Feast your eyes (and fingers) on this marvelous vintage Stratocaster, serial number 40858. This incredible collectible was built at the very end of 1959 and effectively straddles Fender’s ’59 - ’60 model years.
This iconic guitar has an alder body and is dated “12/59” in the rear tremolo cavity. It is a very light instrument with a total weight of just 7.0 pounds.
Fender utilized a particularly reactive red dye in their finish for the ’59 model year resulting in the "2-color sunburst" look that many ’59 guitars are known for. There is little red left in the burst on the face of this guitar as a result of this fading. Interior nail holes without paint, the fully-painted neck pocket and inspection under black lighting further confirm the originality of this guitar’s nitrocellulose finish.
This guitar has a thick “slab” Brazilian rosewood fingerboard with the flat (rather than radiused) bottom edge. This was a feature first introduced at the summer 1959 NAMM show. It has clay dot inlay makers, the original small frets and the original 1-5/8” nut.
The maple neck has a “D” shape with depth measurements of .807” at the first fret increasing to .977” at the twelfth. It has no pencil date (common for this period), but the headstock sports the era-correct “spaghetti” style logo decal with no serial number. The string tree is a three (3) piece butterfly string tree with metal spacer, another feature unique to this era.
The original “single line” Kluson tuners are installed except for two (2) that were replaced early in the guitar’s life with slightly different Kluson “single line” models. The two original “split shaft’ Kluson tuners are included in the case.
The 11-screw “green” celluloid pickguard with the thin, full-size aluminum shield also suggests this guitar was built after July 1959. The body cavity sports a new shape to the body routing added to accommodate the additional pickguard mounting holes. The string saddles are stamped “Fender Patent Pending”, another feature confirming this guitar was built in 1959 rather than later.
As for electronics, the pickups are the original unmarked “black bottom” single coils. It has cloth wiring and the distinctive flat, “chicklet” style capacitor used during this period. The Stackpole pots are code 304-5915 which dates them to the 15th week of 1959. The original 3-way CRL switch remains in place and the solder joints appear untouched.
This guitar comes in its original brown tolex case, a design that was also introduced by Fender in mid-1959. This case itself is a very desirable collector item and remains in very good condition and and all the latches still work smoothly.
The overall condition of this 65 year old instrument is very good. Most of the original finish remains, with the exception of some chipping on the edges and the back of the body. It appears entirely original except for the two replaced tuners mentioned previously. It comes with the original tremolo arm, a vintage guitar cord and the replaced tuners.
The original frets are in good condition and the guitar remains quite playable. I can only imagine what a great player this guitar would be with the installation of new frets, but I will leave that choice to the next owner. The original pickups sound fabulous, as indicated in the brief sound sample included below.
Vintage pieces like this do not come around often obviously. If you have the means, this is an incredible opportunity to own an iconic piece of music history. Make it yours while you can!
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Refunds of the original purchase price less shipping and a 10% restocking fee may be requested within 48 hours of delivery. Exchanges within one (1) week of the original date of purchase may be made for an item of equal or greater value at the discretion of Capital Guitars. Where permitted herein, items must be promptly returned at the buyer's expense, in the same condition as received with all accessories and paperwork included. Sale items, purchases that are made via layaway, those involving trades and/or international shipping are considered final except upon an error by and at the discretion of Capital Guitars. All deposits are non-returnable. Our apologies, but we are a very small operation and returns are extremely time consuming and costly.