Fender Champion Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1953)

Fender  Champion Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1953)
This item has been sold.
Item # 9893
Prices subject to change without notice.
Fender Champion Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1953), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 2628, yellow pearloid finish, hardwood body.

This 1953 Champion is a prime example of Fender's "bread and butter" lap steel guitar from the first half of 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 serial number 2628 is stamped on the bridgeplate where the strings anchor through the body. The pots and wiring are original with a visible date code indicating one pot dates to the 21st week of 1952, with a firmer date provided by Gloria's masking tape signature indicating she wired this Champ up on April 20, 1953.

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". Sadly many of these early Champs have sacrificed their pickups to provide the engine for vintage Telecaster recreations -- this one has fortunately avoided that fate. It remains pretty much as Gloria put it together, a fine-sounding steel guitar with a bright, singing tone and a genuine early 1950s Fender 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.).

This Champion shows general wear overall, but still looks and plays fine. The only really noticeable damage is at the bottom of the body where a decent sized piece of the plastic covering has flaked away, and one smaller chip near the bass side of the fingerboard. The back is devoid of the original flocking and has some deeper dings and dents but the top is comparatively clean. The only alteration to the instrument is repro Kluson strip tuners, probably put on after the buttons on the originals crumbled. There are some dings and marks on the fingerboard and minor loss to the stenciled graphics. The heart of the guitar -- the all-important original Telecaster-style pickup and electronics -- remains fully intact and sounding fantastic. This steel arrived with no case (the original chipboard likely crumbled long ago) but a 3/4 size guitar gig bag can be supplied if desired. Very Good + Condition.