I just got an awesome Strat from the bay. It is a vintage white strat that has aged to a nice creamy ivory color. It is in excellent condition, I don't think the original owner played it very much. It still has plastic under the knobs.
This is a very early run of the first "American Standard" when FMIC was just getting the Corona factory running. I guess that there were very few luthiers working as they were still building up production. A lot of these builders were supposedly what was to become the Custom shop for Fender. Since the output was so low in these early runs, quality is out of the roof. I always figured a strat is a strat, they are were all similar enough. This one oozes quality and feels wonderful.
It has an E3 serial number which would normally indicate 1983 build date, but these were just the leftover decals from the Fullerton factory days. In this context, the E3's were usually the very first of the new American Standard line. Fender was trying to bring quality back to the brand after some down years w/ CBS, so I think they were doing some serious QC here. I did take off the neck to verify the build dates. The neck was built in late '86 and the body was stamped June '87.
The one I got has the most glossy neck I have ever felt on a Fender. I am talking super glossy even on the fretboard ala Rickenbacker. I am not sure if this is very common with Strats, most of the ones I have seen have the satin necks (which feel good too).
The guitar is all original and is super clean. Most of it looks time-machiney brand new, there is really only one small ding on it.
I grew up playing an old MIJ Squier strat and I forgot how comfortable the body is on a strat. In many ways it feels like "going home". I guess I have been too enamored with my Gretsches and Gibsons that I kinda forgot about Fenders for a while.
Here is some info on the model in case you're interested:
Anyways, as you can tell, I am liking my new guitar.