1959 Fender Stratocaster – Roman Red
We present an all original and 100% complete 1959 Fender Stratocaster in Roman Red finish. Made in Fullerton, California.
This is not only a pre-CBS Stratocaster, it’s at the same time a pre-official Custom Color with the original and rare 9-hole Mint green pickguard. An extremely rare piece of history.
This 1959 Roman Red Fender Stratocaster was owned by Carl E. Bukowske (aka Carl Evans) from new until he passed away in 2016. He was a guitarist with The Spartans, the original RaVons and The Centaurs, then in 1961 became a founding member of The sentries, a popular band in the Baltimore area. All documented with several photos of Carl Evans, the guitar and his various bands in the book ”Baltimore Sounds” by Joe Vaccarino with the guitar. Everything is included with full provenance. Overall, it’s in Very good condition with minor nicks, dings, belt buckle wear on the back, finish checking and other cosmetic wear, include the common pickguard crack close to the lower horn. Otherwise, no breaks or repairs! 100% original and factory stock.
”Pre-official” Custom Color 1959 Fender Stratocaster
Before the 1961 model year, the notion of ”Custom Color” meant that Fender could potentially paint a guitar in any available color upon a customer’s request. This meant that any other color than the standard Sunburst was considered an option subject to a surcharge – even the most common option: ”Blond”. Therefore the earliest custom colors were mostly selected by the customer alone, and not from a selection of Fender-provided options.
Starting 1956 – as stated in the Fender catalog for 1956/57 – getting a Stratocaster in a color other than Sunburst became an official option with the words: ”The Stratocaster is available in custom colors at an additional 5% cost”.
At that time Fender had no standardized color chart, so any color could technically be an option in this period, as long as the customer was willing to pay for it. In this case Fender used 1959 Chevrolet Color Chart which includes Roman Red.
According to interviews with George Fullerton, it wasn’t until 1958 that the idea of a standardized Custom Color chart was born, but it was not fully implemented until the end 1960 for the 1961 model year.
It is important to note that solid color finishes were not at all popular at the time and were therefore made in very limited quantities and were sometimes probably even ”one-offs”. While still being rare, the official Custom Color chart from 1961 onwards meant that solid Color Stratocasters became relatively more common in the ’60s.
This all means that this all original 1959 is an absolute rarity, as the Roman Red color was not retained as an official custom color on the 1961 color chart and never been afterwards, despite Roman Red being the color used on the Stratocaster on the cover of the 1958 Fender catalog.
This 1959 Roman Red Stratocaster comes with original case, pictures of Carl Evans playing it in the ’60s, a letter from the family explaining more about Carl and his guitar, the ”Baltimore Sounds” book, a The Sentries single ”Don’t Make Me Lie”, and a certificate from Martin Kelly, co-writer of ”Fender – The Golden Age: 1946-1970”.
Pickups and electronics/wiring remain untouched and intact, with no broken solder joints, no re-wound pickups. All original and correct.
Comes with its original Fender hardshell tweed case. The original owner; Carl has written his name on it. Latches and handle are in perfect working order
- Neck pickup: 5.76 kOhm.
- Mid pickup: 5.84 kOhm.
- Bridge pickup: 5.83 kOhm.
- Pots dated: 304-920 – 20th week of 1959.
- weight 3.48 Kilograms