Model info: Significant design features include a 4-bolt neck attachment (the 3-bolt CBS style was still in use at the time), abandonment of the Bullet headstock truss rod adjustment, a reverse headstock (the combination of a right-handed Strat body with a left-handed headstock), and a frontside upper bout contour. Four prototypes are known to exist, one of which was owned by Stevie Ray Vaughan. For more information, see this article: Seven Fender Stratocaster Models That Pay Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
Notes: An interesting model shrouded with an air of mystery. It should be noted that Fender (CBS) never referred to it officially as related to Jimi Hendrix, though the common consensus is that it was inspired by Hendrix. In fact, the usual story is that it was meant to be a tribute model but a licensing agreement couldn’t be reached with the Hendrix estate. But the real mystery surrounding this guitar is whether or not it was ever actually produced. According to most Stratocaster literature, 25 units of the model were made. However, we have been unable to find a U.S.-built model other than 4 prototypes, such as the one pictured below. When asked about this in 2004, John Page, who was a new Fender employee at the time (1980), said he believed that 25 were in fact made at the request of a Fender distributor, but again, we have been unable to find anyone with more recent knowledge of an actual unit. Also of interest, in 2005 the Fender Custom Shop made a special run of 100 guitars that were essentially to the same specifications as this 1980 model.
Photos by Simon Ashenden