Absolutely stunning and quite rare Fender USA California Series Stratocaster for sale at Guitar Garage London. Made in USA in 1997 (these were only produced between 1997 and 1999). Good condition for the age with some surface scratching on the body, one big bruise and wear near the output jack, smaller dings on the body and some light dings on the back of the neck and headstock ball. No internal cavities modification or structural damage.


These guitars have unique specs and could be considered predecessors to the modern American Special series of guitars. Thanks to the short production span they are also becoming more collectible.


Maple neck has a very comfortable one-piece maple C-shape neck with 9.5-inch fretboard radius (same as American Standard guitars), 21 medium jumbo frets in good condition with plenty of life in them. Medium jumbo frets make string bending and playability easier compared to the thin vintage frets. Unlike the majority of American Vintage Reissues that use 1950s “pre-CBS” Fender logo this guitar actually has a rare 1965 “transition” logo that makes it stand out from the crowd. Neck is straight as an arrow, truss-rod is conveniently adjusted at the headstock. Honey amber lacquer is non-sticky and feels nice and smooth. Some lacquer wear here and there, but nothing dramatic. Kluson nickel tuners keep tuning stable.


Alder body is finished in Leo Fender's favourite Candy Apple Red and is full of resonance. This guitar is loud acoustically. Original body cavities allow for a full sized humbucker installation in the bridge position - in fact, this is how this came from the factory in 1997. We still have the original humbucker, but it is not producing any signal so most probably useless.


The unique feature of the California series model is the use of Tex-Mex pickups, which are basically vintage Alnico V design but with a bit more output, like the famed Texas Specials (measuring around 6.2-6.5K). These sound absolutely amazing and have lots of tone options from the Tone knob. Original bridge humbucker has been replaced by a ceramic single coil that provides punch, clarity and contrast. Position 2 (bridge+middle) has especially unique response. Guitar has also been upgraded with a new Fender Pure Vintage white pickguard, knobs and pickup covers.  


Tremolo used on this model is essentially an American Vintage system, with the convenient wide string spacing and bent steel saddles. All height and intonation screws work well. Full size tremolo block gives plenty of sustain.


This instrument received a full professional setup with deep body cleaning, body polish, neck deep clean, rosewood lemon oil treatment, full electronics check, truss-rod and action and intonation adjustment. Restringed with D'addario 10-46 Nickel-plated steel strings.


This guitar will be shipped around UK with Parcelforce courier, safely packed into a sturdy guitar cardboard box. 24h courier service provided to UK customers. Worldwide shipping provided as well, but please get in touch regarding EU shipping.

Fender Stratocaster - California Series - USA - Candy Apple Red (1997)

  • SPECS:

    MODEL: Fender USA California Series Stratocaster

    YEAR: 1997, AMXN7-serial

    COLOUR: Candy Apple Red, gloss lacquer

    PICKGUARD: 3-ply white

    NECK: C-shape maple neck, honey amber lacquer

    FRETBOARD: maple, 9.5-inch radius

    FRETS: 21 medium jumbo frets with moderate wear

    TUNERS: Kluson Vintage style slotted tuners, aged nickel finish

    BODY: Alder, original HSH body routing

    TOTAL WEIGHT: 3,7 kg

    TREMOLO: 6-point vintage style tremolo, bent steel vintage width saddles, full-size steel tremolo block, 3 springs, 1-ply white backplate.

    WEAR: surface wear on the body with scratches and a couple of dents near the output and on the bass horn, small dings on the back of the neck and top of headstock

    PICKUPS: Fender Tex-Mex Alnico V single-coils in the neck and middle position, ceramic single-coil in the bridge position

    WIRING: Oak Grisby USA 5-way switch, CTS A250K pots, Orange drop ceramic capacitor, Switchcraft output jack


    Please note that although we put our heart and soul and also all our knowledge into every single guitar we sell, a setup is a personal preference and we cannot give any guarantees. However, we try to get the best playability out of every guitar and set them up so you can play both rhythm and lead. We also pull them all apart to clean and check every single component and replace all unreliable parts with new ones, from dodgy pots to the whole wiring, tuners, string trees, nuts and etc. All the work done is described in detail in the listing.

    We make sure that every guitar we sell is problem free and take full responsibility for the accuracy of our listing descriptions. All photographs are done by a professional photographer and processed on a calibrated monitor. Some colours might look slightly different on your monitor, but we will always put the official Fender colour name in the listing description, so please study pictures of other guitars with the same colour if you are unsure. We focus on finding great quality guitars and making them reliable and inspiring to play.