1963 Fender Stratocaster, Foam Green

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A stunning, pre-CBS 1963 Fender Stratocaster finished in one of the rarest Fender Custom Colours, Foam Green.

Foam Green was a Duco finish offered by Fender between 1960-’69. In colour it’s more blue than green, and this example with its lightly yellowed clear coat displays a really attractive blue/green hue with lots of character and patina. Like many custom colour examples the finish is over sunburst with areas of black lacquer visible through chips and dings around the edges, and red visible towards the centre of the body and in the neck pocket. The finish was applied with the paint stick method typical of the period, and part of the neck pocket has been masked to preserve the OK stamp.

This guitar is an early L-series number with the Maple neck dating OCT ’63. The clay dots have the earlier, narrow spacing at the 12th fret. Tuners are correct single-line Klusons and the decal is the typical spaghetti logo with 3 Pat numbers. The neck has a really smooth, worn in feel that is very comfortable in the hand. It’s chunkier than you might expect of the period, with a nice full roundness that tapers only slightly towards the 12th fret. The guitar has been refretted with medium jumbo frets and the nut changed, resulting in what is a superb playing Strat with a wonderful feel.

Under the guard we have three Stackpole pots, two of which date to the 47th week of ’63 with the 3rd obscured by solder. It retains its original ceramic disc capacitor. The pickups are correct black bottom types with no sign of tampering or rewinds, and besides some solder work to the volume pot and tremolo claw, everything appears correct electronically.

Plugged in, it has a powerful, weighty sound with a strong output and plenty of low end. This balanced with smooth, ‘fat’ top end that’s never harsh or ‘glassy’ creates a fine sounding Strat to match its stunning looks.

All in all a stunning example complete with original white Tolex hard shell case.