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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / 54 strat- no neck-what to do?

Previous 20 Messages  


Mar 25th, 2006 07:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's kind of a tough spot to be in. You can't insure it for a declared value without an appraisal. Given the uniqueness of the guitar the experts have not been willing, or able, to decare a value. IMO this in itself seems to toss it into the priceless range.

It definately seems to get revered as a holy grail around here, and I'm no exception. Therefore I would think that on the open market it would be a highly desired piece for a very serious collector.

Unfortunately, without peers, the only way to accurately determine the actual value would be to sell. I am not suggesting that you sell. From following this thread I understand that you wish to hold onto it and why.

Oh yeah.. you were looking for a value. I'm no expert by far, but my guess (and that's all it is) is that it would fetch about 60-80% of what those early production demos are going for.

Best wishes



Sep 2nd, 2006 01:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Any update ?

D Rogue
Contributing Member

Hollister, CA

Is it supposed to make that sound?
Dec 12th, 2006 01:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

I was thinking about this thread a couple of days ago and thought I'd check to see if there were any updates. I guess not. Maybe a BTT will dust this great story off.



Keep the Blue's Alive!
Dec 12th, 2006 01:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thats just an amazing story. Certainly as much a part of the History of the Strat as any other artifact. I can't for the life of me understand why Fender would not want that In their posession? Why haven't they made an Honest effort to Purchase this Strat from you. That is a very big business. You would think they would be Hell Bent trying to secure that piece? Amazing, The back shot of the Trem, Narrow 3-Spring is simply amazing! The neck is still out there! For Sure!

(This message was last edited by stratbrat27 at 03:13 PM, Dec 12th, 2006)



Keep the Blue's Alive!
Dec 12th, 2006 03:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

I can't seem to understand why any Museum wouldn't want this Early Fender to Exibit. Only thing I could come up with....actual authentic identification. Hasn't actually been established that THIS IS THE STRAT. A #1, UNO, Numero Uno! Have to go back a step and work on verification 1st. Only logical reason I could think of why collectors are not lining up and fighting over the chance to get their hands on it! So th next QUESTION would be.....How to make this Happen? Publicity is the answer! The more people that know about this situation and view it as a injustice. The more likely it will be authenticated! IMHO!

Contributing Member


Dec 12th, 2006 03:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don't think you can use the prices of early 54 strats to establish a value. These are complete original guitars which are prized both as historical items and musical instruments.

As an instrument, it could be viewed as less desirable than production models if the trem is not very functional - which is why it was changed by Fender in the first place.

I think it's very valuable as an historic item and less so as an instrument. Obviously that would be different if you had the complete guitar as pictured in Leo's photos. The miscellaneous non-original parts are sad but not that bad. The original neck, even though it was "thrown together" at the time, is a HUGE missing link. The neck and headstock of a Fender Strat is a very big part of this guitar's identity, so you can't really say you have a prototype guitar, but a prototype body and trem.

As it is, there is no market item to compare it to. Ironically, it is much easier to sell a production 54 than a prototype body/trem. My experience with buyers is that the shorter the story and the easier to understand, the better.

As others have suggested, the value could only be established in a widely publicized auction. And it seems unlikely that Fender or a museum would be the buyer - maybe the Hard Rock Cafe or Guitar Center Hollywood, where the legendary status of the Strat has more gravity.

I hope my comments are not construed as negative. This is a really cool relic (in the original meaning), and it is amazing that it is still around considering its history.



Keep the Blue's Alive!
Dec 13th, 2006 01:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

Agreed, As a HISTORIC PIECE......Shouldn't be a Strat out here worth more? The BODY alone should have MORE VALUE than any Stratocaster on EARTH! Including Hendix's White (Hundred Thousand CBS]. You have to to able to VERIFY it is what it is. ONE of the FIRST[OR THE ONLY ONE LEFT IN EXISTANCE]of the earliest Stratocaster Prototypes! I trully feel the bottom line....problem! THERE'S DOUBT! To me the WHOLE STORY is the Verification. The very fact that you worked at Fender and George Fulterton bought THE STRAT over the house when you were Ten! etc etc etc. In essence THAT IS PART of the Verification! But beside you and the picture in The Sound Heard around the World? Which is astonishing! There is a 50 year VOID! All of a sudden you pop up and Say OK I want to show you YOUR FIRST STRAT? Don't you think FENDER has doubts? What do you think they took the body for? THEY would like to verify it also? I have NEVER seen a MUSEUM turn away a artifact of HISTORIC VALUE? That just blows my mind. I'm right next door to YALE. Matter of fact I worked in the Library there a few years back. Let me stop in there and see what they say. I just want to hear what they say about this? The whole story is right here on-line? So It wouldn't hurt to have them read it? I just find it SO-HARD to believe that a MUSEUM wouldn't welcome that with open arms.

Tweed Tone
Contributing Member


Leo got it right.
Dec 14th, 2006 07:17 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just found this thread tonight and it's been a real joy to read. Without going back to the beginning, didn't JMPRO mention something about taking the original Strat neck off and putting in to a Tele? If I'm way off here please excuse me but I didn't see any mention about Clapton playing a Tele with a Strat neck in the early 60'. I've read about this in an EC interview and saw only one picture of him on stage, I think in Hyde Park with a Tele and a Strat neck. Couldn't be the same guitar could it?

(This message was last edited by Tweed Tone at 07:18 PM, Dec 14th, 2006)

Contributing Member


more gear than talent!
Dec 14th, 2006 08:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yes, the Tele EC played at Hyde Park in 1969,with Blind Faith,had a Strat neck,..fingerboard was very worn,..PBS showed the concert during their pledge week,..there is a DVD out.

Contributing Member


Dec 15th, 2006 09:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts and support. Not much new to pass along, kinda like a bad T.V. show that has run out of story lines {is it time to jump the shark?}
I did speak to a well known appraiser a few weeks ago about a complete nuts and bolts evaluation but that would require shipping the guitar half way cross the country and back and i'm not sure i want to do that right now so i will check with a few Calif. sources to see if i can get something done in that regard.
Thanks again for all your interest and support.

Contributing Member

Heart of Darkness

There's a light, that never shone on me.
Dec 15th, 2006 10:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

I think we all would like to see this guitar get the recognition it deserves. To a life-long strat guy like myself, this guitar is beyond catagorization: it's in a class by itself.

Thx again for sharing this tale with the FDP.

Contributing Member

Universe of Tejas

Bluz Cowboy
Dec 15th, 2006 10:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

I am not an expert on the story of this body, but it does seem like a travesty that we apparently have either the or one of the original prototype Strat bodies and Fender shows very little interest in it, other than kinda nicely giving JMPRO a nice neck to go on it. From what I have read here, it seems like the real deal.

Contributing Member


Dec 15th, 2006 11:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Actually, Fender didn't give me a neck for the guitar. After looking at it and photographing it they gave me a New 57RI black Strat which was very kind of them as i wasn't expecting anything from them for showing them the guitar. Fender did ask that i notify them first if i decide to sell it.



Keep the Blue's Alive!
Dec 15th, 2006 12:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think you'll be fine. No matter how you look at it! I just thought that FENDER would have a BIG INTEREST in the FIRST[or one of] Strat Body? Maybe they do but don't want to let on ? Polker Playing...you know? Especially since they said to let them know first if you decide to sell..........I didn't know that from reading this Thread! That kinda puts a different spin on things. At least in my mind. BTW....JMPRO how do you like the 57? What do you THINK of the neck and pick-ups in it?

Contributing Member


Dec 15th, 2006 01:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm sorry to say I have hardly played the 57.My hearing has gotten so bad i am afraid to subject it to any more noise than is neccessary. I did get new hearing aids a few months back but I'm sorry to say that even in this year 2006 the hearing aid people are still in 1959 in the technology. The sound i hear now is a processed, skewed, manufactured sound not unlike a 1950s bad recording. If you heard what i hear at a concert, you would shoot the sound man first instead of the drummer. On top of all that, you pay $3700.00 for something that if made by sony would be available at Radio shack for $39.95.



Keep the Blue's Alive!
Dec 15th, 2006 02:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

I know what your saying my friend, It go's fast doesn't it! I would have thought that there would be some high tech equip,ent for Hearing Aids though. Surprised to hear that. Thats the first time I actually heard someone EXPLIAN what they were hearin though! My Boss use to fool with his ALL the time. Constantly adjusting it with his finger. Always looked like he was sticking a finger in his ear to clean it! He had a VERY difficult time hearing[Passed on God rest his Soul] But I wouldn't play plugged in either then! As it is I won't use earphones anymore. I notice the Treble right away.............Anyway I seen the photo's.........pretty!



My other guitar is a Strat.
Dec 24th, 2006 11:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm missing the time line of this story. This body seems to be that of the "Carson guitar" built in the summer of 1953. It could be the second strat prototype (an earlier one would have had the first version of the vibrato, which reportedly was more like that of the Jazzmaster, was problematic and junked).

When did the guitar come into your family? George Fullerton brought all the parts from the factory and it was assembled in your kitchen. Did your father pay for it? Was it for him or for you? Do you have any old family photos of it?

Was it painted in between 1953 and whenever it came into your family? Perhaps it was painted and sanded down a number of times to test finishing materials/techniques. Or did you do any painting/sanding?

In a way, Fender did give you a neck that you could have put on it: that 57RI's neck.

Contributing Member

I play a Guitar...

...made by a GIRL!!!
Dec 24th, 2006 11:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yanno what?
Sell it.
Put it on EBay for some CRAZY amount. $1.5M+.
See who bites.
Take the money and take care of your Kids and Grandkids, and go enjoy yourself.
That one piece of wood can put several through College and open them up to better lives.


Bethany, OK USA

Dec 26th, 2006 09:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

You know, I kinda agree with IPLAYLOUD on this. I haven't commented, but have ben following the story from its inception, and totally find it amazing. I think what I would do is go one step further, though. Instead of Ebay, I would be tempted to try to contact big statyre musicians closely associated with the Strat, and see if they would be interested. A long shot, sure, but wouldn't it be cool if say, Eric Clapton or Jeff Beck bought the guitar? Those dudes have got the clout with FMIC to get a neck for it, and you would have the duckets from selling it, plus the honor and prestige of maybe hearing it on a recording that was being shared with the entire world. Just a thought. Like I said, a HUGE longshot, I know. But stranger things have happened.


Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Don't even ask!
Dec 26th, 2006 12:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

In spite of the interesting story, we don't talk about selling gear in the forums.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / 54 strat- no neck-what to do?

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