Pre CBS Selmer European finishes

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bgwicks, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. bgwicks

    bgwicks Member

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    Hi,

    Apparently, in the early 60s Fender would ship strats to Europe with only the undercoat. Selmer would then finish the guitar in a custom color based on the customers wishes.

    Selmer was the authorised distributer and was liscenced to finish the color.

    Can anyone verify this. If true would a guitar painted in this was be considered an original finish or a re-fin.

    Thanks
     
  2. hogy

    hogy Member

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    This rumor has been around forever, but I have never seen proof.

    Alledgedly the English wanted their Strats to be red, like Hank's. I have indeed seen numerous "English" Strats that were painted a fiesta red like color over either sunburst or dakota red. I've also heard that color referred to as "coral pink", a color not listed in Fender's custom color chart at the time.

    Another tidbit, Fender didn't export their cases, only the guitars. Everytime you'd see a "coral pink" Strat that was painted over another color, it was in a faux croc Selmer case.
     
  3. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    The British Fiesta Red was certainly slightly different, we called it "Salmon Pink" 'cos it looked like the tins of Salmon available in the UK during that time.
    Yes, Hogy is right, everyone wanted their Strat to look like Hank's but the market then was very small and Strats very expensive compared to UK "weekly" wage at the time.
    If you look at my Chapin pictured in the Chapin (Partie Deux) thread - I requested the British type Fiesta Red which his painter (at the time) was well aware of (i.e. that it was different), although of course in David's immaculate photo it looks "redder" than it it is in "real life" - probably due to posting.
    I cannot corroborate whether Selmer used to paint them or what.

    Best, Pete.
     
  4. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Yes, that's the same color. I have heard it called both coral pink and salmon pink.

    There's also a story/interview somewhere where either Hank of Cliff talk about ordering "that guitar" from Fender and insisting that it was not fiesta red.

    Too bad we'll never know, as the guitar has long been refinished.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. bgwicks

    bgwicks Member

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    Thanks,

    I guess it is safe to say there is no verification of the Selmer spraying. There is a black 1963 strat that is for sale and the seller claims it was painted by Selmer in this way. I think it must be refin.
     
  6. Butterscotch

    Butterscotch Member

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    I bought a Fiesta Red Strat, (or whatever red it was then) in 1962. My guitar did not come from Selmer, but from Jennings Musical Industries, the makers of Vox. So, did both companies respray Fenders? It hardly seems likely!

    Mine arrived in a Fender shipping box, which, I'm almost certain, had a Santa Ana address. I could also, almost, say that the case was covered in tolex, but it's a loooong time ago!
     
  7. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Hey Butterscotch, Fender did export true Fiesta Red Strats at the time, I have one myself that was originally bought new in Germany. It is a standard fiesta red over that off white undercoat you typically see.

    The "Selmer" color I'm talking about is subtly different from a Fiesta Red, and whenever I have encountered that finish, it was always over an existing finish, and always in Selmer cases, and always originally from England.

    I have a photograph here of a '62 "Selmer" Strat I used to own, I'll see if I can scan it. It's "Salmon Pink" over Dakota Red over off-white undercoat.
     
  8. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Ha! And I'm trying to work out who you are!!!!
    Were you with The Jaywalkers or The Searchers by chance?

    Best, Pete.
     
  9. bgwicks

    bgwicks Member

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    I think in 1963 Selmer took over from Jennings as the distributer, so they were not the liscenced repairers distributers at the same time.
     
  10. Butterscotch

    Butterscotch Member

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    LOL. If only, Pete. The nearest I ever got to being famous was only in my own mind! I was a rabid fan of Hank though, back then!
     
  11. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    Yes, you're right - distribution in the UK went Jennings - Selmer - Arbiter. The timings seem sketchy (not surprisingly) but the Selmer site mentions L-series Strats being distributed in the UK with Croc-Skin cases (which is later than I recall).
    Definitive answers will probably be never known.

    Best, Pete.
     

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