1962 Fender Stratocaster Guitar

Description: 1962 Fender Stratocaster guitar
Available: 1954 to present.
Collectibility Rating: B (slab), B- (veneer)
Production: no official (or unofficial) production numbers available.
General Comments:
The Fender Stratocaster guitar is probably the most popular solidbody electric guitar ever made. Early models (1954 to 1965, known as "pre-CBS" models, since CBS Broadcaster Company bought Fender in January 1965) are the most collectible. Originality and condition are the two most important features of a vintage Fender Stratocaster guitar, and Fender Strats do seem to have been easily modified (due to their "bolt together" nature).

1962 brought a number of changes to the Fender Stratocaster. The most mentionable is the change of the neck. In August 1962 Fender felt the "slab" rosewood fingerboard was too thick, and changed to a thinner "veneer" style. Instead of the bottom of the fingerboard being flat, it was now radiused just like the top playing surface of the fingerboard (making the rosewood much thinner). This changed the Strat's sound a bit, making it less full and less warm. Also in March 1962 Fender changed from a hand-written neck date on the butt of the neck to a rubber stamped date. The neck width was also part of the stamp, most commonly the "B" width. Paint procedures also changed in late 1962 with Fender now using a "stick" to hold the guitar in the neck pocket while painting the Stratocaster.

Serial number range for the 62 Fender Stratocaster are generally 72000 to 93000 (on the neck plate). If you need to figure out the exact year of your pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster, use the serial number and the general features of the guitar. The serial number is located on the back metal neck plate. See the Fender Serial Number Info web page for help determining the year.

If you have a vintage pre-CBS Fender Stratocaster guitar for sale, please let me know. I am a private vintage guitar collector (not a store), and you can contact me at cfh@provide.net

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1962 Fender Stratocaster guitar specs:

  • Peghead decal logo now has 3 patent numbers (2,960,900 added)
  • March 1962 is the last month for a "penciled" neck date on the butt of the neck (only seen if neck removed). After March 1962, the neck date is now stamped with a rubber stamp, starting with the number "2" (to signify a Stratocaster neck). For example, "2APR62B" (where the "B" signifies a 1 5/8" nut width).
  • Body dates are becoming less common.
  • The 3-way CRL switch still has angled sides, but the bakelite material that holds the switch contacts is lighter and less fiberous in color.
  • Neck screws change from being partially threaded, to being fully threaded their whole length. This applies to the tremolo claw screws too.

Mid 1962 Fender Stratocaster guitar specs:

  • Veneer Rosewood fingerboard. Bottom of fingerboard (part glued to maple) is arched. Happens 8/62, around serial number 81000.

Late 1962 Fender Stratocaster guitar specs:

  • Neck pocket no longer entirely painted. Instead a "paint stick" (a piece of wire conduit hammered flat) is used to hold the body during the painting process. This leaves a bare area on the bass side of the neck pocket with no paint.

A slab-board 1962 Fender Stratocaster guitar with original brown tolex case. (note the change to a dark red case interior).

A slab-board blond 1962 Fender Stratocaster with an Ash body and gold parts.
This is known as the Mary Kay model, because the singer Mary Kay posed for
a promotional Fender ad holding a blond Fender Stratocaster with gold parts.
The body date is 9/62 and the neck date is May 62.

Starting in 1962 the neck screws became threaded their full length.

After March 1962, the neck date at the butt is now ink stamped instead of hand written.
The "2" is the code for a Stratocaster neck, and the "B" is the normal neck width (and "A"
being the narrowest, and "C" being wider). This neck is clearly a "slab" style, with the
bottom edge of the fingerboard being flat.

The body date of 9/62 can be barely seen below the see-thru blond finish.

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