Fender Stratocaster 1958 in New York
Posted on January 13 2022
I've just returned from a guitar buying trip to New York City to purchase this clean Fender Stratocaster 1958 in original Sunburst finish! As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always looking for nice examples of Fender guitars from the 1950s and 1960s but I'm especially interested in Stratocasters. The previous owner of this Stratocaster inherited it from his father, who he believed to be its original owner. The Stratocaster is in really nice condition and feels like a dream to play!
If you're curious about how much a Fender guitar collector might value your 1950s or 1960s Stratocaster then I would be happy to take a look at it. You can get help with Fender guitar dating to find the year it was made here: Fender Serial Numbers. If you're curious about how much I would value your Fender Stratocaster then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender.
Fender Stratocaster 1958
I was especially attracted to this 1958 Fender Stratocaster because it was in nice condition and a great example of the transitional features common to that year. In 1958, Fender updated the standard Sunburst finish from a two tone fade from dark brown to yellow in the center, to a three tone style that fades from dark brown to red then to yellow in the center (compare to this one: Fender Stratocaster 1957). The red portion of the Stratocaster's three tone Sunburst finish sometimes fades out, but I could tell that the color of this was still richly deep red. That is a good indication that it had limited exposure to light which preserved the photo-reactive red pigment.
1958 was the first year of the three tone Sunburst finish on Stratocasters, but it was the last full year of the one piece Maple neck and fretboard. Fender updated the entire line in 1959 with Rosewood fretboard glued on top of the Maple neck. The Rosewood fretboard Stratocasters from 1959 through 1962 are still excellent guitars, but I love the look of the three tone Sunburst and Maple fretboard on the 1958 Stratocasters (check out this 1962 Fender Stratocaster.
Fender Stratocaster Values
The value of a Fender Stratocaster from the 1950s and 1960s depends on so many factors, but chief among them are: the exact year it was made, finish color, bridge style, originality, and condition. If you're curious about how much I would value your vintage Stratocaster then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender. Finding the exact year of a Fender Stratocaster begins with checking the serial number, but there is so much more to it. Fender Stratocasters are easily disassembled using only a screwdriver, so it's important to have a skilled eye inspect for dates codes and originality on each part.
The values for Fender Stratocasters of a certain year also depend heavily on the finish color. The typical finish for a 1950s Fender Stratocaster are either a 2 tone or 3 tone Sunburst, but they could also be ordered in special custom colors. Custom colors on 1950s Fender Stratocasters are extremely rare and difficult to verify authenticity. Many Fenders were stripped of their original finish and refinished after the factory. Fender guitar collectors generally consider a refinished Fender to be about half the value of a similar guitar with its original finish.
The Fender Stratocaster was offered in two different tailpiece styles since their introduction in 1954: with synchronized tremolo or without. Fender guitar collectors will generally prefer a tremolo guitar to one without, but there are far fewer examples of the non-tremolo or "hard tail" Stratocasters. There isn't a firm consensus among Fender guitar collectors about how much difference in value there is between the two.