“Playing a guitar like this back in 1963 must have been truly mind-blowing”: Meet the 1963 Stratocaster with one of Fender’s rarest-ever finishes, Blue Metallic Flake

1963 Fender Stratocaster Royal Blue Metallic 
(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

Some believe 1957 to be the year when 1950s maple-’board Strats reached the pinnacle of their development, and the same may be said for 1963 and the rosewood-’board models. All pre-CBS Stratocasters are collectible, especially when the guitar in question is in near mint original condition.

Even so, Fender was producing Stratocasters in significant numbers during 1963 and they’re not especially rare. Factory custom colours do command a premium and this guitar’s metal flake finish must be one of the rarest. It features on page 31 of Norman’s Rare Guitars: 30 Years Of Buying, Selling And Collecting by David Swartz (Alfred Music), where the colour is described as Blue Metallic Flake. 

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Huw Price

Huw started out in recording studios, working as a sound engineer and producer for David Bowie, Primal Scream, Ian Dury, Fad Gadget, My Bloody Valentine, Cardinal Black and many others. His book, Recording Guitar & Bass, was published in 2002 and a freelance career in journalism soon followed. He has written reviews, interviews, workshop and technical articles for Guitarist, Guitar Magazine, Guitar Player, Acoustic Magazine, Guitar Buyer and Music Tech. He has also contributed to several books, including The Tube Amp Book by Aspen Pittman. Huw builds and maintains guitars and amplifiers for clients, and specializes in vintage restoration. He provides consultancy services for equipment manufacturers and can, occasionally, be lured back into the studio.