Fender Competition Mustang Solid Body Electric Guitar (1969)

Fender  Competition Mustang Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1969)
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Item # 11808
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Fender Competition Mustang Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1969), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 262766, Candy Apple Red with Racing Stripe finish, alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This is a nicely original, generally well-preserved 1969 Competition Red Fender Mustang, completely unaltered appearing only relatively lightly played but never abused. This guitar was built near the beginning of the run for the rather whimsical "Competition" version of the model. These were introduced in the May 1969 issue of FENDER FACTS to freshen up the model's appeal, incorporating "added features and all new styling". The red metallic "car" finish and "racing" stripe on the body (and a snazzy matching headstock) were meant to evoke the car 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 a neck stamped JUN 69B and pots dated to the 42nd week of 1966, marking it as part of the first wave of the new style and one of the last of the cool original 1960s models. The pickups are stamped '1619' and in the neck pocket is "Wired by Y Sandoval". 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 so models were finished out with the matching headstock, making this one an even snazzier find! The body had an added arm cut like a Stratocaster, but otherwise the splashier finish was the main attraction.

Originally introduced in mid-1964, the Mustang series was Leo Fender's last major original design 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.
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.).
This guitar is largely original and unaltered and relatively clean overall, showing some light wear overall. The metallic red lacquer on the body has retained excellent color with a nice deep red hue and hardly any fade; the headstock face has faded a bit lighter. The body finish overall shows some small dings, chips and dents but no major wear. The neck finish is very clean not worn through at all.

The pickups and electronics are all original and unaltered, with original solder joints. The pearloid pickguard shows less shrinkage than most, and has no crackled or broken corners as many do. The original hardware is relatively clean with some light corrosion mostly to the bridge and is complete except the snap-on bridge cover is long gone and the trem arm is of more recent vintage.

There is some fingerboard and fret wear in the lower positions, but not enough to adversely affect playability. The case is a period black tolex Fender hardshell that is a grade up from what this model usually came stock with; perhaps someone shelled out a few extra bucks in 1969 for the better piece. Overall this is a very nice example of one of CBS/Fender's cooler late 1960's ideas. Overall Excellent - Condition.