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Earliest Known Strat for Sale in Nashville

Fender historian Richard Smith, author of Fender: The Sound Heard ‘Round the World, is selling his historic Fender Strat via consignment at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville.

Bearing serial number 0100, this guitar dates back to 1954 and is believed to be the first Strat shipped for retail sale. It features the standard two-tone sunburst finish used on early Fender models, with the serial number stamped on the tremolo cavity plate.

Smith purchased the guitar from the original owner more than 30 years ago.

Although Bob Dylan’s Newport Strat sold at auction for nearly $1 million last December, Gruhn Guitar owner George Gruhn believes this instrument is even more collectible.

“It’s the most popular electric guitar model in the world, and this is the first one,” Gruhn said in an interview with the Tennessean. “It wasn’t owned by a celebrity performer, but it was made by a celebrity maker. It’s like if you had a Picasso painting or a Van Gogh. Who’s the celebrity – the previous owner or the (piece of art)?”

Gruhn is asking $250,000 for the Strat.

Coincidentally, Fender is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Stratocaster this year.

 

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