Fender introduced a new version of their popular Telecaster model in the Summer of 1959: the Telecaster Custom, or Custom Telecaster as the model name on the headstock read. Unlike the Blond finish on the standard Telecaster, the Custom had a beautiful Sunburst finish and white plastic binding on the front and back of the body. This Custom Telecaster, owned by a friend, was made in 1960.

As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of Telecaster Custom guitars made in the 1959 and throughout the 1960s. If you've inherited a Sunburst Telecaster with binding and are curious about finding the year it was made by serial number then check out Fender Serial Numbers. There is a lot more to dating a Fender Telecaster than just the serial number, but it's a good place to start. If you're interested in selling a vintage Fender guitar then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender

Fender Telecaster Custom 1960

This 1960 Fender Telecaster is wonderfully preserved and still retains its original brown Tolex exterior case with orange felt lining. The sunburst finish is ever so slightly imperfect which is evidence of its handmade nature. The neck is constructed of a slab of Rosewood over Maple with no need for a skunk stripe on the back. The slab Rosewood fretboard was only used from 1959 until 1962 on the Telecaster Custom. Other pleasing aesthetic features include the clay dots, mint green pickguard, and early style logo.   

Fender Telecaster guitar buyer


The back of the body of the 1960 Telecaster Custom shows light wear and an area of buckle rash on the finish. The six metal string ferrules indicate that this is an original back loader Telecaster intended for the strings to run through the body. Fender began utilizing the "top loader" bridge in 1958 which mounts the ball ends of the strings through the back of the bridge plate instead of through the body. Top loader Telecasters can be easily identified by the lack of the string ferrules on the back of the body. Some say the back loader Telecasters aren't as resonant as the ones with strings through the body. The guitar players that I respect say that there isn't much of a difference in tone at all. 

where to sell vintage Fender guitar


For more information on the Telecaster Custom and Fender guitars from the 1950s and 1960s, I recommend Fender: The Golden Age by Kelley, Foster, and Kelley. It's a spectacular book with beautiful images of vintage Telecasters and great insider information about how Fender guitars changed through the 1950s and 1960s. 

You can also check out some other vintage Fender Telecaster Custom guitars which have come through my guitar shop here:

1968 Fender Telecaster Custom Blond with black binding

1968 Fender Telecaster Custom Sunburst with Bigsby

John Shults


Hi John, you’ve answered a question I’ve had for several years in your articles on Custom Tele’s. I’ve been wanting a 60’s model for a long time but as you know, they are quite rare. I found a 67 sunburst (serial number states 68) with a neck stamp of 67 and transition logo. However, I could not understand why the headstock logo does not include ‘custom.’ At first I wondered if someone had swapped the neck but you say that this period just had the ‘telecaster’ logo. If that’s correct, I can rest assured that my instrument is genuine. Many thanks, Graham

— Graham

interested depending on price

— James Meranus

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