Another Strat from the 50’s came my way this year. This time it’s 1959 model: the first year for the rosewood fingerboard Fenders. I need to start by clarifying something about the restorations that I share with you on my website. I have been receiving a lot of comments, from some of you, wondering why I would be refinishing these fine vintage instruments. Questions like: “Isn’t it better to leave these guitars in original condition?”
The answer is “yes”, but I don’t get requests to refinish guitars in “original” condition. Let me make it clear that these old instruments are coming to me to be rescued from a former “restoration-gone-bad”. They have been previously modified and/or refinished, in way that is not authentic to the way they would have been, in their original state. This one is no exception. The body had been stripped of it’s original finish and finished over with a do-it-yourself clear product.
There were a few signs that pointed to the date of manufacture, still left behind. The lack of a neck date on the heel is a common scenario, found in late 1959 and early 1960 Fenders. However, a faint penciled date was still faintly visible in the spring cavity.
Although the original color of this Strat would have been blonde, being a one-piece swamp ash body, the current owner requested a color change to Candy Apple Red: a color that was available just a few years later.