Join Strat-Talk Today

anyone seen a 1954-55 strat with a custom colour refin?

Discussion in 'Pre-CBS Strats (before 1966)' started by jimbobaby, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. jimbobaby

    jimbobaby Strat-Talker

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    sydney
    I was just thinking about what the dream vintage strat would be for me. I love the big 54-55 neck, but really dig custom colours (particularly sonic blue, shell pink and surf green). I'm assuming some of the early strats must have come back to the factory some time during the 60s for a new coat of paint in a custom colour.

    It would presumably knock the price down a bit, which would work in my favour, but the finish would by now be appropriately worn with honest play wear. Has anyone seen a strat like this in the wild? Or would any examples likely have been carefully restored back to their original 2 tone sunburst in an effort to sell them for top dollar? If I hunt long enough, do you reckon I'll eventually stumble across one?
     
    T Guitar Floyd likes this.
  2. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,572
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Location:
    Rockingham Palace
    There are enough 50s Strats that are refinished and have aged in the meantime. Rarer will be the ones that were Factory refinished by Fender.
    You can find them in the 10K-15K price range and the advantage is that if you don't like the colour you can have it refinished again and the value will be the same.
     
    Major Gruber likes this.
  3. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    7,651
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2013
    Location:
    largo,fl
    custom colors from the factory were almost as rare as a sasquatch seen dancing with a unicorn but if you go to a guitar show there will be a large selection of custom colored early "original" strats for sale for some reason.
     
    CB91710 likes this.
  4. jimbobaby

    jimbobaby Strat-Talker

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    sydney
    Ha, yep. Of the few dozen that were made, only a few hundred remain. I've seen plenty of later refins around, but the 54-55 models always seem to be "original" finish.
     
    Miotch and henderman like this.
  5. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    58
    Messages:
    2,647
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    Location:
    ok
    Easy Peasy. Find about $300 in old currency. Slide into a Hot Tub Time Machine (older one, or you'll end up in the '80s). Take Greyhound to Fullerton and order one. Return. I've done this couple of times, but destroyed guitar both times. I think keeping the factory refinished instrument above water line might be the key.
     
  6. Wayne D.

    Wayne D. Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,686
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Then you would love Wanda Jackson's shell pink '54 Jim!:thumb: Here's a picture of it taken by our Forum member Sikoniko.:)

    a2978.jpg
     
  7. Dare1

    Dare1 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,636
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Location:
    Idaho
    Check out Eldon Shamblin's 1954 strat. Pretty awesome.
     
  8. jimbobaby

    jimbobaby Strat-Talker

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    sydney
    Cool guitars, but I have a feeling those ones would cost significantly more than a regular 54 or 55 strat, I’m wondering if I’m likely to find a refin for sale with a “players condition” price tag.

    I’ve thought about this. I don’t physically need to go back in time, I just need to find a way to send messages and money back in time. Pay someone to order a few custom colour strats (and maybe a 59 burst, while they’re at it), carefully wrap them in plastic in their cases and bury them at a specific location for me to dig up later.
     
    wht1 likes this.
  9. xke38

    xke38 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    238
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Location:
    1st floor
    jimbobaby likes this.
  10. bandmaster

    bandmaster Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    119
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2015
    Location:
    Next to a Fender amp
    Pee Wee Crayton's '54 was an original custom color Strat it even had an anodized pickguard.
     
  11. Vic Interceptor

    Vic Interceptor Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2017
    Location:
    Dixie
    A local guy has a fiesta red '54, he bought it new in 2TSB and later had it redone. He also has a 56 Mary Kay that may be the finest one in existence. I've handled the 56 and another 56 and neither had what I could call "big" necks. In fact, they were rather small. There is no such thing as a 'definitive' neck size on any year Fender - they were all hand made and therefore all over the place size wise. I've even seen a '64 Strat with a classical size neck, it was ordered that way.
     
  12. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,572
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Location:
    Rockingham Palace
    A '56 Mary Kaye is a dream guitar for a lot of people. Must have been nice to see it up close and personal.

    As for the necks, no neck is similar but there is a general consensus on what a specific year's neck should feel like. The only way to make correct statements is to measure the necks. What you "feel" is very much influenced by the shape. We are talking about differences of max. 0.2 inch (5 mm). The big difference between earlier '54/'55 and '56 is what we call the 'shoulders' on the neck. The 54/55 fills up the hand, while starting in '56 it's easier to grip your fingers around the neck. It's the difference between what people call a D-shape and a soft V-neck.
     
  13. Vic Interceptor

    Vic Interceptor Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2017
    Location:
    Dixie
    Believe it or not, that Mary Kay in almost untouched condition, looked like a 2018 reissue it was so perfect. And, it was one of the worst feeling, playing and sounding Strats I've ever had the pleasure of holding. I'm sure I could've jacked around on the pickups and maybe made it sound a bit better, but I can see why the original owner keeps it in a closet and plays his 54 all the time. (I did not get to see the 54 up close or touch it, so I can't speak to it's feel)

    I have never touched a real 54, but I've had three 1956's in my hands, and they were all rather small and unremarkable. There was absolutely no "magic" in any of them. One was a bit boat-ish, one was a flat C and the other a smallish D. I've read the articles stating that the originals were boat-ish and later rounder...in my personal, some might say limited experience I've seen too many variations to say with any certainty that a certain year held a certain shape trait. Radius - yes. Back side? Nope... they were all like shoes, you had to try them on to find the one that fit you.

    My dad, who's first Fender was a 1950 and bought his last new Fender in 1967, said he remembered there being a barrel of necks in the music stores, and you could pick the one that suited you better if you wanted. Was that something unique to a small shop in Ohio? No idea... but he never lied about anything else to do with guitars so I have no reason to doubt that story.
     
    Bazz Jass likes this.
  14. jimbobaby

    jimbobaby Strat-Talker

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    sydney
    These are the kind I was wondering about. Maybe if I keep looking, one day I'll stumble across one redone in a pastel colour for a reasonable price. Whether or not I'll have the money at the time is another question!
     
    Vic Interceptor likes this.
  15. Vic Interceptor

    Vic Interceptor Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    267
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2017
    Location:
    Dixie
    You'd be better of finding one that was refin'd any color and then having it done to your spec and shade. Refin is refin, it's not like you're going to hurt the guitar or your wallet either way... and that way, you get exactly what you want.

    I can't remember ever seeing a real 50's Strat refin in a "good" color. Copper/gold at best, but no pastels.
     
  16. jimbobaby

    jimbobaby Strat-Talker

    Age:
    35
    Messages:
    172
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Location:
    sydney
    But then it wouldn't have 55 years of natural wear on it, which is one of the things I love about old Fenders. It might be wishful thinking, finding one like that in a "good colour", but it's the dream.
     
  17. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    47
    Messages:
    4,384
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Location:
    austin texas
    I was in Hollywood at Guitar center last month and saw this Lake placid blue 1954 Strat.It was sent back to Fender in the 1960s by the owner and re-finished in that color by Fender as well as being updated with a 3 ply mint green pickguard typical of that era.

    58671919_469381550475527_7581945315687661568_n.jpg

    58460537_438183380264513_1742681206530506752_n.jpg
     
    T Guitar Floyd likes this.
  18. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,572
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Location:
    Rockingham Palace
    I wonder what the Fender factory solution was for the cavity screw... a dummy screw?
     
    sonny wolf likes this.
  19. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    3,494
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2014
    Location:
    Up a lazy river
    Knowing Fender back then, they probably replaced the body while they were at it.... ;)
     
    T Guitar Floyd likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.