Samick Motherlode

December 2014
more... GuitarsGearGear PornGear of the MonthSolidbodySolidbodyP-90-EquippedJune 2010Fender

1965 Fender Jazzmaster

Every vintage enthusiast has heard clichéd stories about finding rare guitars at unincorporated area garage sales or in relatives’ attics. One of the most interesting has to be the vintage Stratocaster literally hidden inside the wall of a home. In recent years, the chances of this occurring have been sparse at best. Vintage guitar hunters caught on to this style of treasure hunting long ago, scouring rural areas for those elusive ’59 Les Pauls and ’62 Strats we all dream of. Sometimes, however, the stars align and a rare piece shows itself. The 1965 Fender Jazzmaster pictured here is a prime example.

It was purchased brand new by the owner’s grandfather in 1965. He passed away in 1968, and the guitar was forgotten about. Recently, the owner’s grandmother passed on, and the family discovered the guitar—still stored in its original black case. Reportedly, the case itself had not been opened since 1968, which helped preserve the instrument for the next 42 years. The original flatwound “Spanish” guitar strings were still on it, and the finish had faded to a smooth, velvety feel. The neck was exceptionally well preserved, with very little wear on the gloss finish. It literally felt brand new. Some of the smaller construction details—such as the traditional Stratocaster knobs, celluloid pickguard, and clay-dot inlays—hinted at it being a model from the 1964 to 1965 transition period.

A special thanks to the guitar’s owner, Jon Vargason—who lives only a few miles from PG headquarters in Iowa—for letting us shine some light on this amazing vintage find.