Fender / Telecaster 'Smugglers' / 1967 / Blonde / Guitar

An interesting piece of Fender history, the 1967 Fender ‘Smugglers’ Telecaster.

With stocks of lightweight Ash dwindling, Roger Rossmeisl (prolific luthier who designed, amongst other things, Fender’s range of acoustics and hollow body guitars) was tasked with solving the problem. His initial idea was to remove wood from behind the pickguard which resulted in what’s been dubbed the ‘Smugglers’ Tele. Few were produced before the idea was shelved in favour of a more drastic approach that yield the Telecaster Thinline.

This guitar is in fine condition. The blonde refinish has been applied well and is a reasonably accurate reproduction of the original. From looking in the cavities it seems that the body was quite thoroughly stripped before paint was applied. 

The neck is an early example of a maple cap neck still with a nice transitional logo, dated May ‘67, 1967 being the first year it was officially available. The original finish shows no real signs of wear. The frets have some life left in them and the headstock and original decal are in good condition.

The hardware shows little sign of use. There is some corrosion on the saddles though this is not extensive. Elsewhere the chrome is in good shape.

When this guitar was refinished, instead of desoldering the pickups and jack socket the wires were cut to be re-spliced after the work was completed. This has been done neatly and has left all solder joints intact though these have been modified at some stage at the switch end as originally it would have been wired for ‘woof tone’. Apart from this the other joints look to be undisturbed. Pots are dated week 17 of 1966, a common feature it seems Fender bought a lot of potentiometers in 1966.

The guitar comes with its correct black Tolex hardshell case which is in very nice shape.

This guitar certainly delivers the classic tones tele tones, smoother neck pickup with a bitey bridge sound and nice blend when combinded. The neck is comfortable, medium size and sleek.

At once simple and versatile, the telecaster should feature in everyones guitar journey at some stage. These ‘Smugglers’ Teles offer an interesting insight into the developments of the guitar in the late 60s.

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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