The First Fender Stratocaster — Video


George Gruhn from vintage guitar specialists, Gruhn Guitars,  talks about the very first Stratocaster hand made by Leo Fender. The first known Strat with a serial, dated from April 1954.

Many consider David Gilmour to be the owner of the first, however although his Strat bears the serial number 0001, it’s not the first. Its unusual color for the time and gold hardware suggest his may have been made as part of a special custom order, with the true original Stratocaster actually bearing the serial number 0100.

Most of the clip below covers Fender’s early history, however if you would like to just hear a demonstration of the rare instrument you can jump ahead to around the 18:30 mark.


2 Comments on The First Fender Stratocaster — Video

  1. Eldon Shamblin owns one of the very first ones. Eldon has since passed but somebody has it now.


    • How ironic. When I took my 1963 Strat to George Gruhn for evaluation about 10 years ago he trashed Fenders as “erector set” guitars. I can still hear him talking on the phone to somebody while I was waiting for him: “I have to go evaluate this guy’s Stratocaster – not one of my favorite guitars.” I had stripped the sunburst finish off in college so he begrudgingly stated, “I would go $12-five…not a penny more.” That’s twelve thousand five hundred dollars. I paid $160.00 for it and have only one comment, to quote Charlton Heston: “from my cold, dead hands.” I have played it for over 40 years. Personally I love the natural appearance. On the way out the door I passed by a 1962 Strat in a display case with a price tag of 29K.


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