Fender Mustang Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966)

Fender  Mustang Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1966)
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Item # 11066
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Fender Mustang Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 156763, red lacquer finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original grey hard shell case.

This is a lightly played in but overall decently preserved 1966 Fender Mustang, mostly original and showing just some general cosmetic wear. It was made just about two years after the model's debut in the second half of 1964 and shows no changes from the first examples except for pearloid dots on the fingerboard in place of the "clay" versions. The Mustang was Fender's classiest student guitar, basically the same as the Duo-Sonic II with the addition of the new "Dynamic vibrato" tailpiece and floating bridge. Light, easy to handle and quite versatile with its in/out of phase pickup options the model was instantly hugely successful. While never promoted as a professional guitar it has proved a timeless favorite of countless garage bands and even many pro players through the 1960s and '70s right until today.

The body on this example sports a deep red lacquer finish with virtually no yellowing or fade, since the clear lacquer overcoat used on the higher-grade Fenders was not sprayed over the color coat. The pickguard is laminated plastic with a snazzy pearloid top layer. The rosewood-fingerboard maple neck has a 24" scale length, the same as the Jaguar and longer than the earlier 1950s Fender student models. The heel is stamped August 1966, with both pots coded to the 18th week of that year. The grey-bobbin pickups are hand dated, one to the 9th of September 1966, the other to the 30th. The body is stamped "ES" under the finish, usually interpreted as "Entered Special" although we donít detect anything particularly special about the instrument!

At this time this one was made the Fender Mustang was the most popular electric guitar in the world. Sales peaked with a staggering nearly 18,000 units shipped in 1966 alone, far more than any other competitive instrument. This is a nice original example, played in a bit with some dings and dents but functionally unaltered and still a great little guitar. Like its contemporary automotive namesake the early Mustang remains an American classic and still represents the best deal in an original 1960s Fender instrument.
 
Overall length is 39 1/2 in. (100.3 cm.), 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/2 in. (3.8 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 in. (610 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This guitar shows some wear but remains mostly original, with just a few later parts. One of the sometimes troublesome switches was changed long ago, but the pickups and all other wiring remain original. The trem arm is recent and the nut is newer. All other parts remain as they left Fullerton in 1966. The all-original finish is relatively clean on the face with checking and small dings, scuffs and dents; the sides and back show more wear especially the rear edge. The hardware has only fairly light wear; the tone knob has a couple of impact chips.

The back of the neck is comparatively clean with some light wear to the wood and feels nicely played in. There is some minor checking to the headstock and logo decal is nicely intact, often not the case with '65-6s. The frets are original, crowned down a bit some time back with some fairly light wear in the lower positions. This is a good player with two strong pickups that blend well together for the typical phased Mustang tones. The original case is still intact with some external wear. Even if not the absolute cleanest we have had this is still a nice ready-to-gig 58 year old Fender with a cool vibe. Overall Excellent - Condition.