1962 Left-Handed, Olympic White Fender Stratocaster
Appraised Value: $48,000 (2008)
IMAGE: 1 of 0
Appraisal Video: (2:30)
Amati Violin Shop, Inc.
GUEST: This was given to my father for his 11th birthday in October of 1962. I know that it's a left-handed Fender Stratocaster. I know that it was special-ordered, however, not by my grandfather, who bought it for him, but somebody else who didn't have the money to pay for it. And so it was available just sort of on a fluke. And that's about all I know.
APPRAISER: And this is your father here?
GUEST: Yeah, this is him, posing with it.
APPRAISER: Well, this is a Fender Stratocaster. It was so popular at that time. All the great rock bands of the time-- the Ventures, the Beach Boys-- they all used this guitar. What makes this guitar a little bit more unusual is it's a left-handed model, and so, being left-handed, of course the headstock is turned backwards. The other thing that makes this particularly interesting is the fingerboard on this. It's what we call a slab fingerboard. Later in the year, they changed to a different style of fingerboard. Makes it a little more exceptional. Because of the serial numbers on the instrument, we can tell the year the instrument was made. We know it was in 1962. You have a sales brochure from 1962
APPRAISER: showing this model Stratocaster for $289. Now, this is what we call a custom-ordered instrument in that the color of the instrument, this Olympic white, was a custom color, it was a special order.
APPRAISER: And the left-handed would have been a special order at the time, too. You can also see that the white is in very good condition. This guitar is just almost perfect shape. There's very little wear on the instrument at all. This was a very light guitar. Made it very easy to play. These instruments are highly desirable today because of the way they play, the history behind them. Being a left-handed model, it makes it a little bit harder to sell, because there's fewer people out there buying them as opposed to a standard right-handed model. I've consulted with my colleagues on this, and we believe that in this preservation-- you have the original case and everything-- we would put a value at retail of $48,000 on it.
GUEST: (laughing silently) Are you serious?
APPRAISER: I'm serious. (laughing)
GUEST: Oh, my.
APPRAISER: I'm as excited as you are. It's a great guitar and it's just, uh, it's really fun to see it.
GUEST: Wow, thank you! My dad is going to be very surprised. Maybe I'll sell it back to him.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.