One of the primary goals of any Fender guitar collector, including and especially this author, is to find the best examples of all the colors offered in the custom color charts of the 1960s. There are few things more exciting to me as a Fender guitar buyer than checking out a custom color Stratocaster for identification and especially authentification. It's been a great year so far with some nice examples of Fiesta Red, Candy Apple Red, Black with gold hardware, Blond, Olympic White, but the most exciting custom color Fender I was able to buy this year is this Fender Stratocaster 1964 in original Foam Green finish. 

If you're looking for help with Fender guitar identification and dating then check out How to date a Fender Stratocaster. There are some great in-depth pictures of what real vintage Fender guitars should look like inside and out. If you're curious about how much I would value your Stratocaster, you can contact me here: Sell a Fender. I'd be happy to take a look at your vintage Fender guitar. I am especially looking for Fender guitars with original custom color finishes. 

Here's a great resource for vintage custom color Fender guitars: Fender: The Golden Age 1946-1970. Martin Kelly and Terry Foster's book on Fender guitars has some of the best examples of all guitars and amplifiers that came out during the best time period for vintage Fender guitars. 

Fender Stratocaster 1964 in original custom color Foam Green finish

Foam Green Stratocaster 1964

I purchased this Fender Stratocaster 1964 in original Foam Green finish from the granddaughter of its original owner in Atlanta, Georgia. She sent pictures of it and I nearly fell over when I saw it! It's the perfect combination of clean condition, excellent late 1963/early 1964 time period, mint green pickguard, original parts with no modifications, and the super cool white case with black leather ends. 

Foam Green as a custom color tends to look a bit more blue than green to most. This Foam Stratocaster has a thin clear coat that hasn't yellowed too much, so it retains a largely blue look to it. There is some wear in the forearm area which has ambered the lacquer a bit, but the rest of it is as clean as it could be. 

One of the most important parts of a custom color Fender Stratocaster is clear confirmation of an original finish. The cavities underneath the pickguard and the neck heel tell the story that isn't always easy to tell from the exterior. In this case, we're looking for clear nail holes, crisp cavity edges, clean worm route fibers, and the right color under coat (White). This example check all of those boxes in spades. 

Vintage Fender Stratocaster custom color identification with cavity edges, nail holes, white undercoat, and neck pocket with OK stamp

What is the rarest Fender custom color?

I'd love to know for myself what the rarest custom color for Fender guitars is, but there's plenty of debate on that subject. The simple answer is that Foam Green isn't the rarest Fender custom color, but it's on the list of the coolest and most difficult to find. At the time that this post is being written, there are no published production figures for Fender before the 1970s except for 1966 (check it out here: The Fender Archives by Tom Wheeler). The production figures are broken down by model but the listings are only for Standard or Special. Special likely refers to a custom ordered aspect like a custom color, non-standard neck width, or hardware upgrade. There are no production figures available for each color.

Fender's custom color options weren't standardized until about 1961, so there are a number of exceedingly low production figure custom colors made in the late 1950s. If we constrain the question down to only color chart listed colors, the most difficult to find Fender custom color has to be Shell Pink. Shell Pink was discontinued in 1963 in favor of Candy Apple Red, so the 1964 and later color charts don't even list it. I've only seen pictures of one Stratocaster and one Jaguar in Shell Pink. The Jaguar is the only one of the two that is proven to be an original custom color. 

Vintage Fender Stratocaster with light blue green finish called Foam Green from 1964

Fender Guitar Collector

I've been collecting Fender guitars for over a decade now but there are so many great custom colors still on my list to find. I am a Fender guitar collector for all models of Fenders made in the 1950s and 1960s. I travel world wide to acquire the vintage Fenders I've always dreamed of. A recent trip took me to London, UK to buy a Fender Stratocaster 1962 in Fiesta Red! 

You can contact me here if you're interested in selling a vintage Fender guitar: Fender guitar collector. I'd be happy to take a look if you think it was made in the 1950s or 1960s. I can help identify the exact color and whether or not it's an original custom color finish. 

Vintage Fender Stratocaster guitar collector

John Shults

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