Only 25 built for the U.S.
In 1955, musician Howard Reed Jr. walked into the McCord Music Company of Dallas, Texas and ordered a Stratocaster;, with one special caveat, that it be black, instead of the standard 2-Colour Sunburst. This request inadvertently made history, resulting in the creation of one of the earliest known black Stratocaster guitars and beginning a custom-color tradition that continues to this day. In 1958 Reed joined famous rockabilly group Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, using his custom Strat onstage as his primary guitar. The sound of this black Stratocaster was heard all over Texas on “The Big D Jamboree ;a radio show on the local CBS affiliate.<
Reed wanted to make sure audiences knew who he was, so he used stick-on letters to add his initials to the upper bout of the guitar, an act that seems to be something of a tradition among Texas guitarists. After Reeds passing in 1981, the guitar was displayed at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum from January, 1998 through May, 2013 and now resides in a private collection.
Master Builder Dennis Galuszka reproduced this guitar in exacting detail, as only a Fender Custom Shop Master Builder can; from the nicks and dings it acquired during its stage life to the unique stick-on letters forming his initials. The one-piece select ash body is crafted from wood chosen for its grain and weight, and bears three hand-wound Custom Shop ’55 single-coil Stratocaster pickups. As vintage-accurate as possible, these pickups have the classic sound that made Fender a legend. The plain-grain maple neck has a 1954 profile, and the vintage-accurate 7.25 radius fingerboard bears 21 vintage-style frets.
The other features include 3-way pickup switching, original vintage Strat wiring, single-ply Eggshell pickguard, American Vintage synchronized tremolo bridge, vintage-style tuning machines with Fender logo, bone nut and round string tree. Includes hardshell case, strap and Certificate of Authenticity.