In 1988 Fender commissioned a numbered sequence of 300 40th Anniversary Telecasters which were built by the craftsmen who were to become the first Master Builders of the Fender Custom Shop. Info on these as follows –
Fender Custom Shop 40th Anniversary Telecaster® 1989 Collectors Edition (1 of 300). These guitars were made to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Fender Telecaster. This superb guitar was inspired by the then prevailing mistake that the production of the Telecaster began in 1948. It was based on the American Standard design and had a bound ash body with book-matched flame maple top curly maple neck with abalone inlays, 22 frets, pearloid button tuners and gold plated parts. The bridge saddles were notorious for shedding their gold plating so Fender went for a “Rolex” look with gold bridge and non-gold saddles. There were 3 finishes: Honey Violin, Transparent Tinted Natural and Translucent Red. 300 were produced between 1988 and 1990 and are numbered xx of 300. This was the first Limited Edition run for the newly formed Fender Custom Shop which was established in 1987.
These 40th Anniversary Telecasters sold out in short time and have remained collectors’ favourites ever since. PREMIER GUITARS has sold two of only 300 ever made.
This particular guitar has a pretty amazing story all its own. The original guise of this guitar was a Fender Custom Shop NOS Telecaster with gold hardware, built in 2008. The owner is a keen woodworking hobbyist, and he sourced some solid pieces of maple with spectacular striping to add some real character to this Tele. He then briefed Frank Grubisa, one of Sydney’s most respected luthiers and refinishers, to replace the top and back of the original Tele with this highly figured maple, and subsequently also to replace the top and bottom binding with correct aged colour material. A thin finish of nitrocellulose lacquer was then applied in a unique Violin Burst colour. Added to the mix was a pair of highly regarded Fender Custom Shop 51 Nocaster pickups, which many would argue are the best after market Tele pickups you can buy.
The result is a beautifully realized replica of Fender’s first foray into Custom Shop building – the 40th Anniversary Telecaster.
Here at PREMIER GUITARS we have listed many guitars which have been worked on by Frank Grubisa and they all share a number of attributes – the workmanship is of the highest quality, the attention to detail is amazing, and the result is always that the instrument plays and sounds remarkably better than in its original form. We take a little pleasure every time we make note of a listing at PREMIER GUITARS having been “Grubisa’d”.
- Body: Lightweight Ash with Highly Figured Book Matched Maple Top and Back with Binding
- Neck: One Piece Figured Maple – medium C profile
- Frets: 22 Medium
- Fingerboard: Maple (9.5″ Radius)
- Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
- Width Nut: 1.650″ (42 mm)
- Hardware: Gold
- Machine Heads: Gold Fender Deluxe Kluson Style
- Bridge: Gold American Standard Tele
- Pickguard: 3 Ply Laminated Pickguard
- Pickups: 2 x Fender Custom Shop Nocaster Pickups
- Pickup Switching: 3-Position Selector Switch
- Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone Control
- Colour: Hand Tinted Violin Burst Nitro finish
The 40th Anniversary Telecaster was an early example of what the Masterbuilders at Fender were capable of. Every piece of that limited run was built without a schedule, from the finest quality materials, one at a time – just like the 1950s vintage originals.
And this hand crafted 40th Anniversary replica is no different. Starting with a great Custom Shop guitar, then adding the hand selected figured maple top, back, and aged binding, a fabulous Violin Burst nitro finish, all curated by Frank Grubisa who also gave this guitar a wonderful setup. It plays beautifully in all neck positions, with some serious poke from the Custom Shop Nocaster pickups.
The bottom line is that this guitar is a wonderful work of art as well as a superb instrument to play.
Comes with its original Fender hard shell tweed case in excellent condition.