Fender Produces A Special Edition Guitar Inspired By Saleen
Fender, the legendary guitar maker, has teamed up with American supercar maker Saleen to make an homage to its latest vehicle, the Saleen 1, with the Stratocaster 1 special edition guitar. And as many good stories begin, this one stemmed from a bar.
Ron Thorn, Fender’s principle master builder and a self-confessed car nut, was elbowing up at his favorite watering hole when a gentleman sat beside him wearing a Saleen shirt; the company is a half-block away from the Fender facilities in Corona, California. Ron asked what they were working on, and the Saleen employee replied ‘About 1,000hp”. And that kicked off the idea for Thorn.
The construction of this Stratocaster is different from any other Fender guitar; it sports a carbon fiber body, like the car, with a hand-carved, maple wood top in a gleaming Saleen Candy Apple Red, painted by the guys at Saleen in a five-step process, also like the cars. The neck is maple as well, with a carbon fiber fretboard and headcap. And since the car’s engine is housed under the rear window, Thorn decided to make the guitar’s pickups under tinted glass, too. The controls for the guitar, which are normally on its face, are here put into a ‘pedal board’ that mimics the gas, brake and clutch of a sports car. Clever.
It’s not the first time Fender has collaborated with a car company. The team produced a special edition chrome Stratocaster for the 35th anniversary of the Ford Mustang in 1999 as well as another Strat to honor Carroll Shelby.
The Saleen 1 – and yes, that’s pretty much the only official image – is expected to be in production this year, with a mid-engined 2.5-litre turbocharged four cylinder making 450hp and a price above the $100,000 mark. The Stratocaster 1 can be yours for a mere $33,000.
*Images courtesy of Fender and Salon Privé