Barrett-Jackson and Fender® Custom Shop Collaborate on 1969 Ford Mustang Resto-Mod with Matching Fender Custom ’69 Stratocaster® Guitar, Tone Master® Deluxe Reverb® Amplifier
Cars and guitars have always been a big part of rock ’n’ roll history, romanticised in song by many legendary artists from the Beach Boys to Springsteen. Heck, there was even a band named The Cars. It’s no surprise then that an iconic guitar brand such as Fender would want to collaborate with a collector car auction house like Barrett-Jackson.
Barrett-Jackson’s new in-house custom builds shop, Barrett-Jackson Builds, and the esteemed Fender Custom Shop has announced their collaboration on a custom 1969 Ford Mustang fastback with a matching guitar – the Fender Custom ’69 Stratocaster® – and Tone Master® Deluxe Reverb® amplifier custom fitted to the car’s trunk. The Resto-Mod Mustang marks Barrett-Jackson Builds’ first corporate partnership project; the team will also be working towards creating a variety of vehicles to sell at auction. The classic Fender Mustang guitar, which is nearing completion, will be unveiled prior to Barrett-Jackson’s flagship Scottsdale Auction March 20-27, 2021, at WestWorld of Scottsdale. This custom Mustang, guitar and amp will be sold as a set with No Reserve.
“We’re excited to begin this project with Fender,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “For years Fender guitars and muscle cars were the soundtrack of American culture, and this project presents a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to that time and showcase the spectacular skills of the Fender Custom Shop and the Barrett-Jackson Builds team.”
“If the Fender Stratocaster was a car, it would be a Mustang Fastback,” said Mike Lewis, VP of Product Development at the Fender Custom Shop. “Fender guitars are no stranger to the automotive industry, as there is much to be appreciated by both guitar lovers and automotive enthusiasts alike. Our collaboration with Barrett-Jackson showcases the pinnacle of Fender Custom Shop craftsmanship and creativity. The Shop is home to the best guitar builders in the world, who continue to push the limits of what’s possible. That’s why we’re called ‘The Dream Factory.’ Barrett-Jackson builds dream cars and we build dream guitars.”
This project will launch a digital series called “Barrett-Jackson Builds,” featuring collector car restorations meant to educate and entertain automotive enthusiasts documenting car builds and unique partnerships. From concept to completion and auction, the 1969 Ford Mustang Resto-Mod will be fully documented in a 10-episode Barrett Jackson Builds video series (preview below) that will stream on Barrett-Jackson’s YouTube channel starting today. The guitar has been built by Fender’s Custom Shop director and Principal Master Builder Ron Thorn. With over 800 bespoke guitars to his name, Thorn brings his rock-driven, hot-rod-shop ethos to the craft in a stunning blend of precision and soul. The series will be set to a set of era-defining classic rock instrumentals recorded and performed by members of the Fender team.
“This collaboration combines my top two passions in life – Fender guitars and high-performance cars,” said Ron Thorn, Principal Master Builder at the Fender Custom Shop. “Stratocasters and fastbacks have long been two iconic symbols of high performance. They are loud, but also classic icons with beautiful lines.”
The Fender Custom ’69 Stratocaster® is a Resto-Mod version of a ’69 Stratocaster using modern high-performance components, refined styling and aggressive tones. The alder body shape and maple neck remains the same, but Thorn deleted the pickguard and rear loaded the knobs and push-button switching for a more modern and aggressive look. The power of the guitar lies in the triple-taillight stylized EVH high-output humbucking pickups and custom covers are constructed from actual 1969 Mustang side marker lights and cleanly installed without the use of bezels to match the 1969 Mustang’s taillight assembly. The traditional 6-screw tremolo unit is replaced with a modern 2-point unit coupled with Sperzel locking tuners and a graphite nut to provide increased tuning stability under extreme playing techniques. The tremolo arm is machined to match the turn signal arm of the Mustang, a detail that may not be immediately apparent. A guitar’s electronic controls consist of a volume knob, a tone knob and a pickup selector. Custom knobs were machined to match those found on radio controls of a ’69 Mustang. Instead of a standard selector switch, a ’60s NOS push-button assembly was sourced to mimic the AM/FM radio-station selector, all laid out as one would find on the dash. The round-lam ebony fretboard features a more modern 12-inch radius and larger fretwire with “MUSTANG” inlaid in sterling silver with the same classic font found on decklids of early Mustangs. Chrome hardware, custom back plates and red accents are set off nicely against the Raven Black painted body and headstock, and the flat-black competition stripes and Pony are a perfect match to the car’s flat-black hood.
“Resto-Mod is the perfect term for this guitar,” Thorn continued. “Although built from scratch, we’re taking the core 1969 Stratocaster model and modifying it with customizations and high-performance components exactly how the Barrett-Jackson Builds team is doing to the car. The car, Stratocaster and Deluxe Reverb amp were built ‘together’ in separate locations but fit seamlessly together. When this guitar is plugged into the built-in Fender Deluxe amplifier in the trunk, the player can riff on a tasty blues jam or tear it up with full shred action!”
Some of the world’s best automotive performance brands contributed to bringing the Resto-Mod Mustang to life, including Billet Badges, BluePrint Engines, Classic Instrument, Continental Tires, Covercraft, Eddie Motorsports, FiTech Performance, K&N Filters, Kicker Audio, Old Air Products, RideTech, Rocket Racing Wheels, Speedway Motors, Steele Rubber Products, Vibro Solutions and Wilwood.
The Barrett-Jackson Builds team includes famed Mustang builder Jason Aker, known for his work on the TV series “Fast N’ Loud.” No stranger to the Barrett-Jackson family, Aker has worked to restore several top-tier Mustangs with Craig Jackson. Tony Cano, also of “Fast N’ Loud” fame, brings a laser-focused attention to detail – as well as years of experience in fabrication and painting – to the project. Rounding out the team is Barrett-Jackson Vehicle Logistics Manager Jeff Catlin, who ran the company’s Showroom Shop for a number of years.
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For additional information on new Fender products or to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com or www.fendercustomshop.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender and @FenderCustomShop.