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: Fender Stratocaster How to date and What's It Worth?. Or if you're curious about the serial number and year it was made then check out Fender Serial Number Lookup.

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. 

Fender Stratocaster Values

The value of a Fender Stratocaster from the 1950s and 1960s depends on many factors, but the largest contributing factors are: exact year, finish color, tailpiece style, originality, and condition. Fender continuously increased production of the Stratocaster model throughout the 1950s, so there are fewer 1954 Stratocasters than 1957 Stratocasters. The features and production styles also changed throughout the years, so Fender guitar collectors will prefer some features more than others. You can contact me here if you're curious about how much I would value your 1950s or 1960s Fender Stratocaster: Sell a Fender

The exact color of a Fenders Stratocaster has a very significant impact on value. We don't have production figures for how many of each color were made in a given year, but Fender guitar collectors will usually have a pretty good gauge of the difficulty level of finding the color they're looking for. Candy Apple Red, introduced in the Fender Custom Color Chart in 1963, was a very popular color. It was far more popular than the pastel turquoise color it called Foam Green, so it's much easier to find. The value of an original Foam Green Stratocaster will be significantly higher than a comparable year and condition example in Sunburst or Candy Apple Red.

Fender offered the Stratocaster model with synchronized tremolo and without synchronized tremolo. The non-tremolo guitars, often referred to by collectors as "hard tail", are generally slightly less desirable than the tremolo models since it contributes to what players hear as the Stratocaster tone. There isn't much consensus on how much difference in value the non-tremolo Stratocaster will have, but on average, if given the choice between a tremolo or non-tremolo Stratocaster, the player will usually choose the one with the synchronized tremolo. 

The condition of a 1962 Fender Stratocaster is also a subjective predictor of its value. On average, Fender guitar collectors and players will consider a less worn finish to be more valuable than one with a lot of player wear. 

Fender Stratocaster 1962 in salmon pink color called Fiesta Red

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