I love my Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster Reissue. And I’ve been blown away by pretty much every single Fender Custom Shop instrument I’ve had the pleasure to play. But you may not know that Fender offers a unique experience which falls somewhere in between these two instrument lines. The Fender American Design Experience is a service offered at the Fender Visitor Center at the factory in Corona, California, where visitors can select the individual components to make up their very own custom guitar.
Fender has dozens of bodies, necks and pickguard configurations on display in the American Design Experience room, and the helpful staff will talk you through the various options and their respective qualities: neck shape, fret size, wood type, pickups, switching configurations, etc. There are plenty of bodies on display, and Fender’s paint shop even provides unique one-off finishes that will never be seen on a production line Fender guitar. The guitar is then assembled at Fender, and delivered to its new owner in less than a month, complete with certificate of authenticity.
I snapped the pics below when I visited the factory in January.