1973 Fender Mustang, Competition Red

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Very nice 1973 Fender Mustang in a Competition Red finish. One of the coolest guitars released in the Fender CBS-era, the Muscle car influenced Competition Mustang first appeared in the Fender Catalog in 1969 and was offered in three finishes, Competition Red, Competition Blue (known as Competition Burgundy) and Competition Orange.

Originally introduced in 1964, the Mustang was one of Leo Fender's last original designs before the CBS buy out. Intended as a student instrument, the 24" scale guitar with vibrato has been used by many professionals over the decades since and endured as an absolute classic in its own right, so much so there are six Mustang models offered in the Fender Catalog today. The Mustang has proved a timeless favourite of bands from the 1960s and '70s right through to today, easily exceeding Leo's original intentions as a simple but effective student instrument.

This guitar dates to 1973, the last year for the Competition Mustang and apart from the headstock no longer being finished to match the body the features are nearly identical to first 1969 models. Featuring an Alder body with bolt-on Maple neck with Rosewood fingerboard. The serial number sits within the given range for 1973. The neck code, although partially obscured dates to 1973. Neck and body stamps are all as expected. Hardware is all correct but the nut has been replaced. Frets appear original and although they have lost some height the guitar plays well. Electronically, the bridge pickup has been rewound but the neck pickup is stock. The CTS pots date to early 73. The original pearloid pickguard has worn and over time has either become stuck (or has been stuck) to the body so we have been unable to check the originality of the switches. Bought from a well respected US dealer, the guitar has the shops appraisal card that mentions the rewound bridge pickup. The rewound bridge pickups measure 8K with the neck pickup measuring 5.79K.

Being a short-scale student model the guitar feels compact and easy to play. The neck measures 20.78mm at the first fret, and 22.33mm at the 12th with a nut width of 40.42mm. Despite the smaller dimensions the guitar feels great to play after only a short time adapting. The Fender single coil pickups sound excellent with all the chime and bell like ring that Mustang pickups are associated. The mismatched output between the neck and bridge pickup means that the pickups balance nicely with the in and out of phase tones both sound excellent. The guitar comes with the correct Fender Mustang case in slightly scruffy condition.