Fender Stratocaster 1965 Red in Scotland

John Shults

Posted on March 01 2022

Fender guitar collector buys Fender Stratocaster 1965 Fiesta Red in Scotland

I've just returned from an epic trip to northern Scotland to buy this Fender Stratocaster 1965 in original Fiesta Red finish! It took nearly two days to fly to London, England, switch airports, fly to Inverness in Scotland, then drive two hours out to the remote town of Kylesku on the north west side of the United Kingdom. Fender offered three different red custom colors for the Stratocaster in 1965 including Dakota Red, Candy Apple red, and my favorite is the salmon version they called Fiesta Red. It's a very interesting color that shifts from orange to pink to red in different lighting. Fender applied original Fiesta Red has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. 

I'm always on the hunt for nice examples of Fender Stratocaster guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. My favorite Stratocasters are the original custom color guitars like this 1965 Fender Stratocaster Fiesta Red. If you've inherited a Fender Stratocaster and are curious about how much I would value it then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender. Or if you'd like to find the year of a Fender Stratocaster, check out Fender Serial Number Lookup

Fender guitar collector buys Fender Stratocaster 1965 Fiesta Red

Fender Stratocaster 1965

Fender's iconic Stratocaster turned 11 years old in 1965, but the basic shape and function of the model hadn't changed much. Most of the differences between a 1954 Stratocaster and one from 1965 are cosmetic including the finish style, pickguard and plastics, fretboard material, and logo styles. 1965 was a significant transition year for the Fender company since Leo sold it in January of that year. Many Fender guitar collectors and players consider Fender guitars made before 1965 to be "pre-CBS" which refers to the company that purchased Fender from Leo. While the purchase of Fender from Leo was finalized in January 1965, not much changed of the guitars the company made until mid or even late 1965. 

This fantastic 1965 Fender Stratocaster in original Fiesta Red finish has survived in very nice condition. I purchased it from it second owner who bought it in Germany in 1971. He, like myself, is a fan of one of the most significant Stratocaster guitar players of all time: Jimi Hendrix. He was living in Germany in 1971 and found a seller with a Fender Stratocaster. He didn't have enough money to purchase the guitar outright, but he did have the newly released Chicago at Carnegie Hall Volumes I, II, III, and IV quadruple LP which the seller was willing to accept in trade. He kept the Stratocaster all his life but decided it was time to sell. I was thrilled to buy it!

I arrived to buy the 1965 Fender Stratocaster Fiesta Red and began by playing the guitar unplugged. While I wasn't a fan of the .009 gauge strings, I could tell it was a really great guitar. I plugged it into an amplifier and found that all of the electronics worked great! I then removed the neck and strings to inspect the finish and the electronics under the pickguard. I found that the neck pocket and body cavities had exactly what I was looking for to prove that the Fiesta Red finish is original. I also found that the pickups, potentiometers, and three way switch are original and untouched. 

Fender guitar collector buys Fender Stratocaster 1965 Red in Scotland, UK

Fender Stratocaster 1965 Values

The value of a 1950s or 1960s Fender Stratocaster depends heavily on these factors: exact year of manufacture, finish color, condition, and originality. The Fender Stratocaster debuted in 1954, but Fender continuously updated its manufacturing process gradually year after year. Fender guitar collectors are usually looking for certain specifications specific to a certain year or time period. On average, the value of and earlier made Stratocaster will be higher than that of a more recent year, but there are groups of years that can be grouped together with different values for each. The major groups of years with respect to values that I find are 1954, 1955-1958, 1959-1962, late 1962-1965, and late 1965-1968. These year ranges will have mostly similar features to each other and values can be broken down into these time periods. For more help on finding the year of a Stratocaster, check out Fender Serial Number Lookup.

The finish color of a Fender Stratocaster also can be a significant factor in its value. The most common color for the Stratocaster is its standard color: Sunburst. Fender's Sunburst finish in 1965 is a dark black outer rim which fades to red then to a yellow center. Fender guitar collectors have an easy time finding Stratocasters in Sunburst, but a more difficult time finding original examples finished in Blond, Olympic White, and Candy Apple Red. These colors are usually considered common colors, but finishes like Lake Placid Blue, Sonic Blue, Foam Green, Surf Green, and Fiesta Red are more difficult to find. Fender guitar collectors (like myself) will usually pay more money for a color they have a difficult time finding. 

Like many vintage guitars, the condition and originality are also very important aspects affecting the value of a Fender Stratocaster. The finish may be the most important part of a Fender guitar since many have been stripped and refinished over the years. The pickups and electronics are also very important parts. Fender guitar collectors will generally pay more for original parts and clean condition which is why the value will be much higher than a comparable Stratocaster with changed parts and refinish. 

If you're curious about the value of your Stratocaster and would like to speak with a Fender guitar expert then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender. I'd be happy to take a look at it and offer my feedback on your Stratocaster. 

Fender Stratocaster 1965 Fiesta Red values


More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing