Fender Stratocaster 1962 Fiesta Red in London, England

John Shults

Posted on January 12 2022

Fender guitar collector buys 1962 Fender Stratocaster in London, England

I have some great colleagues who are excellent vintage Fender guitar collectors; they too would do anything to buy the 1960s Stratocaster they have always dreamed of. We love to share the guitars we've found and the often great lengths we've gone to buy them. But it's still surreal when I remember the article that Tony Bacon wrote for Reverb.com crowning me the Guitar Safari Champion. One of the guitar buying trips that sticks out as having contributed to that title is one to London, England to purchase this Fender Stratocaster 1962 in original Fiesta Red finish from the brother of its original owner. 

As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of Fender Stratocasters from the 1950s and 1960s. I'm looking for clean examples in the Sunburst finish, but my true passion is for the guitars in Blond and custom color finishes like Fiesta Red. If you've inherited a Fender Stratocaster and are curious about its value, here's a helpful article: Stratocaster Values.  Or if you're curious about the serial number and year it was made then check out Fender Serial Numbers.

Fender Stratocaster 1962 Fiesta Red

Fender debuted the first custom color chart in 1961, but color options were available to the select few even earlier than that. One such player was Hank Marvin of The Shadows, whose hit song Apache went to #1 on UK charts and featured him playing a 1959 Fender Stratocaster. Marvin's Stratocaster was finished in pastel red color that leaned closer to orange and pink depending on the lights; many would describe it as a salmon pink Stratocaster. Demand for Fiesta Red Fender Stratocaster guitars surged in the UK in the early 1960s, but they were difficult to import. One lucky player in London was a member of a band called The Strollers with a promoter who was able to order a matching trio of Fiesta Red Fender guitars: two 1962 Stratocaster guitars and one 1962 Fender Precision Bass. 

London band in 1962 playing two 1962 Fender Stratocaster guitars and one 1962 Fender Precision Bass in Fiesta Red

Terry proudly played his 1962 Fender Stratocaster with the Strollers around London for years, but the band wasn't meant to be a career. The band eventually split and the Stratocaster went in its croc skin Selmer case with blue lining where it remained for decades. Terry passed in 2021 and his brother was tasked with liquidating the estate. I was thrilled when he contacted me looking for how to date the Stratocaster and establish a value. I shared with him why Fender guitar collectors consider custom color examples like Fiesta Red to be more valuable than the more common Sunburst finish, but condition of the custom color is also of great importance to value. I made an offer to fly to London and purchase the guitar in person. Like any savvy guitar seller, he comparison shopped the offer and found it to be an attractive selling opportunity. I was thrilled!

As a Fender guitar collector, I'm always traveling to buy the vintage Fender guitars I've always dreamed. I booked a flight to London and met Terry's brother in person. We spent some time inspecting the Stratocaster to confirm authenticity, then chatted stories about its history while waiting for the payment method to clear. I was stoked to buy a great 1960s Fender Stratocaster in a rare custom color with such great music history. I enjoyed my trip to London and hope to go back again soon. 

1962 Stratocaster with spaghetti style Fender logo

Stratocaster in 1962

Fender's Stratotcaster model was 8 years old in 1962 but the overall structure and function of the model remained the same. Various aesthetic features were update over the years, but perhaps the most significant change since the mid 1950s is the Rosewood fretboard. The thick slab Rosewood fretboard debuted on the Jazzmaster in 1958 but the Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Esquire didn't follow suit until the following year. The style was updated again in 1962 to a medium thickness veneer fretboard which was a bit thinner than the slab but not so thin as the veneer introduced in 1964. This 1962 Stratocaster featured the medium thickness veneer since it was made after the transition later in the year.

1962 Stratocaster in blue grey Selmer case

Other aesthetic Stratocaster features in 1962 include the mint green celluloid pickguard, spaghetti Fender logo, and what looks like clay dots. The mint green guard is a personal favorite of mine. The green pickguards tend to shrink and crack, but they look so good when clean or aged. It's very difficult to find a reproduction mint green guard that looks right. The spaghetti Fender logo is a clear sign of a pre-CBS Stratocaster. The clay dots used from 1958 until 1965 aren't clay, but a vulcanized fiberboard material.  

I'm always on the hunt for the nicest examples of 1950s and 1960s Stratocasters. I buy guitars from all over the world and prefer to come to you for an in-person transaction. You can contact me here to Sell a Fender

Check out some other great Stratocasters here: 1964 Stratocaster, 1963 Stratocaster.

Fender Stratocaster 1962 in salmon pink color called Fiesta Red

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