1959 Fender Stratocaster Surf Green
Here’s an awesome 1959 Fender Stratocaster, in excellent condition, with original black bobbin pickups and an accurate custom color Surf Green refinish.
1959 was a transitional year for Fender, and this is one of the last Strats to feature 50’s appointments, such as a maple fingerboard and single-ply pickguard. The refinish is a perfect match to the original DuPont Surf Green custom color. This is an awesome 50’s Strat in every sense of the word. Incredible bell-tone associated with early Stratocasters.
The guitar weighs in at 7lbs 12oz, and is incredibly resonate.
Here’s everything we know about the history of this guitar, from the previous owner. All originality/visual claims have been verified by us…
The neck has a well-rounded medium C shaped profile with a bit of faint figuring in the maple, with a touch of birdseye along the entire profile.
The instrument has been professionally refretted and the board re-radiused to 9.5" (modern Fender spec), with 6150 fretwire that has just a bit more width and more well-rounded crowns than the original wire, making it easy to bend strings in the higher registers of the board without choking out.
The fretboard has been refinished with clear nitro lacquer (almost always a necessity when refretted a lacquered maple board), and there is light overspray on the back of the profile as well, although there is light wear through the finish down to the bare maple on the profile between frets 1-5.
A new nut has been cut for the guitar to match the modern fretboard radius, and the nut has the traditional Fender 1 5/8" width. On the headstock, the original waterslide Fender decal is intact and in fantastic shape, with gorgeous finish checking across the headstock face and light overspray over the logo. The original string tree is intact, as well as the original Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines which still turn smoothly and hold pitch well. There is a small hole for a second string tree which has been removed, and the tuner peg holes were at one point made slightly larger and subsequently filled before the original gears were reinstalled. As per spec for 1959, there is no pencil date on the neck heel.
The electronics on this Strat are largely original (as they say, “the important parts”), with all three black bobbin single coil pickups intact. The neck and middle position pickups were rewound by Lindy Fralin to original spec, while the bridge pickup retains its stock windings and leads. The waxed cloth leads on the neck and middle pickups were also replaced when they were rewound. One original early '59 Stackpole pot is intact, dating to the 19th week of 1959, along with the original "chewing gum" tone cap. The other two pots are modern CTS factory spec replacements that sound great. The original three-way pickup selector switch is included with the instrument, but a modern five-way is currently installed for maximum tonal versatility.
The plastic parts on the guitar are a mixture of vintage and reissue, with the original volume knob present, as well as pickup covers that are definitely era correct, if not definitively original. The two tone knobs are properly aged reissues, along with an older correctly shaped switch tip and reproduction one-ply pickguard that has the appropriate aging and edge wear to appear "correct." The original Pat Pending Fender bridge saddles are present, while the bridge base and tremolo block are modern replacements that match vintage spec. The tremolo claw, claw mounting screws, and strap buttons are original.
The nitro lacquer surf green finish was done decades ago and the work was commissioned through Mike Lull's shop in Bellevue, WA, although the exact craftsman who applied the finish and relic'd the instrument is unknown. As is very common when stripping a vintage body, as much as 1/32" of overall body depth can be lost in the process, but on the whole, the body contours of this guitar have been faithfully maintained, even if a couple of the edges on the horns are ever so slightly less "bubbly" in terms of how the contours are rounded. This Strat also has the elongated forearm contour on the face of the instrument which disappeared by '60. The color is stunning and a rare example of a perfectly executed surf green custom color, a shade so elusive that it's rarely this faithfully duplicated. There's gorgeous horizontal finish checking across the entire body, along with simulated wear through the finish on the edge of the forearm contour and various small nicks and dings applied during the relic process to authentically age the instrument while still maintaining it as a well- cared for vintage example.
The body routes have been restored to original spec, and before the surf green finish was applied, two routes were filled. There was one larger route that extended towards the treble body horn below the pickguard, and a second route on the bass side of the body, just north of the pickup routes (if you're holding the guitar in playing position) and also covered by the pickguard. These routes were expertly filled and it's practically impossible to capture this work in a photo, only visible to the most discerning eyes in ideal light. In the tremolo cavity, there is a small section of the original sunburst finish that has been preserved so as to keep the original 6/59 grease pencil date on the body
Features & Specs Recap:
- Original trio of black bobbin pickups
- Original alder body & maple neck
- One original 19th week of '59 Stackpole pot and "chewing gum" tone cap
- Original Kluson Deluxe tuners w/ previously enlarged post holes filled and redrilled
- Professional nitro lacquer surf green refinish
- Light clear nitro overspray on neck
- Refret with 6150 wire and fretboard re-radiused to 9.5"
- Body dates to 6/59, no neck heel date as per 1959 spec, serial number dates mid-1959
- Two body routes cleanly filled prior to refinish
- Combination original/repro plastic parts
The original brown tolex hardshell case with gold interior is included. While this case is traditionally tied to an instrument made between 1960-62, it's entirely possible that this is the original case for the instrument, given that cases were paired with guitars at the dealer level. With the "new" guitar being the Jazzmaster in 1959, it's conceivable that this "older model" Strat didn't sell until 1960 when the new brown cases were available.
The original three-way switch is included in the case, along with the original "ashtray" bridge cover and a reissue tremolo arm.