1963 Fender Stratocaster Guitar

Description: 1963 Fender Stratocaster guitar
Available: 1954 to present.
Collectibility Rating: B-
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).

1963 did not bring any huge change to the Fender Stratocaster (compared to late 1962 models). The one subtle change is the movement of one pickguard screw, located between the neck and middle pickups. Other similar very subtle changes were seen. Probably the biggest change was the Tolex case material was now white with black leather ends (instead of brown Tolex and brown leather ends as used in 1959 to 1962).

Serial number range for the 63 Fender Stratocaster are generally 93000 to 99999 or L00001 to L20000 (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

See the previous year's 1962 Fender Stratocaster guitar.
See the next year's 1964 & 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar.

Back to the main Fender Vintage Guitar Info webpage

Early 1963 Fender Stratocaster guitar specs:

  • Location of the pickguard screw between the neck and middle pickup is moved about 1/2" towards the middle pickup.
  • Bridge saddles' "Fender Pat.Pend" stamping is more pronounced.
  • Contouring of the body is slightly less dramatic.
  • By late 1963, body dates were no longer used.
  • By late 1963 the 3-way CRL switch changes to the "half moon" shape instead of having the angled sides.

A 1963 Fender Stratocaster guitar with original white tolex case.
No body date.

The "veneer" style fingerboard can be seen on this neck (the bottom edge of
the rosewood is curved, compared to the earlier "slab" style fingerboard
where the bottom edge is flat). Also notice the change in how the body is
held during painting, leaving a naked area with no paint in the neck pocket.

No body date for the 1963 Fender Stratocaster, which is typical.

* Email the collector cfh@provide.net
* Go to main Vintage Guitar Info webpage
* Go to main Fender Vintage Guitar Info webpage