When analysing some of the most commonly-used electric guitar finishes – candy apple red, three-tone sunburst, Pelham blue, black – it is easy to see why these have stood the test of time, even if a particular one is not among your favourites.
These finishes are pleasing to the eye and usually pair well with most any standard-colour pickguard. While these colours have their fans and detractors, no finish perhaps in the history of big league guitar builders has drawn more intense criticism, and equally intense defence, than that of Fender’s ‘Antigua’ colour.
Antigua was born an accident. While producing Coronado II guitars in the late 1960’s, Fender had a bit of a disaster when the body binding process burned the edges of their first fully-hollow model. Instead of destroying the bodies, Fender developed a colour scheme that burst from black on the burned edges to a type of mustard yellow on the inside of the burst.
The process was also replicated on the matching headstock for this model. The Coronado II was actually briefly renamed the Antigua in honour of its new colour palette, with the name being printed on the also-matching pickguard. The matching pickguard lends a three-dimensional appearance to the guitar, as a burst within a burst is not a commonly seen visual choice. Unfortunately, the pickguard is top-painted and most have wear spots that fade to white, then to black over years of playing.
It is unclear what prompted Fender to replicate this finish on other models, but throughout the 70’s, nearly every Fender guitar model had an Antigua finish at some point. The edges are more dark grey than the black edges seen on the Coronado II, but the mustard yellow remained.
Depending on who you talk to, this finish was either beloved or panned by the market in the 70’s. While Antigua certainly had its detractors, others passionately defend the style as “gorgeous” and “beautiful.” It should be noted that on any Fender model where non-chrome/nickel pickups were used, Antigua models always paired with black pickups, knobs, and switch tips, which lent themselves well to the Antigua aesthetic.
This is a very nice 1979 Strat in original Antigua finish. The full maple neck feels super comfortable & plays great up & down the fretboard. The pickups sound marvellous with clear, bell-like tones.
The guitar is in great shape for its age with a cool vintage vibe - some minor nicks, chips, dents & dings, surface scratches & some finish wear.
The neck has a chunky, rounded profile with a dark rosewood fretboard and white dot inlays. Frets show some wear, but have plenty of life in them. It features Fender’s fabulous large headstock of the era with bullet truss rod & double string trees. F tuners are in perfect working condition. 1 5/8" nut width; 25 1/2" scale length. Neck is straight & truss rod is in good working condition.
The body is Fender’s slightly thicker contoured Strat solidbody finished in Antigua burst. Original tremolo bridge with adjustable saddles. 4-ply Antigua pickguard is in great shape with no cracks, but some of the Antigua lacquer finish is chipped or worn in places. Just adds to the vintage vibe in our opinion. The serial number underneath the pickguard matches the serial number on the headstock.
Weight is 8.4 lbs
Original grey bottom single coils with black covers. Pickups date to '78.
Bridge - 7.29K ohms; Middle - 5.53K ohms; Neck - 5.59K ohms.
Master volume & dual tone controls with black skirted knobs; 5-way selector switch. All electronics are in perfect working condition.
A bonus is that it comes in a sought after vintage Stamford Stratocaster case, made right here in Sydney in the 1960s. The Australian Fender importers of the time chose to bring guitars in from USA in cartons rather than pay extra for an American case, and instead commissioned the Stamford company to supply high quality cases for imported Strats & Teles. They are generally thought to be of higher quality and better efficacy that the US cases, and this one is in very good condition.
Video demo of same model - Normans – https://youtu.be/0Ee59SKxVp4