Fender Stratocaster 1966

John Shults

Posted on August 17 2021

Fender Stratocaster 1966, how to date Fender Stratocaster, Fender Stratocaster values


This Fender Stratocaster 1966 with Sunburst finish came through the shop a few years ago. Here are the steps I go through to date a Fender Stratocaster and some things to consider when looking to find the value of vintage Fender guitars. I'm always a Fender guitar buyer but I'm especially looking to buy Fender guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. You can contact me here to sell a Fender guitar


How to date a Fender Stratocaster with serial numbers, ink stamp dates, potentiometer codes, and features from a Fender guitar expert.

How to date a Fender Stratocaster

Here are the steps that I take to find the year of a Fender Stratocaster. We can always check the Fender serial number charts, but it's not the most accurate way to date a Fender Stratocaster since the serial number plate is easily swapped with only a screw driver. We also need to check the neck heel ink stamp, the potentiometer codes, and the features. 

The serial number on this Fender Stratocaster is in the 166xxx range and is etched into the metal neck plate above a large "F". Fender applied their serial numbers to the large F style plate from late 1965 until about 1977. If your Fender Stratocasters serial number is less than 200,000 and on a plate with a large F, then that serial number indicates the guitar was made in 1966. 

We can also check the neck heel stamp and sometimes the interior body pencil dates to know how to date a Fender Stratocaster. The neck heel ink stamp on this Fender Stratocaster 1966 reads "13SEP66B" where 13 = Stratocaster model (not the day!), SEP = September, 66 = 1966, and B = standard nut width 1 5/8.

 How to find the year of a Fender Stratocaster 1960s

Fender Stratocaster 1966 Values

Finding the value of a vintage Fender Stratocaster 1966 begins with proper identification. The value of a Fender Stratocaster is different for each year, condition, originality, and color. That's why it's important to have a Fender guitar expert accurately identify your guitar to help establish its market value. 

Fender Stratocaster values are generally higher the older they get until the mid 1970s. The Fender Stratocaster debuted in 1954 which is the most valuable year for the model. The specifications slowly changed throughout the 1950s and 1960s but the most significant year was 1965. Leo Fender sold the company to CBS who then implemented significant change and boosted production levels. Fender guitar collectors like myself note that pre-CBS buyout Fender guitars are generally finer instruments, so the demand for those guitars is a bit higher than that of a Fender Stratocaster from 1966. 

As a Fender guitar collector, I'm looking for nice examples of all Fender Stratocasters from the 1950s and 1960s. If you're looking to find out what is my Fender Stratocaster worth? You can contact me here: Sell a Fender guitar.

Where to sell Fender Stratocasters 1950s 1960s

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