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Fender / Stratocaster / 1955 / Ash / Guitar

A stunning ash Stratocaster body from 1955 anyone?

Not a commonly seen item here at ATB Guitars but this one has an interesting story. The body had been in Mike’s possession for well over 15 years having been bought as part of a sale, maybe on eBay many years ago, but the the exact details of which are lost to time. When moving house recently, in the sifting that often happen on such occasions, this body surfaced along with some other reproduction parts and they made their way to the showroom. 

At this stage it must be pointed out that this body had been refinished in a thick poly which, though a little transparent, did hide its true pedigree. New parts always cause a frisson of excitement at ATB HQ and the sight of ash grain hidden under the plastic layer was enough to warrant getting the heat gun out. Dafydd spent a few hours peeling back the finish, revealing the body that you see before you. 

Having suspected that this might be more than a reproduction, the tremolo cavity was first port of call where the pencilled date was revealed. As more of the finish was removed further clues made themselves known. Nail holes and the tell-tale dowl holes can be clearly seen as is the worm-hole rout underneath the bridge pickup. As there was no finish present at all under the poly and there is no sign of sanding at all and we surmise that the body was chemically stripped, or caustic dipped to remove all of the original finish.

As you can see, this is a stunning piece of wood that is just begging to be finished correctly. The grain is exquisite and really shows off the contours of the stratocaster shape. As it hasn’t been sanded, none of the contours have been re-profiled and it has never been molested by extra routing, screw holes or any other nastiness aside from two extra holes in the neck pocket, probably put there during its likely many refinishes in the past. 

It would make a fine project for someone and the end result would be a lightweight, mainly one piece ash bodied Strat with one of the finest grain patterns we have seen. It is probably begging to be finished in blonde but would look equally stunning in sunburst…

If you’re looking the final piece of the puzzle or to embark on a new project, this is a great place to start.

Instrument sold

ATB Guitars, UK  

Contact name:
Mike Long
Vintage Gibson, Fender and Martin from 1940's-1970's
Opening hours:
24 hours

Hello we’re ATB Guitars.

We are one of Europes leading sellers of vintage and rare guitars. We only sell vintage Gibson and Fender electric guitars from 1950 until 1975 and have an extensive inventory to browse in our bricks and mortar store in Cheltenham, UK or in our online web store.

Payment and p/x:

All prices are in UK GBP £ Sterling. Payment can be made by Paypal, bank transfer, cash, or money order cashiers cheque etc. 

Should you not be absolutely delighted with your purchase you may return it to Cheltenham, at your own expense, within 7 days from the date of delivery for a full refund. The item must not have been altered or tampered with in any way, and it must arrive in the same condition as it left us.

Postage and shipping:

We ship within the UK by Royal Mail Recorded (small items under 2Kg), TNT or UPS and Worldwide by Royal Mail Airmail Signed For (small under 2Kg) Parcelforce, UPS or FedEx. All shipping prices include expert packing, cartons and packing materials but not insurance which is typically around 2% of items value. Currently approx shipping rates for a single guitar are as follows:

UK excluding Northern Ireland and Highlands £29
Most of mainland Europe £49
U.S.A. £129
Asia £149 - £190
Rest of World including S. America £149 - £275


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