1970 Fender Stratocaster, Maple Cap, Candy Apple Red

By Fender

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Supercool, great sounding and incredibly rare Custom Colour Candy Apple Red Stratocaster with Maple cap fingerboard from 1970. Bought recently from the original owner, the guitar was a cherished guitar having been well cared for and played for the majority of its 52 years.

The guitar has a stunning Candy Apple Red finish that has retained a lot of its original vibrance, depth and warmth. Candy Apple Red was introduced in 1963 and was one of the custom colours to remain in use into the Seventies but was removed from the chart in 1973 as the Fender colour palate became more austere. The Alder body is in great condition and upon removal of the pickguard there is very little fade to the finish. Pickup routes are the squared off type seen post ’69, the bridge pickup cavity still has the worm route present and there are no additional holes, modifications or repairs. The finish has various knocks and bits of edge wear, light worming to the back and there is a feint mark from where a sticker has been by the upper horn bout. Otherwise it's in fine condition for what has clearly been a well cherished guitar.

The neck is one of the fabled late sixties Maple Cap necks. It has a large headstock, bold CBS decal with 2 pat numbers, single string tree, four bolt attachment and neck heel truss rod adjustment. Neck and fingerboard are two separate pieces of Maple bonded in the same manner as a Rosewood fingerboard neck, with the truss rod installed from the front leaving the neck void of skunk-stripe or plug. The neck benefits from a recent refret, a new nut and a clear nitro coat was shot during the process. The neck has had different tuners fitted previously but the originals have been reinstalled. There is evidence of earlier overspray on the back to the headstock over the original finish, possibly done when the tuners were changed. The neck date code, like many from this era, was stamped in green ink and is now very feint and smudged but an "0" can just about be made out as the final digit. Guitars with these traits are fondly known as Hendrix-era Strats thanks to Jimi’s favouring of Maple Strats and his use of a 1968 Olympic White Fender Stratocaster during his headlining performance at the Woodstock festival. Maple Cap necks were a custom order option and are very rare in the late Sixties/early Seventies.

Electronics comprise of three grey back, stagger pole single coil Stratocaster pickups, all with matching 1970 date code, Pots are CTS all with matching 137-7014 source code. The switch is a replacement 5-way. At some point the loom has been interrupted with a micro switch and the bridge pickup has been jumped to the middle pickup tone pot. The pickups measure 5.5, 5.45 and 5.51 from bridge to neck. The pickguard is a true W-B-W 3-ply and has shielding foil below the pots and switch consistent with Fender's method. The micro switch hole has been expertly plugged and is barely noticeable.

The guitar has it’s original Fender ‘F’ tuners reinstated. The B string tuner has a slight bend to the peg, the tuner still functions fine. Tremolo and bridge unit are the separate 2 piece steel unit rather than the single piece, cast Mazac unit used throughout the seventies.

The guitar sounds excellent with the original grey back pickups exhibiting the chiming bell like character they are known for. The neck feels great with a slightly larger, rounder profile than you might expect. Measuring 21.49 at the 1st fret and 23.54 at the 12th. The guitar has the standard 1 5/8” Fender nut width. The guitar weights 7.8lbs and plays very well thanks to it’s recent refret and new nut.

Original Maple Cap Stratocasters are rare instruments at the best of times let alone with a Custom Colour finish. Late sixties/early seventies Stratocasters are considered by many to be the last of the great golden-era instruments before CBS changes really took hold. 1970 saw the great Leo Fender himself cutting all ties with the brand he started in 1946 and by 1971 the Stratocaster had adopted the 3 bolt with micro-tilt neck, ‘Bullet’ truss rod adjustment at headstock instead of heel-end of neck and the 1 piece Mazac tremolo unit would replaces the 2 piece steel unit.

The guitar comes complete with its original Fender case.

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