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Fender Champion Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1952)

Fender  Champion Lap Steel Electric Guitar  (1952)

Fender Champion Model Lap Steel Electric Guitar (1952), made in Fullerton, California, yellow pearloid finish, hardwood body, original chipboard case.

This is a nice player's example of Fender's "bread and butter" lap steel guitar from the first half of the 1950's. Although designed as a student instrument, the Champion Steel is a great-sounding guitar fully suited to professional use then or now, with a Broadcaster style flat pole pickup fully equivalent in sound to the legendary 1950's Teles. The flashy plastic-covered symmetrical two-bout body has a chrome bridge and cover plates with dome-top knurled knobs. The serial number "4490" is stamped on the bridgeplate where the strings anchor through the body.

The metal fingerboard plate pinned to the body has black paint screening to outline fret positions. The headstock has metal facing with integral nut and Kluson Deluxe "Saf-Ti-Slot" strip tuners with white plastic buttons. The peghead is stamped with lighting bolt logo and "Fender Electric Instrument Co. Fullerton, California". All screws are of the Phillips-head variety suggesting a mid-late 1952 assembly date-the pot codes are 2-20 indicating a production in mid-1952 . Good completely intact examples of the Champion are increasingly hard to find; many have been sacrificed over the years to provide electric components for vintage Telecaster recreations. This is a very cool steel guitar, one of the best of its era and a nice 1950's Fender instrument at a 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.). All original with some wear, mostly from exposure moisture. There is a heavy wear spot with some wood missing on the lower waist edge on the bass side, and a chip of Pearloid missing from the top edge of the headstock. Other than these defects there is only some staining and light lifting to the celluloid covering, and corrosion to some plating-notably on the tuners. Everything is original except the tuner buttons and the pickup and wiring all works as it should. The instrument sounds great, with the typical early '50's Fender hot twang. A fine gigging example, includes the original chip case that has been mostly covered in Duct tape and is marginally useful. Very Good + Condition.

Item # 7330
This item has been sold.

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