“I had to drive several hours through snow to get to him. He told me this was one of the first Stratocasters, and there were some things I noticed immediately”: This 1954 Fender Stratocaster is one of the most unusual Fender builds in history

1954 Fender Stratocaster
(Image credit: Future / Paige Davidson)

This is a 1954 Fender Stratocaster and it’s the earliest Strat build that I’ve ever seen. It’s a very special guitar. It does not have a serial number on the vibrato cover [as standard on early 1954 Stratocasters]; it has a regular neckplate serial number. 

However, we know Stratocasters were not built in a special order, and we also know many of the earliest ones were sent back to Fender for some reworking. If you read books and talk to people, you’ll hear that a lot of the early Strats have the serial number on the back cover, not on the neckplate. But this guitar is a great example that proves the theory that serial numbers were random.

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Vintage guitar veteran David Davidson owns Well Strung Guitars in Farmingdale, New York.

See Well Strung Guitars for more.

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