Fender Champion Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1950)

Fender  Champion Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1950)
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$1,400.00 + shipping
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Item # 8951
Prices subject to change without notice.
Fender Champion Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1950), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 1307, yellow pearloid finish, hardwood body, original tweed hard shell case.

This 1950 Champion is a very early example of Fender's "bread and butter" lap steel guitar from the 1950s. Although designed as a student instrument, the Champion Steel was -- and remains -- a great-sounding guitar fully suited to professional use then or now. The flashy plastic-covered symmetrical two-bout body has a chrome bridge and cover plate with dome-top knurled knobs. The very low serial number "1307" is stamped on the bridgeplate where the strings anchor through the body; the pots are original with the visible date code indicating manufacture during the 21st week of 1950. All the screws are slot-head.

The metal fingerboard plate pinned to the body has black paint screening to outline fret positions. The headstock has metal facing with integral nut stamped with lighting bolt logo and "Fender Electric Instrument Co. Fullerton, California". Over the years many Champs have sacrificed their pickups to provide the engine for vintage Telecaster recreations -- this one has avoided that fate. A very cool steel guitar, a fine-sounding player, and a genuine early 1950s Fender Broadcaster-era instrument at a relatively reasonable price!
 
Overall length is 29 3/4 in. (75.6 cm.), 7 1/2 in. (19 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 1/2 in. (572 mm.). Width of nut is 2 1/4 in. (57 mm.).

Overall very fine original condition overall, with some light general wear. The early Broadcaster-era pickup was just perfectly rewound by coil-and-wire guru Tom Brantley and sounds transcendent. The (non-safety-slot) Kluson Deluxe tuners are newer...everything else is as it left Fullerton in 1950. The original first version of the classic tweed HSC is endearingly cheaply made, a reminder of how little the Fender company started out with. A really cool historic piece of the Leo Fender story and a great-sounding steel for the ages. Excellent Condition.