Fender Stratocaster - Rare Features of Early Reissues

There are a few rare features among these early Fender American Reissue Stratocasters that affect the instruments desirability among collectors.  If you have an early reissue with one of these options consider yourself lucky, as these guitars are sure to appreciate in value more so than standard reissues.  Some guitars have several of these rare features, making these the most desirable to collectors.  Some rare features such as custom color and red bottom pickups can can affect the price on an instrument by more than 50%.  Here we will outline several of these rare features.  Please keep in mind that several of the guitars featured on this website have rare features such as red bottom pickups and custom colors, that is because The Fender Reissue Shop seeks out the rarest and most sought after instruments.

1.  Custom colors.  Perhaps the rarest feature are custom colors such as Lake Placid Blue, Fiesta Red, Candy Apple Red, Black, Vintage White.  Lake Placid Blue, Fiesta Red, and Candy Apple Red are by far the rarest custom colors.  From our experience only about 5-7% of Fullerton era reissues were finished in one of these custom colors.  Due to the extreme rarity of Fullerton era custom color reissues these often fetch about 50% more than their sunburst counterparts.

Lake Placid Blue custom color for Fullerton era reissues

Candy Apple Red custom color for Fullerton era reissues

Fiesta Red custom color for Fullerton era reissues

Vintage White custom color for Fullerton era reissues

Black custom color for Fullerton era reissues


2.  Red bottom and grey bottom pickups.  Red bottom and grey bottom pickups are only found on the very first reissues produced in 1982.  From our experience about 1/2 of reissues with serial number below V003000 or so have either the red bottom or grey bottom pickups.  Taking into account that about 13,000 Reissue Strats were made between 1982-1984 (Roughly 16,000 minus roughly 3000 P basses and Jazz basses that shared the V00 Serial numbers) that means less than 10% of fullerton reissues have either these red bottom or grey bottom pickups.  The grey bottom pickups are rarer than the red bottom pickups.  These rare red bottom pickups do show up in the marketplace once in a while and on several occasions I have seen sets sell for over $1000.  Due to their rarity, an all original reissues with red bottom pickups can fetch up to 50% more than their more common black bottom pickup counterparts.

  • Rare red bottom pickup set

  • Rare grey bottom pickup set



3.  Neck pocket with serial number stamp.  This is one of the rarest features found on these early Fullerton era reissues.  Only a few reissue instruments left the factory with this serial number sticker.  Consider yourself lucky if you have an early reissue with this feature!

  • Neck pocket sticker with V000938 stamp

  • Neck pocket sticker with V002479 stamp



4.  Factory body routing.  Factory routing within the control cavities and pickup cavities was only seen on the very first reissue to come out of the Fullerton, Ca plant in 1982.  This was due to pickup assemblies not fitting in body cavities when the reissues first rolled off the assembly line. They fixed this by quickly routing the finished bodies with a handheld router in order to make the pickup assemblies fit.  The very earliest reissues may have the entire control cavity and all 3 pickup cavities routed.  More commonly, just a portion of the control cavity and the bridge pickup cavity were routed.

  • Factory pin routing in control cavity

  • Factory pin routing in control cavity