I haven't bought any guitars in awhile, in fact, I've been selling a few... but when I stumbled on this one being offered for sale I knew I had to have it! I love Fender history, and am particularly fond of the early American Standards, and how they more or less brought Fender USA back from the dead in the late 80's. I've read numerous stories about how the earliest guitars were built by a skeleton crew of a few skilled Fender employees who would later go on to become master builders in the soon to be developed "Custom Shop". Supposedly only a handful of guitars were put out per day during those early times, and were mostly hand assembled. I don't know how much of that is fact vs. folklore, but it's intriguing to me just the same! The guitar pictured below is the earliest E3 serial I have ever seen offered for sale. It has all it's original paperwork, right down to the original store receipt from early 1987! The hang tag inspection card says it was tested and shipped in January of '87, about the same time Fender debuted the American Standard Strats at the NAMM show that same month. I haven't taken it apart, but can almost guarantee it has 1986 dates inside, as it was built, shipped to a dealer, and in the customer's hands by March of that year. These guitars have many features that separate them from later Am Std strats, including a fully glossy neck and headstock, bridge screws that fasten directly into the body wood with no brass inserts, a chrome plated tremolo block, and Fullerton body contours. As an ironic twist, I was doing some research on these guitars and some of their unique features.... in reading an old thread on another gear site, I located the original owner, who owned it from 1987 until just a few years ago. I have spoken at length with him, and he told me of how he saw an ad in a Guitar Player magazine talking about the new American Standard line that was to debut at the beginning of the year. he went to his local music store and was there for the first shipment of them... a white one, a black one, and this one... a Torino Red lightweight, with a dark rosewood fretboard. They charged him extra for the case, and his grand total with tax in 1987 was $525.00 out the door. While he said he did use the guitar for some studio work and played it in a band a few times, it remains in flawless original condition to this day. I feel very fortunate to be able to add this one to my collection, as it will join another early E3 serial Strat that is just a few hundred numbers after this one. In any case, here are some pics! Hope you enjoy.