An amazing find that Watchtower Guitars is very excited about…an original 1955 Fender Stratocaster! Weighing in at a comfortable 7lbs 9oz, its ash body is mated to a maple neck with a very muted V that fills the hand, yet not a chucky baseball bat that feels just phenomenal.
OK, a bit of history, as per Fender’s own website: “The Stratocaster was introduced in spring 1954 as Fender’s new top-line guitar, in tremolo and non-tremolo versions. The first known ad for it appeared in that April’s issue of International Musician magazine, and a small pre-production run began that month. It was a sleekly beautiful instrument bursting with great features and producing full, clear and sparkling tones. The first full-scale production run began in October 1954”
That means this guitar was within the first year of full-scale production since the Neck dates to Sep 1955 and Body dates to Jul 1955.
As per the excellent guitar.hq site: “The 1955 Fender Stratocaster is one of my favorite years. Though nearly identical to a production (October-December) 1954 Strat, the 1955 model is slightly more refined. The production process was better, and 1955 models tend to be much lighter weight (more comfortable to play) than 1954 Strats. Serial number range for the 55 Fender Stratocaster are generally 6000 to 9000 (on the neck plate).” “Though Fender production numbers are not available, research has concluded that 452 Fender Strats were made during 1955 (personally I think that number is way too low, but that's just my opinion.)
1955 Fender Stratocaster guitar specs:
Peghead edges are less rounded, and more sharp.
By mid-1955, the round string holes in the rear tremolo cover are changed to oblong holes.
Tremolo block has more squared sides.
Front edge of bridge saddles (closest to the nut) are longer.
Tremolo bar's bends are less pronounced.
White pickguard now has a shiney backside.”
This guitar qualifies for all of the above
Let’s get the “bad” on the table upfront, as we are straight shooters at Watchtower…The pickup cavities have been enlarged somewhat. No idea why, because they would not fit a humbucker or P90, but the original finish is not there and, as you can see in the pics, they are bigger. The original tremolo tip is cracked, and the switch tip comes off too easily (not out of the ordinary for a 63 year old instrument), so replacements are on there right now. These original parts are in the non-original case pocket, along with the tremolo plate with the correct oval holes. The 5 springs look newer to me, but the existence of 5 of them is consistent with 1955.
Now to the “good”…everything else! The tones are superb, frets original. Decal is right. The patina and checking ar