Fender’s custom shop have produced a limited edition 1963 Heavy Relic® Stratocaster guitar.
Why is this interesting? Fender are building a new guitar but with parts, wood and finish that make it look old. Really old. As if an old Delta bluesman had died and left you his pride and joy in his will. A guitar that looks as if it was played every day for hours on end. Except it costs more than a brand spanking new one, because of the extra work involved in this additional manufacturing process.
If this was hung from the wall of some scummy pawn shop in a bad part of town would anyone buy it? This is just the kind of thing that afternoon TV would suggest as an ideal restoration project. Strip it down, sand it, paint it, lacquer it, new pickups and wiring and it’ll be as good as new.
I like it because it isn’t just an old Fender Stratocaster. How do they age the metal parts and the wood? How do they chip away at the paint and wear it down so that it doesn’t look as if it’s been done with a purpose? When it’s done it isn’t just an manufactured product it’s comparable to a work of art.
Why have Fender started this custom shop? There is obviously a market for these guitars and amps. In 50 years time would you buy a Heavy Relic® iPhone 4S? It does seem to work with some things and not others. Jeans are another thing that benefit from being distressed. Any electronics, cars and houses, not so much. Would anyone want a Ford Capri that had ripped vinyl seats, paint chips and a rusted chrome bumper?
Luckily for Fender their guitars are ageless. Not something you can say about iPods and iPhones.
(via The Loop)