special. In addition to their verified pedigree, each instrument for sale has been 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. In addition, each guitar will have a two-year warranty, with any service required during that time carried out by the Fender Custom Shop.

The guitars of The Fender Certified Vintage™ Reverb Shop include:
  • A rare 1954 Stratocaster assembled by Gloria in June 1954 (as evidenced by a masking tape label in the control cavity). "This guitar is a peerless example of vintage Fender craftsmanship," Lewis says.
  • An untouched Stratocaster that shipped from the Fullerton factory in March 1957, "a veritable time-traveler from the original era of Fender," Lewis says.
  • A 1965 Lake Placid Blue Stratocaster that "could have been found in a time capsule," according to Lewis. "You simply will not find a cleaner example of Fender craftsmanship from the 1960s," Lewis says.
  • A 1965 3-Color Sunburst Stratocaster that has "miraculously survived unscathed through the decades," according to Lewis. Every component on the instrument is original. Lewis adds, "We've even managed to preserve the original white Tolex-covered hardshell case that accompanied it when it was first sold in '65."
  • An original 1965 Candy Apple Red 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.

  • 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 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 US.

    Check out The Fender Certified Vintage™ Reverb Shop now.

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