Fender Mustang. Many years ago, perhaps 2006 or 2007 I had major want for a Japanese MG69 in Sherwood Green and one in Burgundy Mist. After much discussion with Fender Japan, they confirmed they had no ability to do Sherwood Green, it was not a color that was available in their japan factory. However since they were doing Burgundy Mist Metallic ST62 Stratocasters they mentioned that they could do a special run of MG69 Mustangs in burgundy mist metallic with or without a matching headstock. I progressed with them further and it was advised that to perform the special run they would need a minimum order of 12 pieces, which I tried to negotiate the Fender Japan dealer to front with me buying 6 of them and the dealer having 6 to sell in their store. For whatever reason, the dealer did not want to do this and was firm that I had to buy all 12 pieces in order for it to happen. This was at a time where it seemed like the factory was churning out MG69/MH in CAR and RED with no imagination for other colors. Or maybe it was just for the anime character that was using them. Episode Four Anyway I was seriously considering making the purchase and onselling the surplus ones. After running the sums it seemed like maybe i would break even on the ones i sold if i got lucky, or lose a bunch of money on each guitar. In any event it was something that I wanted to do but not bad enough to drop the hammer. As we would later find out in 2008 the whole world pretty much ran out of money, probably from buying too many guitars. I don’t recall much from after that time, I think like everyone the focus shifted from trawling ebay and other sites for gear to other more pertinent issues related to the economy. I think someone at the time, probably here, stated that the economic crisis came at around the same time where ebay for the last 10 years had basically dragged out all the vintage inventory from peoples attics all over the USA and redistributed those guitars to folks all over the world. It had gotten to the point where the vintage inventory on ebay had reached critical mass, and all the folks that had wanted those vintage guitars were able to get them and probably had 2 or 3 or more of them procured off ebay already. NAMM 2013 So early in 2013 the NAMM pictures started to surface. With little warning or fanfare it was discovered that Fender Custom Shop did a color wall of the Mustangs for 2013. Unbelievable day. It was difficult however to get any kind of detailed information about these mustangs at that time. There was no listing on the Fender Custom Shop website, no one on the Fender forums commented in great detail about them. And Mike Eldred only made a passing comment about them at the show. NAMM 2013 Fender Mustang Color Wall (For some reason the Fender color walls don’t seem to include Candy Apple Red, Charcoal Frost Metallic, or the Silver & Gold variations. Although there seems to be Shoreline Gold included here.) Over the coming days it came out that these Custom Shop Mustangs retailed at $6000 US dollars, at a time where a master built rosewood telecaster was going for around $7000 US. After some research it became obvious why these custom shop mustangs debuted in NAMM 2013. Fender Custom shop had released in 2012 the Char Free Spirits & Pink Loud Mustangs and had spent extensive time tooling up to produce a Mustang in the US, which had not been done since the early 1980's. In fact according to some comments made by Char, he had been requesting or working with Fender as early as 2010 to get some Mustangs made by the custom shop. So possibly Fender made 100 or so Char mustangs in their run during 2012, and probably catered for extra as part of the 2013 NAMM show. These NAMM mustangs were mostly made late in 2012. It is implied that two of each color were made, but possibly four of each color were made according to one source. The reality of the situation though were that these Fender Custom Shop mustangs were retailing for between $4500 (Freespirits) $5000 (PinkLoud) - $6000 (NAMM) and at that time really placed them in outer space, even for the most rabid Mustang fan, although people were apparently buying them, maybe just the dealers. Just a dream In any event, it seemed like complete fantasy and I never really considered buying one. Like most people, the collecting bug comes in ebbs and flows so I never really gave much more thought to it. In fact the last two or three years maybe even Fender themselves had changed. It seems like they have been fragmenting their Custom Shop offerings so much, and there is such a huge oversupply of these guitars in the channel of all sorts of different makes and models, that the surplus has kind of made them readily and easily available in terms of inventory. In fact they are churning out so many different models year on year, that it seems like by the time the consumer can save up enough scratch to get one, the model is already 2 or 3 years old. I remember many years ago the 1966 stratocaster was reissued by the custom shop and it took me about 4 years later to make the "impulse" purchase on a second hand example, as these guitars are so expensive. Its difficult to buy these guitars like candy at their price point. They are being marketed as premium and exclusive, but they are being manufactured liked candy. Wildwood alone probably has shifted about a thousand units of wildwood 10’s For a number of reasons I got back into looking up Fender Custom Shop models recently, and to my surprise there were a bunch of these Fender Custom Shop NAMM mustangs still unsold all over the world. As luck would have it, there were about 8 colors at various dealers available and by sheer luck those colors included Burgundy Mist & Sherwood Green. Exactly the colors I wanted on a Japanese Mustang, but now on available on the Custom Shop model. The difficulty was deciding which one to buy, I liked the colors. They had all been discounted heavily but were still very expensive even at that point. I thought long and hard about which one to buy and finally made a decision. Why not buy both. Arrival Day. These are gorgeous guitars. My first impression on taking it out of the case was this is not a $6000 US guitar. It is not a $3000 US guitar. In fact as lovely as they are, I do think I paid a premium just to have them, if only for the colors alone. I do truly think that the excessive cost of these mustangs are due to covering the costs of retooling the custom shop to do Mustangs. If they only made between 130 - 160 of these guitars (including the chars) over 12 months during 2012, i get it, I get why they cost so much when they can amortize Stratocasters and Telecasters over thousands of units. The first thing that stood out upon opening the case was the wrong color white switches and creamish white pickup covers. I changed these to black switches and covers before the day was out. It happened so quickly, I didn’t even bother taking photos of the original configuration. My biggest memory of that is examining the “relicing” on the switches, it looks like someone had aged them by wiping a yellowing agent over the switches with a cotton swab. Fender Custom Shop NAMM Mustangs So what is it? The Fender Custom Shop Mustang looks like a mixture of a couple of different mustang years, with some overall refinements. It is not an exact time machine duplicate of a 1965 or 1966 mustang, although it is predominately based vintage mustangs of that time frame. It is a slab body, very nicely beveled and refined, the shape is very similar and close to the Japanese MG69-BECK/CO shape and a vintage 1969 Competition Mustang, that is the body edged are very beveled, more than a standard Japanese MG69. The Fender Custom Shop mustang has no body contours. Although I would have preferred if it did have body contours.