Here’s a vintage 1972 Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. This particular example, serial number 370986, has been seriously played and worn, compounded by the fact that it has been exposed to smoke and exorbitant sunlight. What remains is a highly reliced large headstock/single string tree Strat, fit for a serious player. The next best thing to a “With Synchronized Tremolo” model from the late-’60s, this is basically the same in every respect, aside from that simple decal detail. Clearly this example is not in collector’s condition, however, what it lacks in preservation it more than compensates with genuine mojo.
Serial Number: 370986
Pot Codes: 137-7234 (CTS)
Weight: 8 lbs. 2 oz.
Pickup Stamp: 342
This ’72 Strat features: the original polyurethane Sunburst finish, a 3-bolt maple neck with skunk stripe, a rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays, (2) original gray bobbin single coil pickups, large headstock with a single string tree (pre ’73), a bullet truss rod construction, the original w/b/w pickguard and corresponding plastic parts, the original tremolo with (5) springs, the original “F” tuning machines, all of the original electronics, and the sticker on the back of the headstock from the Italian music store it was originally purchased at.
As can be seen in the photos, this Strat has been heavily played. The original owner wore through the finish and unfortunately lightly over sprayed the areas where the paint was flaking off. The back of the neck was also lightly over sprayed, though the headstock was left untouched. While this appears to be removable, I will leave that up to the next owner to decide.
The two (bridge and middle) original gray bobbin/back pickups both retain original wiring and sound absolutely incredible. In my opinion, this era pickup is slightly bolder than those made prior. Both pickups are warm, rich and loud. The neck pickup was replaced with a late-70s era Strat pickup.
The neck is perfectly straight, and the very comfortable soft open-C shape neck profile is an ease to play. The original frets display expected wear, though the guitar is still very playable. While I didn’t do the action the justice it deserves, I feel a competent luthier could make this guitar into a marvelous musical masterpiece.