1965 Fender pre-Coronado (Aztec, Fantasy, Sunburst Neck)

John Shults

Posted on March 30 2020

Vintage 1966 Fender Coronado Aztec Sunburst neck

This vintage 1965 Fender Coronado, or Aztec, electric guitar with rare Sunburst finished neck cruised through the shop a few years ago. It appears to be a very rare pre-production version of the guitar. I'm always looking to buy clean vintage Fender electric guitars but I'm especially looking for Sunburst neck Coronados. You can contact me here to sell a Fender Coronado guitar.

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Check out a few other vintage Fender Coronado guitars that have come through the shop:

Vintage 1967 Fender Coronado II Lake Placid Blue Metallic

Vintage 1967 Fender Coronado II Olympic White

Fender's Coronado model was designed in 1965 by Roger Rossmeisl and became the first thinline hollow body electric from the company. Fender sourced electronics from Rowe Industries in Ohio who also made the popular DeArmond brand and Goldentone (gold foil) pickups. Different model names were contending for the slot during preproduction like Aztec and Fantasy before the Coronado name was solidified. Many of the earliest examples featured a sunburst finished neck; the first in the company's history.

Serial number 500005 features no model name on the headstock and a beautiful sunburst finished neck. Another interesting early feature is a rather crude aluminum dowel in the neck pocket likely to provide strength to a potentially weak bolt on hollow body style joint. The finish shows wear on the body possibly from the lack of an original case. It appears to be totally original with no modifications or repairs. The neck is straight and the frets are in excellent condition with almost no playing wear.

On page 78 of The Fender Archives, there is an interesting note on Sunburst necks from Freddie Taveres, "1-31 (67) - Sunburst necks "obsolete" & "kaput". Sales sent back 100 Coronado Thinline guitars for rework. Bill Carson said that the necks should be replaced because they were ugly. They were sunburst necks and Carson said that we will no longer use sunburst necks on our guitars - out!" We can infer from this note that at least 100 were sunburst necks were made but sent back to the factory for rework. Full production numbers are unavailable so we don't know how many remain. I think the sunburst neck is rather attractive on this one!

Sunburst neck, Vintage 1965 Fender Coronado Aztec electric guitar

Neck pocket, Sunburst neck, Vintage 1965 Fender Coronado Aztec electric guitar

Headstock, Vintage 1965 Fender Coronado Aztec electric guitar

Vintage 1965 Fender Coronado Aztec electric guitar\Sunburst neck, Vintage 1965 Fender Coronado Aztec electric guitar

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