In 1979 Fender celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Stratocaster, the original of which was introduced in 1954, with the first "anniversary" instrument.
This was the first Fender instrument to be issued in a pre-determined and numbered, limited quantity. The first 500 or so instruments produced were finished in Pearl White. However, due to the instability of the finish and the checking that resulted, many were recalled and re-finished in Porsche Silver.
This is one of those first 500 guitars. It was bought brand new by its one owner back in 1979, and sure enough, after a while the original finish started to break down. In the USA you could send it back to Fender for a complimentary refinish. But this one was bought in Melbourne, so it was taken to respected local luthier Merv Cargill.
Merv did a splendid job on its new finish in Porsche Silver, which has stood the test of time. The owner also got Merv to subtly reduce the thickness of the neck, and refinish that too. It is now a comfortable slim C profile that will suit a player with smaller hands, or who just prefers a slightly leaner neck.
At some point later, the original Fender pickups were replaced by a set of highly regarded Kinman single coil units, which are still in the guitar and sound excellent.
The 1979 Anniversary Stratocaster is significant for a number of reasons. It represents both a look behind and a look ahead for Fender. Noteworthy features include –
- Reversion to the four bolt neck plate
- Abandonment of the "bullet" truss rod adjustment in favour of the truss rod adjustment at the body end of the neck
Body: Exclusive Fender offset contoured waist design.
Neck: Detachable hard rock maple neck and curved maple fingerboard graduated for fast action and comfortable playing.
Adjustable truss rod nut at headstock.
21 medium nickel-silver frets.
6 Fender closed back machine heads.
Four-bolt neckplate with "1954 - 1979 25th Anniversary" logo
Bridge: 2-way adjustable design. 6 individually adjustable bridge sections. Pickups: Three adjustable and grounded, wide range, high output single coil pickups in a shielded cavity.
Five position pickup selector switch.
Synchronized tremolo with swing-away arm.
Master volume and two tone controls.
This 25th Anniversary Strat was played on stage for many years and is showing some wear on the fingerboard, but no pitting – just some wear through the lacquer. It has a few dings, dents & light scratches which simply add to its character leading into its 42nd year.
It has had a professional refret with medium wire, which is showing only a little wear in the lower area but nothing that affects playability. The original tuners are strong, truss rod is fine and it plays comfortably with a medium low action.
Weight is 9.1 lbs
This one ticks a lot of boxes – an excellent pro refret and refinish now 40 years old and with a set of killer pickups. It is a fine player with classic Fender Strat tone to burn.
Comes in a new tweed hard case.