Fender Stratocaster 1962 Fiesta Red
Posted on September 01 2022
I've just returned from a wonderful trip to London, England to buy this Fender Stratocaster 1962 Fiesta Red from the brother of its original owner! The original owner's band, The Strollers, purchased this Fender Stratocaster Stratocaster along with a matching Fiesta Red Stratocaster and Fiesta Red Precision Bass as well. I was not able to locate the other Stratocaster and Precision Bass but I'm hoping that they are still around somewhere.
I'm always a Fender guitar buyer but I'm especially looking for Fender Stratocaster guitars made in the 1950s and 1960s. The custom color Stratocasters like this one in Fiesta Red finish are some of my favorite guitars ever made. You can contact me here to sell a Fender guitar.
Updated 9/1/2022: Where is it now? Matty Healy's Red Stratocaster with The 1975.
'62 Fiesta Red Stratocaster History with The Strollers
It's important to keep the history and story of vintage guitars alive, so I'll do my best here to preserve the story of this '62 Fiesta Red Strat. It was ordered new as a set with a matching Fiesta Stratocaster and Precision Bass by the band manager of the London based The Strollers. We were not able to find any records of the band playing, but I did press the brother for more of the story. He said his brother loved playing songs from like Apache by The Shadows. This makes sense! Remember that Hank Marvin popularized the Fiesta Red Stratocaster in the UK in 1959 and 1960.
I was not able to locate the other 1962 Fiesta Red Strat or the '2 Fiesta Precision Bass. Please contact me if you're able to find them: Sell a Fender. Or if you're curious about the value of a vintage Strat then check out Stratocaster Values.
'62 Stratocaster Fiesta Red Inspection
I arrived in Bracknell Berkshire to inspect this late '62 Fiesta Red Stratocaster from the brother of its original owner. The Strat had been tucked away behind a closet for the past few decades so it was covered in dust and dirt. I opened the grey and blue Selmer case to find a dirty but structurally sound example of one of Leo Fender's greatest creations. The next step was to inspect the Strat for dates, originality, and playability. Check out How to date a Stratocaster for more information on vintage Stratocaster inspection.
I picked up the '62 Fiesta Red Strat out of its case and saw a 5 digit serial number, spaghetti style logo, faded mint green pickguard, and worn custom color Fiesta Red finish. The 5 digit serial number beginning with 82xxx falls right in line with the range we would expect for 1962 (More: Fender Serial Numbers). The spaghetti style logo with three patent numbers was introduced late 1962 and lasted until mid 1964. The celluloid pickguard, which most collectors refer to as mint green because of the look it gets after fading over time, was updated to a pure white ABS material in 1965.
The most important part of this '62 Stratocaster inspection is the originality of the Fiesta Red finish. Fender's price lists begin mentioning the custom color option for their guitars in 1956, but examples can be found from throughout the 1950s. The list of available custom colors was standardized in late 1961, then update in 1964 to a different list (Fender Custom Color Chart 1964). Original custom color Stratocasters are highly prized by players and collectors, and as a result, fakes and refinishes have been passed off as originals in the past. This '62 Strat showed all the features of an original finish included the desert sand undercoat, proper clear nail holes, and a pre-paint stick neck pocket. It's a perfect example of a nicely worn original Fiesta Red finish. You can check out another one here: 1962 Stratocaster Fiesta Red with Gold Hardware.
Updated 9/1/2022: Where is it now? '62 Fiesta Red Stratocaster on tour with The 1975
I was thrilled to purchase this '62 Fiesta Red Strat outside of London, but I knew it needed a couple of maintenance items before it could be professionally playable. I met up with my friend, fellow guitar collector, and Dirty Hit record label owner Jamie Oborne who was keen to buy the perfect red Stratocaster. We discussed this the Strat at length as well as the repair needs it had: worn out frets and a non-functioning middle pickup. Jamie knew just the right luthier to tackle the job and also appreciated its London music scene history as much as I did.
I received a picture from Jamie recently of Matty Healy of The 1975 playing this exact '62 Fiesta Red Stratocaster at the Reading Festival 2022. Jamie was able to have nice refret completed and have the middle pickup rewound to original spec. It's a thrill to see the Strat going back to work in the music scene, but even more so with one of the best bands in the world at the moment.