Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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Fender Champion Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1955)
Fender Champion Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1955), made in Fullerton, California, serial # 7974, yellow pearloid finish, hardwood body, original tweed hard shell case.
This Champ is a nice example of Fender's "bread and butter" lap steel guitar from the first half of the 1950s. Although designed as a student instrument, the Champion Steel was -- and remains -- a great-sounding guitar fully suited to professional use then or now. The flashy plastic-covered symmetrical two-bout body has a chrome bridge and cover plates with dome-top knurled knobs. The serial number "7974" is stamped on the bridgeplate where the strings anchor through the body; the pots are original with the date code indicating 15th week of 1955.
The metal fingerboard plate pinned to the body has black paint screening to outline fret positions. The headstock has metal facing with integral nut stamped with lighting bolt logo and "Fender Electric Instrument Co. Fullerton, California". Over the years many Champs have sacrificed their pickups to provide pickups for vintage Telecaster recreations -- this one has avoided that fate. A very cool steel guitar, a fine-sounding player, and a genuine 1950s Fender instrument at a relatively reasonable price!
Overall length is 29 3/4 in. (75.6 cm.), 7 1/2 in. (19 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 22 1/2 in. (572 mm.). Width of nut is 2 1/4 in. (57 mm.).
This is a relatively clean steel overall, with just some typical light wear here and there. There is some light corrosion to the chrome and the flocking has pretty much completely disappeared from the bottom of the body. The initials "TB-JG" have been stenciled on the bottom of the body and there are two tiny "Moon Eyes" stickers added to the markers at the 12th and 24th fret positions…a cool old hot rod reference!
The tuners are the original Klusons, with new buttons. All other hardware including the original pickup, pots, and wiring are intact. The pickup itself has been perfectly re-wound by Tom Brantley (the best there is) and sounds great, exactly like it should. The original red-lined tweed hardshell case is still intact with some wear to the covering. Very Good + Condition.
Item # 8574
Prices subject to change without notice.
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