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1983 Fender Fullerton-Era American Vintage '62 Stratocaster Candy Apple Red w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1983 Fender Fullerton-era American Vintage '62 Stratocaster in excellent condition and in perfect working order with its original custom color Candy Apple Red nitro lacquer finish. The Fullerton factory era of Fender vintage reissue production was very brief, lasting only from 1982-84, when Fender was still manufacturing their guitars on the same machines that made the originals back in the '50s and '60s. These models marked the birth of the American Vintage line of instruments, and were the very first vintage reissue guitars ever offered by the Fender company (when in this case the model they were replicating was only 20 years old). While Fender would later move to a new factory in Corona, CA in 1985, the Fullerton-made guitars are highly prized for their rarity, tone, and connection to the origins of the Fender company.

Tonewoods include an alder body, maple neck, and thick slab rosewood fretboard, and the guitar's natural acoustic response has great clarity with treble sparkle and woody cut. Via a five-way pickup selector switch, everything from snappy twang to "in-between" position quack to singing lead line girth is at the player's fingertips. This Strat weighs 7lbs 14oz and is well-balanced on a strap. We've had this Strat professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, spot-on intonation, and easy-playing action.

The maple neck is slender and fast-feeling, splitting the difference between a C-shape with very slight shoulders and a soft V shape, measuring .800" deep at the 1st fret and .860" at the 12th. The thick slab rosewood fretboard has a 7 1/4" radius, retaining the original slender frets which show light wear on the crowns primarily beneath the plain strings on frets 1-4, with wear extending more faintly beneath the B and High E until fret 9. The guitar plays cleanly up the 25 1/2" scale with a straight neck and responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The nut measures 1.650" in width. On the headstock, the original waterslide decal is largely intact, and the Kluson-style tuning machines turn smoothly and hold pitch well. The neck heel is pencil dated 6-14-83, and the heel and pocket retain numerous factory stamps and markings.

All of the electronics work as they should, with the original trio of black bobbin pickups with staggered alnico pole pieces and cloth-covered leads. The harness is completely original save for a five-way switch, retaining a large Sprague tone cap and CTS pots which date to the 38th week of '82. Save for a replaced four-bolt neck plate, the hardware is completely stock with clean chrome plating, and the vibrato unit is currently setup with three springs for easy actuation. All of the plastic parts are original as well including the pickup covers, knobs, and a pale mint green pickguard that shows light pick scuffing on the treble side.

The original Candy Apple Red nitro lacquer gloss finish is a rare option, and the finish blacklights as it should, with the extremely faint texturing in the gloss consistent with the Fullerton examples of this custom color. The finish in the neck pocket also perfectly mirrors the finish on the neck heel, confirming that body and neck came together from the factory. Cosmetic wear includes a small amount of finish chipping around the neck bolts, a few dings on the lower bout on both the top and back, and two touched-up finish chips on the bass-side body edge. There is a tiny amount of rack rash on the headstock edge behind the nut, and the deeply ambered nitro gloss on the profile is extremely smooth.

A vintage black tolex hardshell case is included with a form-fit plush interior, functional latches, and the original handle.