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.
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