A rare, very early 'Smugglers Tele' with a maple cap and transition logo. This is probably the earliest Smugglers we have seen and read nice it is too. Body only quality refin
An interesting piece of Fender history, the 1967 Fender ‘Smugglers’ Telecaster.
With stocks of lightweight Ash dwindling, Roger Rossmeisl (prolific luthier who designed, amongst other things, Fender’s range of acoustics and hollow body guitars) was tasked with solving the problem. His initial idea was to remove wood from behind the pickguard which resulted in what’s been dubbed the ‘Smugglers’ Tele. Few were produced before the idea was shelved in favour of a more drastic approach that yield the Telecaster Thinline.
This guitar is in fine condition. The blonde refinish has been applied well and is a reasonably accurate reproduction of the original. From looking in the cavities it seems that the body was quite thoroughly stripped before paint was applied.
The neck is an early example of a maple cap neck still with a nice transitional logo, dated May ‘67, 1967 being the first year it was officially available. The original finish shows no real signs of wear. The frets have some life left in them and the headstock and original decal are in good condition.
The hardware shows little sign of use. There is some corrosion on the saddles though this is not extensive. Elsewhere the chrome is in good shape.
When this guitar was refinished, instead of desoldering the pickups and jack socket the wires were cut to be re-spliced after the work was completed. This has been done neatly and has left all solder joints intact though these have been modified at some stage at the switch end as originally it would have been wired for ‘woof tone’. Apart from this the other joints look to be undisturbed. Pots are dated week 17 of 1966, a common feature it seems Fender bought a lot of potentiometers in 1966.
The guitar comes with its correct black Tolex hardshell case which is in very nice shape.
This guitar certainly delivers the classic tones tele tones, smoother neck pickup with a bitey bridge sound and nice blend when combinded. The neck is comfortable, medium size and sleek.
At once simple and versatile, the telecaster should feature in everyones guitar journey at some stage. These ‘Smugglers’ Teles offer an interesting insight into the developments of the guitar in the late 60s.
We are located in Cheltenham, the capital of the Cotswolds, UK. All items are in stock and can be viewed, tried out through a variety of vintage amplifiers and purchased, by appointment at our brand new lounge/showroom. We despatch virtually anywhere in the world and we have enormous experience in hassle-free, safe shipping.
ATB Guitars (By appointment please) 15 Regent St, Cheltenham, GL50 1HE United Kingdom
Landline: 01242 697607
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