The Fender Mustang debuted in 1964 as a quality electric guitar at an affordable price. Leo Fender’s team packed it with cool features like the offset body design, tremolo tailpiece and two pickups with phase switchable wiring. It featured a slab body that came finished in Dakota Red, Daphne Blue or Olympic White which were custom colours for other Fender models. Since this model was in the student level camp, they just called them Red, White or Blue.
The Red and Blue ones came with white pearl pickguards (white pearl-black-white), black pickup covers with no pole piece holes, and black slider switches. The White ones came with red tortoise-pearl pickguards (red pearl-black-white) and white (creamish) pickup covers.
The specifications for Fender Mustangs change relatively little over the years. Here are the basic specs of the Mustang in 1964 –
- Poplar or Mahogany slab body
- “Patriotic Colours” Red, White, and Blue
- Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
- Two single coil pickups with black base plate
- Small headstock with Transition Fender Logo
- One string guide
- Kluson tuners with plastic oval knobs
- White dot finger board markers (sometimes Faux pearl dot inlays)
- White pearl neck side markers on the seam of maple and rosewood
- Brass shielding plate in the pickup, slider switch, and control cavity
- Two slider switch ON-OFF-PHASE for each of the two pickups
- 12 screw pickguard
- 3 screw control plate
- Dynamic Fender Vibrato
- White Tremolo Bar Tip
- L-series neck plate
- One volume, one tone with black plastic knobs with white marker line
- 24″ scale with 22-frets standard (optional 22-1/2″ scale with 21-frets).
A couple of things changed in late 1965 to early 1966. The biggest change was the enlargement of the headstock, in line with those found on other Fender guitars of the time. The tuners also changed to “F-keys” with sort of square-ish white plastic pegs. The neck plate changes to “F-series” plates. The pickup’s base plate changes to grey colour.
This Mustang in Olympic White has the shorter scale length of 22.5”, and is in fine original condition from what we can see.
It features a lovely flamey grain pattern on the rear of the neck, and rich dark rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot markers. There is some lovely fine checking in the original nitro finish which just adds to the vintage allure of this 52 year old beauty.
The frets are in good condition with plenty of life left. The pickups are strong and full of fab Fender character. The neck feels great and is very comfortable to play with a medium low action on a bullet straight profile. The original trem arm is missing in action, but could easily be substituted with a modern replacement.
This one is a beautiful example of a well-loved mid 1960s Fender, with some honest wear and tons of character which can’t really be truly recreated in a modern workshop, whatever the cost. Perfect for the smaller statured player …. or any Fender-rockin’ girls out there ???
Comes in a period correct hard case which may or may not be original to this guitar, but is in good condition.