Vintage Rocker Links
Fender Links
Vintage Rocker Forum

If you enjoy collecting, playing, or learning about the guitar, and discussing all the latest guitar related topics, then the VR Forum is the place for you!

Guitars, Gear, & More


Fender has had neck dates on their guitars since 1950 with the exception of 1959, when it was rumored that an employee included some vulgarity on a neck. Until things got sorted out, Leo decided to not include a production date on guitars manufactured during the first part of 1959.

From 1950 to 1954 the penciled date is just below the truss rod adjustment screw and follows a Month/Day/Year format.

From 1954 to 1962 the date is in the same location same location but was basically shortened to a Month/Year format. A person may find the initials of Tadeo Gomez, "TAD" or "TG" along side the serial number. Tadeo worked at Fender during the early days on and shaped some of the better 50s necks.

From the latter part of 1962 to 1965 Fender switched to a dark blue or red ink stamp, again below the truss rod adjusting screw on the end of the neck. in "2AUG63B" format. Model Code - Month - Year - Neck Width.

  • 2 = model code (Stratocaster)
  • AUG = month
  • 63 = year (1963)
  • B = neck width (A, B, or C)

  • Towards the end of 1965, and early 1966 the model code for the Strat changed to "13".

    From 1969 to 1971 Fender again tried a new dating and identification system to label their necks. The model code for the Strat changed yet again to "22" this time. A Stratocaster neck stamped with 22396109B in green ink on the heel end of the neck can be deciphered in the following way:
  • 22 = model code (Stratocaster)
  • 396 = run number (?)
  • 10 = month (October)
  • 9 = year code (1969)
  • B = nut width

  • During 1971 Fender used the Model Code - Month - Year - Neck Width method to label their necks.

    From 1972 to 1980 Fender used a dating and identification system similar to the 1969 to 1971 system. A Stratocaster with a neck code of 09032185. The first 6 digits are paired codes for instrument type, fretboard type, and week. The last two digits year and day of the week, are read individually.

  • 09 = model code (Stratocaster)
  • 03 = neck code (maple neck)
  • 21 = week code (week 21)
  • 8 = year code (1980)
  • 5 = day of the week code (Thursday)

  • Vintage Reissue neck dates are usually penciled in on the end of the butt end of the neck. If you having a burning desire to see the production date of your Reissue grab a screw driver and have at it.

    Remember that pot codes, and body date (when present), should be used along with the neck date to give a person an approximate date of production for a guitar.

    Stratocaster Model Codes Used from 1962 to 1973.

    Model codes (first pair of digits):

    2 = Between March '62 to November '65
    13 = Between December '65 and late '67
    22 = After 1967

    Model Codes Used from 1972 to 1980.

    Model codes (first pair of digits):

    01 = Precision Bass
    02 = Jazz Bass
    04 = Mustang Bass
    08 = Telecaster Deluxe
    09 = Stratocaster
    13 = Telecaster, Telecaster Custom, Telecaster Thinline
    49 = Musicmaster, Mustang, Bronco

    Neck Codes Used from 1972 to 1980.

    Neck codes (second pair of digits):

    00 = rosewood fingerboard
    01 = rosewood fingerboard
    03 = fretted maple neck OR skunk stripe neck with rosewood board
    10 = fretless maple neck