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Fender Stratocaster Guitars

Leo Fender introduced the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar in 1954. The original guitar included a new contoured body shape, a newly designed tremolo system, and a sunburst two-toned finish. Early Stratocasters had a wide D-shaped neck profile and heavy ash wood bodies. In 1956, the wood used to make Stratocasters was switched to alder. The sunburst finish was changed from two toned to three toned in 1958 and red hues were introduced. Other key components of the guitar continued to evolve throughout the '50s and early '60s.

Other design changes occurred when Fender was purchased by CBS. Fender collectors consider 1964 through 1966 to be transition years for the guitar. Stratocaster quality declined after these years, as cheaper, mass-produced parts and manufacturing techniques became the standard.

Collectors of vintage electric guitars are primarily interested in Fender Stratocasters manufactured before 1965. Serial numbers for these guitars range from 0 to L90,000s. The age of a Stratocaster can be identified by unscrewing the neck from the body and looking for a penciled-in date on the base of the neck, or by looking for a serial number on the back of the tremolo plate.

Quick Facts

  • In the early '80s, changes in management of the Fender company resulted in an attempt to return the Stratocaster to its original standards. These guitars are called Smith Strats after Dan Smith, who spearheaded the effort
  • Famous Fender Stratocaster players include Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, and George Harrison
  • In 2004, a Fender Stratocaster signed by more than 20 rock and roll legends was auctioned to raise money for the victims of the tsunami in Indonesia. The guitar sold for $2,700,000

Recommended Items at Auction

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Nov 10, 9:00 AM EST
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $150- $350
$1306 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Fender Stratocaster Guitars

Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC

Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC