After much Q&A here on Strat-Talk, and discussion with others (as well as myself) I have finally made the first move towards restoring my '65 Strat. Now, I use the term "restoring" loosely, as reconstructing a vintage guitar using original 'period' parts can get really pricey and not always give you the return on investment (ROI) you think it might. Let's start at the beginning. I picked this guitar up as a basket case back around 1976-77. It was completely disassembled, the body stripped of paint, and some previous owner had the nightmarish conception that they were going to ditch the standard Strat trem bridge and install, of all things, a Bigsby trem. Worse yet, whoever it was had also concocted the idea that they would rout around the bridge area and do a contrasting fleur de lis inlay with dark wood...one of those "what were they thinking?" things...I was told that the Strat had belonged a local band called "Hot Mama Silver" who were pretty active in this area during the 70's. There is only one video on YouTube featuring HMS pieced together with a bunch of stills, nowhere in any of those shots do I see a Strat. In fact, all I see is guitarist Bob Stanley playing a Gibson, so I really doubt the validity of this claim. However, due to the finish being completely gone from the back of the neck and really heavy wear on the frets and fretboard, I'm guessing this guitar was gigged pretty hard. While I've own and played it for 40+ years now, I've never gigged it and rarely played out with it. Somebody rode this horse hard and put it away wet long before I ever laid hands on it, and bear in mind that when I got it, it was only a little over 10 years old and somebody had spent a bit of time butchering it as well. A lot of hard wear for a decade. In hindsight, I probably paid too much for it in 1977 dollars, but I got the hardshell case and it had the small sixties headstock, which I preferred. Even though there were a number of parts missing, I figured "I can make this a really cool hot-rod guitar", and set out to do so. Had I known the astounding values that vintage pre-CBS Strats would climb to, I might have taken a different approach up to and including saving the parts I didn't reuse. But at the time, I was just buying a box of junk, so who cared? to be continued... Here's the video of HMS: Tell me if you spot a Strat anywhere!