The very first Fender Stratocaster goes on sale for $250K

I’m a long-time Strat fan and find this pretty amazing.

The sunburst-finish Strat bears the serial number 0100. Although some Strats have lower numbers that begin with 0001, Gruhn says they actually were manufactured later in that first year of production. He says the number-one Strat was sold to an amateur who evidently took good care of it.

Very interesting. I thought the earlier serial numbers were pre-production models. This is from the 0001 Strat Wikipedia entry:

The 0001 Strat is a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, with a white body, maple neck, three-way pick up selector and an unusual gold colour scratch plate and hardware. David Gilmour is the guitar’s current owner. He bought it from guitar technician Phil Taylor, who purchased it from Seymour Duncan. This guitar is one of the most notable in his collection as it has the 0001 serial number. Gilmour used the Guitar in the 2004 50th anniversary of the Stratocaster at Wembley Arena along with his Red Strat. It is not the first Fender Stratocaster ever made as prototypes had already been constructed before this one. The origin of the guitar is unknown, and isn’t clear whether it is the real 0001 Strat because the neck (which has the 0001 serial number on it) could have been taken off the original. The 0001 Strat, along with the Red Strat, was used in the 2004 Strat Pack show that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster.

I’d be very interested in knowing the true story here. Is a Strat with a serial number of, say #0019, a later model than the 0100 Strat? That hardly seems likely.

If someone is going to sell a Strat for $250K, there better be some damn well documented provenance.

UPDATE: Here’s a look at David Gilmour’s #0001 Strat (Hat tip to Pavan Rajam)

  • stsk

    Dave, it’s pretty common knowledge that Gilmour’s Strat number 1 is not the first production Strat, and the Wikipedia article is just sloppy in calling the earlier Strats “prototypes”. It’s hardly uncommon for companies, not just Fender, to start production runs with numbers other than “1″. George Gruhn is pretty much THE authority on collectible guitars, so if he says it, you’d have to be pretty confident to disagree. A quarter mil is about a quarter of what Blackie went for, and Clapton has always played a whole bunch of different guitars so a quarter of that for the first production Strat is pretty reasonable (in the completely insane world of collectible guitars.)

    • Dave Mark

      I appreciate the insight. Just seems odd to me that they would go back and start over with 1. But I know little about this space, totally accept what you are saying.

      All that said, I think this is incredibly cool.