traditional classic classy era rosewood board strat features maple neck color sunburst finish pickquare ply guards fretboard

A rare transition model Strat from 1959

In 1959, the Fender electric guitar line was revamped to include rosewood fretboards attached to one-piece maple necks. Rosewood fretboards were standard on most other brands and were thought to give Fender’s space-age oddities a more traditional, classy look. This Strat, with a neck date of 7/59, is one of the rare transition models with combined features of the maple-board and rosewood-board eras.

Like the maple-neck Strats of ’58, it has a three-color sunburst finish with a single-ply pickguard (instead of the three-ply ’guards seen on most rosewood- board Strats). The pickguard has 10 screws instead of the 11 that would soon be seen on the three-ply ’guards. The fretboard is the thick rosewood “slab” that would be used until 1962. This guitar is also a non-tremolo “hardtail,” which makes it even rarer—but not necessarily more desirable.

From Dave’s notes: “After telling me for years that he had this especially rare Stratocaster belonging right in the middle of my collection, my friend Jack Stowe finally brought it up to La Crosse. We made a deal to put it on my wall.”

Detailed information on Fender Stratocasters can be found in The Fender Stratocaster by A.R. Duchossoir, and in The Stratocaster Chronicles by Tom Wheeler.

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