SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – January 29, 2021 – Barrett-Jackson’s new in-house custom builds shop, Barrett-Jackson Builds, and the esteemed Fender Custom Shop today 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 (click here for the trailer) 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.
Follow @barrett_jackson_builds and #BarrettJacksonBuilds on Instagram for all the latest updates and a peak behind the scenes. Join the online conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube #BarrettJackson
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.
For images of the Fender Custom ’69 Stratocaster®, Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb Amp and the 1969 Ford Mustang Resto-Mod finished and in progress, click here.
About The Barrett-Jackson Auction Company
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Barrett-Jackson, The World’s Greatest Collector Car Auctions, is the leader in collector car and automotive lifestyle events, which include authentic automobilia auctions and the sale of private collections. The company produces live auctions across the country, as well as Online Only auctions throughout the year. With broadcast partners FYI and HISTORY, Barrett-Jackson will feature live television coverage in 2021, as well as all the cars, all the time via the live stream on Barrett-Jackson.com. Barrett-Jackson also endorses a one-of-a-kind collector car insurance for collector vehicles and other valued belongings. For more information about Barrett-Jackson, visit www.barrett-jackson.com, or call 480-421-6694.
About Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)–whose portfolio of owned and licensed brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH®, Charvel® and Bigsby®–follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear, and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends. In 2021, Fender celebrates 75 years of giving artists “wings to fly,” carrying on the vision of its founder, Leo Fender, and connecting players through a shared love of music.
About Fender Custom Shop
Since 1987, the Fender Custom Shop and its esteemed builders have astounded players and collectors worldwide with marvels of creativity, ingenuity and artistry. From its humble Southern California beginnings, the Fender Custom Shop has grown to become the world’s preeminent maker of highly collectible, custom instruments operating in Corona, Calif. Known as the “Dream Factory,” the Fender Custom Shop is also home to an honored group known as the Master Builders – some of the most-skilled luthiers in the world – who craft Fender’s legendary instruments and push the boundaries of possibility. The distinguished Master Builders make dream guitars a reality for players – from Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, H.E.R. and Jimmy Page to collectors, working professionals and guitar enthusiasts. As the epicenter of innovation at Fender and the pinnacle of the brand, ideas and production techniques devised in the Fender Custom Shop for both Masterbuilt and Teambuilt guitars go on to inspire and influence Fender’s other production line models.