Debuting at the June 1987 NAMM show the Strat Plus was an entirely new model for Fender for whom the mid-eighties had been a significant time of regeneration and growth. The company had been bought from CBS by a team headed up by Bill Shultz and as a result a new factory in Corona had been built, the Fender Custom Shop had been established and the successful partnership with Fender Japan was in full swing. The Strat Plus was developed to be an upgraded version of the American Standard Strat and as a showcase for the newly designed Lace Sensor Pickups. The Strat Plus was a great success for Fender and would remain in the catalog until early 1999 when the model was succeeded by the American Deluxe Stratocaster.
This 1988 example is one of the nicest Strat Plus' we have had in the shop for quite a while, especially given that it’s from the first full year of production. It features all of the traits expected from these very early, desirable examples including: an E4 serial number neck, Wilkinson split nut and Sperzel locking tuners. The Strat Plus was offered with both Maple and Rosewood fingerboards and came in a large range of colours, some of witch were only available for certain periods of production. Lake Placid Blue is considered a very rare finish for the Strat Plus and was only offered in ’87 and ’88. The maple neck bears a 2/1/88 pencil date and is ink stamped Herbie Gastelum, one of Fenders longest serving Fender employees. The electronics are correct and untouched with three Gold Lace Sensor pickups, TBX tone control and pot dates dating to 1987.
This guitar originally hailed from Italy and comes with its Fender hangtags stamped “Bandiera Franco Roma”, Fender Strap and rectangular moulded Fender Case. The Strat Plus has become a collectable model in recent years, in part due to the large number of finishes the model was offered in, its place as one of the first new post CBS models and to being undervalued in the market for years. Now the earliest guitars are 35 years old good examples in rare finishes are getting harder to find with guitars like this one being perfect for collectors and player alike.