Offered for sale for the first time since 1965 this one family owner MINT condition 100% original fiesta red Strat is just, jaw dropping... Take a look -
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It’s not every day we meet a guitar such as this one. Not only is this a truly stunning example of a 1964 Fender Stratocaster in Fiesta Red, it has remained in the same family from new, been cared for and as such remained in this exquisite condition.
For the guitars story, we turn to the owners son -
‘My dad (Keith Heuer) purchased this new Fiesta Red Fender Stratocaster with rosewood fingerboard (Serial No L54650) on 2nd April 1965 from Bothner Appliances Limited in East London, South Africa. The original receipt was for R304.00 less R76.00 for discount, and he paid a total of R228.00 (ZAR South African Rand) in two separate installments: The first for R220,00 dated 2nd April 1965; the second for R8,00 on 4th April 1966. Both payments were made in cash and Keith Heuer took delivery of the guitar on 4th April 1966.
In those days the Rand Pound rate was 2:1. My dad was only 17 years old at the time, and so his mom / my gran (D. Smart) had to sign acknowledgement on the bottom of the receipt to allow him to make the purchase at the time. This is indicated on the original receipt. The original Bothner’s receipt and both installment receipts are available for inspection. Other details of the receipt include the following: Invoice No- 000615; Receipt No- 14846; Customers No- 695071; Comm. Code- 096; Item- 1003; Branch No- 62; Salesman No- A7; Salesman Name- Batreusch. The receipt was made out to: D. Smart (my dad’s mom); with address: 17 Fitzpatrick Road, East London, South Africa. The item description on the receipt was: “Fender Electric Guitar” and no further reference to year and model were made on the receipt.
This guitar has always been my dads “baby”, and I have fond memories of him taking it out of the cupboard once a year to polish and inspect, whilst the family gathered around the family bed and starred in amazement at this beautiful Fiesta Red guitar. L54650 was played minimally by my dad before he was married. My dad was very much a Shadows fan and was the reason he purchased the guitar. When my dad married, he sold his original Vox AC30 amplifier, and L54650 was retired. Ever since, as far as I can remember, L54650 has been unboxed and polished annually (this became a family ritual). As a small boy, I can clearly remember my mother wanting to sell the guitar to fund a family holiday, while my dad and I protested.
In July 2013, the author (Calvin Heuer) inherited L54650, and the guitar was relocated from South Africa to Taipei Taiwan (the authors residence at the time), where the guitar was photographed and documented extensively for the first time. In August 2013, L54650 was moved and shipped to Doha Qatar (the authors new residence), where it has remained in the authors care. A custom Birds-Eye-Maple Guardian display cabinet was purchased for the guitar, where it remained with temperature and humidity control.****’
As you can see, this has been a treasured possession and the evidence is clear to see. The finish is in stunning un-faded condition with only the slightest hint of checking and two very insignificant chips to the paint. The lacquer on the neck is as glossy as when it left the factory without a single mark on it or the headstock. The fretboard and original frets are in just about perfect shape.
The hardware is free of any tarnishing and its evident that great care was taken to clean this guitar after use. The plastics too show only the slightest hint of the passing of time, the guard showing signs of minor shrinkage and some slight discolouration on the pickup covers. These are only minor things and in no way detract from the overall look of the instrument.
In case you are wondering, this guitar plays extremely well and all three pickups boast the most pleasing sound you have ever heard. Neck date is November 1964, pots date to 28th week of 1964 and the serial number places it in late 1964. Pickups are dated late November and early December 1964 so everything ties in to a late 1964 build.
Of course, as you’d expect the electronics are as they left Fullerton with not a single solder joint touched.
The guitar comes with its original no logo black Tolex hardshell case which is all in pretty much MINT condition. This includes the original labels, strap (which is in near MINT condition), cloth and the receipts from the original purchase, plus the tags, booklet and a file of pictures and a dossier from the original owner with his Dad playing it.
Though this guitar transcends instrument status to some degree, it still possesses those classic Strat tones. The grey bottom pickups deliver a lush sound that does not drift too far towards the thinner end of the spectrum, retaining some of the fullness of the earlier incarnation Fender single coils.
This is truly a special instrument with a fantastic story and it is not that many times in a single lifetime an opportunity arises to purchase such an instrument. The last time this guitar was sold was in 1966 and this is the first time it has been offered for sale since then. The condition it is in is a true testament to the fastidious care and pride the owners family have kept this jaw dropping guitar in - even the original receipt dated 4th February 1966 in is MINT condition - and its not often we can say that..!
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