Fender Competition Mustang Solid Body Electric Guitar (1971)

Fender  Competition Mustang Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1971)
$9,000.00 + shipping
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Item # 11366
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Fender Competition Mustang Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1971), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 306233, Lake Placid Blue with Racing Stripe finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original grey hard shell case.

This is a truly beautiful original example of one of Fender's more Whimsical late 1960s creations, the Competition Blue Mustang. This guitar was built in 1970-71, around the middle of the run for the "Competition" version of the model but still sporting the matching headstock finish that was discontinued soon after it was made. These upgraded Mustangs were introduced in the May 1969 issue of FENDER FACTS. They were intended to freshen up the model's appeal, incorporating "added features and all new styling". The Blue metallic "car" finish and "racing" stripe on the body (and a snazzy matching headstock) were meant to evoke the hot rod culture "The Kids" were thought to be digging at the time. "Competition Mustangs hit the line" was the headline "three diagonal competition stripes race across the body -- big, bold, bright".

This one has an early (and illegible) "Green code" stamped on the neck heel; the pots dated to the 51st week of 1970 suggesting it was assembled in early 1971. Competition Mustangs were available for a few years from 1969 into the early '70s and while not overly rare are not nearly as plentiful as earlier 1965-66 versions. Only the early first year or two models were finished out with the matching headstock, making this late example an even snazzier find! The body had an added arm cut like a Stratocaster, but otherwise the splashier finish was the main attraction. The finish was described in the Fender promo as "Burgundy with light blue stripe" but is very close to the Lake Placid Blue Metallic already in the Fender spray palette.

Originally introduced in mid-1964, the Mustang series was one of Leo Fender's last major original designs for the company that bore his name. Although intended as a student model, the easy handling short scale guitar with vibrato has been used by many professionals over the decades since and endured as a classic in its own right. The Mustang has proved a timeless favorite of countless garage and pro bands from the 1960s and '70s until today, easily exceeding Leo's original intentions as a simple but effective student instrument.

The FENDER FACTS introductory piece mentions left-handed examples are available "by special order". Decades later one of these early rare southpaw blue models ended up in Kurt Cobain's hands, making this version forever associated with his legend. He called it his favorite guitar, and this matching-head example is still a close right-handed approximation of that instrument.
Overall length is 39 3/4 in. (101 cm.), 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 5/8 in. (4.1 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.)., 7.4 lbs.

This little blue hot rod appears very little used, played only rarely over the past 52+ years. The finish has not faded too much but the yellowing of the clear lacquer overcoat has given the blue a subtly almost turquoise tinge that we find quite attractive! The original more "true-blue" hue can be clearly seen on the unexposed areas of the body. The finish has a nice lightly aged patina and has some very minor scuffing, dings, chips and dents but overall is quite well preserved.

Everything on the guitar remains original. The hardware is relatively clean with some light corrosion and complete even including the snap-on bridge cover and trem arm. The pearloid pickguard shows considerably less shrinkage than most, and has no crackled or broken corners as many do. There is some minor fingerboard and fret wear in the lower positions, but not enough to affect playability. The original case is solid showing some general wear but all the latches are still present. Overall this is a superb example of one of CBS/Fender's cooler late 1960's ideas, and except for not being "upside down" the correct "Cobain" version. Overall Excellent + Condition.