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Old, old Fender Mustang

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by naturalkinds, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. naturalkinds


    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Classic story. I am hanging out with my friend at her new apartment, and I notice a rickety case in the corner. I ask her what it is, and she opens up the case to reveal an old, maroon Fender Mustang bass with matching headstock and... a racing stripe! No idea whether the racing strip is original, but everything looks unmodified, so who knows. I am certainly no old Fender expert.

    Questions: Does this look original? And are these sorts of things valuable? I ask for my friend, who, in all likelihood will keep it, but she's really curious. She bought it around ten years ago for around the same price as a new MIM bass.

    The neck feels wonderfully worn in and inviting. And it is light! Goodness how this thing is light! No official weight on it, but it has got to be at least two pounds lighter than my 2006 J. I couldn't get a good sense of the sound, since she only had a cheap combo amp hanging around, but it sounded P-bass-ishly thuddy. Pretty cool little find.

    I think she said the serial number dated it around 1968. I can't see it from the pictures she sent me, but she says on the chrome neck plate, the numbers read: 293XXX.

    Thanks, as usual, bass nerds. (And, obviously, the nut needs a little bit of maintenance.)

    : )



  2. I remember a friend had a Fender electric guitar, may have been a Mustang, I'm not sure, but the shape was similar to that bass. Anyway, his was red with a racing stripe and the stripe was stock.
  3. funkybass4ever


    Dec 12, 2007
    The neck will be stamped with a date of manufacture where it fits the joint but you will have to take the strings off. If you don't feel comfortable unscrewing some screws and think you may mess it up go to a luthier and have it done. Personally it is easy. You have a great find that may be worth more than Mim bass:hyper: Mustangs are great short scale basses, great for small hands or for players who have hand/arm problems from years of playing larger scale basses with bad technique
  4. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I have actually been researching these basses quite a bit since I thought I'd have a shot at getting one at a reasonable price. I'm not expert, but I believe (based on the serial number) you are looking at a 1970. I believe the stripe is stock as well as I understand Fender did this with the Mustangs for a bit (although I never saw any pics, this fits the description). It looks to be in great shape, too - the one I saw was really beat up. They aren't worth a ton, especially compared to Jazz or Precisions from the same era (good ones on eBay between $300 and 800). But a great way to get similar mojo at a reasonable price. I really like the short scale and was going to give it to my kids to learn on, which I believe was one of its intended purposes in the first place. Told my daughter how cool she'd be showing up anywhere with a 40 year old Fender...
  5. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    Stripe is original and is rarer than most other Mustang finishes. Its called the "Competition Stripe" if I remember correctly. Looks to be in pretty good shape. Could probably fetch close to a thousand.
  6. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004
    I've owned 3 Mustang basses over many years
    first being a 66,second a 69 and third a 70,the
    70 serial no.also started 293xxx,the competition
    model came with racing stripe and matching headstock..

    nice find indeed
  7. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Paddle tuners!
  8. naturalkinds


    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    Thanks for your expert advice, folks. I would really like to hear it through my DB 750. But that might have to wait.

    I'll let her know all of this stuff. You folks are tremendously helpful, and one of the reasons I'm proud to be a supporting member here!
  9. Alan Waller a.k.a. Wally Allen of the Pretty Things used a Mustang bass up until about 1976...
  10. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Here some pics of some others from the same period ('69 to '70). Yep, the racing stripe is stock.

  11. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Did they not re-issue this a while back? A MIM version?

    Get some photos of the serial number /headstock. I'm sure our resident fender gurus would be happy to share their wisdom...
  12. the art guy

    the art guy Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Look legit to me. And yes, like the others said, it's called a "competition stripe" and is authentic. They only made them for a couple years, late '60s through either '70 or '71 as I recall. The only colors you could get with the Competition option were Candy Apple Red (which is what you have there), Lake Placid Blue or "Competition Orange", I think - with the orange being the rarest.

    Edit: as for the value, if it's completely original then it certainly is worth more to a Fender collector than a regular Mustang bass from the same era. Hard to speculate on the vintage market these days......there was a time (a few years back) when I would have guessed this at around $1000-1200 (assuming originality). It would probably fetch less than that these days......how much less? I don't know.
  13. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Cool, and legit. I always wanted a Mustang but being a lefty they're hard to find, so I finally gave up and got this short-scale SX, has a great neck.
  14. Yeah, it's worth decent money. Nice bass, makes me "lust in my heart."

    And whoever installed those strings had NO IDEA WHATSOEVER what in the hell they were doing. That's one of the worst stringing jobs I've ever seen.
  15. They did, but it was made in Japan. Don't know where the currently produced ones - sans competition stripes - are made. Nice basses, either way. :)

    And the vintage one in th OP is quite a looker too.
  16. naturalkinds


    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    The bass is definitely cool. Like I said, it feels wonderful, and the weight is something that needs to be felt to be believed.

    What up with this?


    Link: http://tinyurl.com/y8zpjur

    Andy's guitars sold that for $3k. Doesn't that seem a little ridiculous? Or is there something unique (besides the good condition) that makes that valuable?

    I must say that this vintage Fender value thing is strange and funny. Like a 60s Jazzmaster is worth pennies in comparison to a 60s Strat!
  17. 1) It's old.
    2) It's a Fender
    3) It's evidently all original

    = $$$
  18. lucas vigor

    lucas vigor Banned

    Sep 2, 2004
    Orange County, Ca,
    The whole fender vintage issue...it's so hit and miss.

    The steel gui**** player for my band plays a triple neck Fender made in 1951...and he bought it for about 800 bucks about two years ago. It's the same color and with the same wear as those cool '51 P-basses you see that are going for 25,000. (the worn, butterscotch blonde) Go figure!
  19. Steveaux

    Steveaux Safe-Guardian of the Stoopid Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    The Wilds of NW Pa.
    That's identical to my '67 ... which I sold for $175.

    In '77.

  20. No pics no triple neck Fender made in 1951.... ;)

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