I've just returned from a guitar safari to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania after buying this clean 1954 Fender Stratocaster! The seller has owned this guitar since his parents gave it to him as a gift in 1956. The trip was well worth the journey after I got to hold and enjoy this first year Fender Stratocaster with great early features, original case, strap, and catalog from 1954. I'm thrilled to be its next owner. 

If you're looking for guitar appraiser near me for a vintage Fender Stratocaster then I may be able to help. I travel world wide to collect the vintage Fender guitars I've always dreamed of like this 1954 Fender Stratocaster. You can contact me here to sell a Fender guitar, or get help with Fender guitar dating here: How to date a Stratocaster.

Guitar collector and expert for Fender Statocaster 1954 guitars

I received a call from an owner in Chambersburg, PA who has owned his Fender Stratocaster since 1956. He no longer played the guitar and had decided to sell. We discussed at length the age of the guitar as it relates to the serial number, the cool early plastic knobs, the case, and the accessories. He told me the price he was looking to get and I booked a flight to into nearby Dulles airport in Washington, DC to come take a look. 

I drove out to Chambersburg and opened the case of the Stratocaster. What a thrill! It has some great early features that I love to see. One of the best parts about it are the early Bakelite plastic. The knobs are known to guitar collectors as short skirt knobs because of the shape of the lower part with the number on it. It's much shorter than the style that came only a few weeks later. The short skirt style knobs are prone to cracking and breaking in half, so I was thrilled to find these in nice condition. 

The pickup covers are also unique to early Fender Stratocasters. It's very common for the covers to crack and break off to reveal the black flatwork of the pickup underneath. This Stratocaster has a bit of the cover missing on the middle pickup but is overall in really nice condition. I didn't get good readings out of the neck and bridge pickup so I'll be sending the guitar out to an expert pickup repairman to have them inspected. It's common for a little bit of corrosion to enter the pickup or even to affect the solder joints and the bobbin. We will attempt to repair the original coils and will rewind only if necessary. 

Fender Stratocaster 1954 with short skirt knobs

Fender Stratocaster Collector

I'm always on the hunt for nice examples of vintage Fender Stratocaster guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. Just this year I've bought another 1954 Fender Stratocaster, 1957 Stratocaster, 1962 Stratocaster Sunburst, 1962 Stratocaster Fiesta Red, and 1964 Stratocaster Foam Green. If you're looking for a Fender guitar collector for an in person deal then I may be the one you're looking for. I travel world wide to make in person deals for great vintage guitars. 

John Shults

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