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Here is an old MIJ gem which I initially purchased to use as the basis for a hot-rod Tele® for my own use, but which turned out to be so original and immaculate I couldn't bring myself to modify it.

This guitar displays the very earliest Fernandes logo, the traditional gold 'spaghetti' logo, which was used only in the initial two years of production (1973 and 1974). There is a serial number - 60204 - stamped into the fretboard just past the last fret, but I have not been able to determine any production date (or anything else!) from this number despite lots of research. In the original years, all Fernandes guitars were manufactured by Kawai Gakki under OEM contract.

This is quite a heavy Tele®, weighing in at 4.5kg (9.9 pounds). The body under the translucent finish appears to be Ash, although one source has quoted these as having a Maple body. The neck is definitely Maple, and made as per the Fender® it copies with a contrasting Rosewood 'skunk stripe' finishing the truss rod rout. Tuners are the original high-quality Gotoh units.

When I purchased this guitar, I had assumed the pick guard had been cut and modified, and I was planning to install a new single-ply black guard along with a pair of nice Kinman® pickups. However, I was surprised to see when I removed the guard that this was clearly the shape of the guard from new - the yellowing of the finish clearly showed the same line (the original finish under the guard is a lot paler - see the last few photographs in the 'more pictures' link below), and the screw hole on the guitar's 'horn' has clearly never had a pick guard screw installed. So, in the interests of originality, I have left everything as it was.

Pickups are powerful and extremely biting. In fact, I find they probably 'out-Tele' a Tele®! Extremely trebly and with a distinct 'quack' to the bridge pickup. My tastes run a little more rounded, and I would install a pair of Kinmans (or Fralins or similar) if I was to play the guitar regularly, but players with a cleaner, more country style may well appreciate the pickups as they are. They're definitely the originals, along with the rest of the electronics.

Also original, and virtually mint, is the Fender®-style plush-lined hard shell case (see the photo in the 'more pictures' link below). Truly amazing, and the case shows why the guitar is in such freakishly good condition. As with the frets, there is barely a sign the guitar has ever been touched in its 35 years or so.

Sold to Clinton

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