8 Most Expensive Fender Guitars Ever

Fender is a name that is synonymous with the guitar industry. Founded in Fullerton, California, in 1946, the Fender brand has become one of the most recognizable names in music. The company is known for producing high-quality electric guitars and basses that are used by some of the most famous musicians in the world. While Fender offers a wide range of guitars at various price points, some of their models have become known for their astronomical prices and fame. Here are the eight most expensive Fender guitars ever sold.

8. Fender Stratocaster, Stevie Ray Vaughan – $30,000

Most expensive Fender guitars: Stevie Ray Vaughan

The “Stevie Ray Vaughan Strat” is a limited edition guitar made to honor the Vaughan Brothers’ contributions to blues guitar. Not only is this guitar well-known for who played it, but it was nicknamed his “first wife” since he spent so much time with it. With a certificate of authenticity, his vintage guitar can sell for $30,000 to online collectors to this day.

7. Fender Custom Shop, Eric Clapton – $40,000

Most expensive Fender guitars: Eric Clapton Blackie tribute

While not nearly as expensive as the other guitars on this list, the Fender Custom Shop “Eric Clapton Tribute” Stratocaster is still a highly sought-after guitar. The guitar was designed to replicate Clapton’s famous “Blackie” Stratocaster and was produced in limited quantities. The guitar retails for around $40,000 for those who are eager enough to play it.

6. Fender Stratocaster, “Lenny” – $623,500

Most expensive Fender guitars: Lenny

Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Lenny” Stratocaster is another iconic guitar that has become synonymous with the blues-rock legend. Vaughan had the guitar custom-built to his specifications, and it became his go-to guitar for many of his performances. This unique guitar was eventually sold for $623,500 at auction in 2004.

5. Fender Telecaster, Bob Dylan – $965,000

Most expensive Fender guitars: Bob Dylan's Telecaster

The Fender Telecaster that Bob Dylan used during his famous 1966 “going electric” tour is a highly significant guitar in music history. The guitar was eventually sold for $965,000 at a 2013 auction, making it one of the most expensive Fender guitars ever.

4. Fender Esquire Relic, Joe Strummer – $1 Million

Most expensive Fender guitars: Joe Strummer relic

This limited edition Joe Strummer Esquire Relic is a truly one of a kind piece of music history. Made for the punk rock legend, this guitar recreates his own instrument that was used to play so many Clash shows. It features a black racing stripe, custom “Bourbon Street” sticker, and custom Relic finish, making it a prize piece for collectors. Records show that this guitar has been sold for $1 million, making it one of the most expensive Fender guitars ever.

3. Fender Stratocaster, “Reach Out to Asia” – $2.7 Million

Most expensive Fender guitar ever: Reach Out to Asia

In 2005, Fender produced a one-of-a-kind Stratocaster to raise funds for the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. The guitar was signed by over 50 celebrities and musicians, including Eric Clapton, Brian May, Mick Jagger, and Keith Richards. The guitar was eventually sold for $2.7 million at a charity auction, making it the third most expensive Fender guitar ever sold.

2. Fender Black Stratocaster, David Gilmour – $3.9 Million

The Black Strat': The story of David Gilmour's iconic guitar | Christie's

David Gilmour’s Black Fender is an iconic guitar worth millions and that’s not an exaggeration. If you’re a fan of Pink Floyd, chances are you’ve already heard of this guitar, or seen it on an album cover in the 70s and 80s. It’s unique all-black design is clearly identifiable as a rarity. If only guitars could talk because there is no doubt that this one would have endless stories to tell of Pink Floyd and rock concerts for nearly $4 million dollars.

1. Fender Mustang, Smells Like Teen Spirit – $4.5 Million

Image: Kurt Cobain Smells Like Teen Spirit guitar

For a whopping $4.5 million, you could be the owner of Kurt Cobain’s Mustang Fender guitar in the color “Lake Placid Blue.” You might recognize the guitar from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video, but it was also used in several live concerts before Cobain sadly passed. All of these factors lead to its unbelievable value, which makes it the number one most expensive fender guitar ever.

The Stories Behind the Guitars

Each of these guitars has a unique story behind it. The “Reach Out to Asia” Stratocaster was produced to raise funds for tsunami relief efforts, while the “Blackie” Stratocaster helped fund a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Vaughan’s “Lenny” was custom-built to his specifications, and the “Flying V” is considered by many to be the ultimate rock guitar. The reason why these guitars are so valuable has everything to do with the stories behind them, the music they’ve played, and the owners. Guitar collectors often look for pieces of music history.

Why Are Fender Guitars So Expensive?

Fender guitars are known for their high prices, but what makes them so expensive? One reason is the materials used in production. Fender guitars are made with high-quality woods and hardware that are often more expensive than those used by other guitar brands. The use of premium materials ensures that Fender guitars produce a rich, vibrant sound that is highly valued by musicians.

Another reason for the high price of Fender guitars is the craftsmanship involved in their production. Fender guitars require a high level of skill and attention to detail during the manufacturing process. Many parts of the guitar are hand-finished, resulting in a final product that is of exceptional quality.

Finally, some Fender guitars are rare and highly sought-after, leading to inflated prices on the collector’s market. For example, the “Reach Out To Asia” Stratocaster, which was auctioned off for charity in 2004, sold for $2.7 million. This rare and unique guitar, along with other vintage and limited-edition Fender guitars, can fetch exorbitant prices among collectors.

In summary, the high cost of Fender guitars can be attributed to a combination of factors, including the use of premium materials, exceptional craftsmanship, and rare and highly sought-after models. Despite their high price tags, many musicians and collectors believe that Fender guitars are worth the investment due to their superior quality and unique sound.

The Appeal of Fender Guitars

Despite their high prices, Fender guitars remain incredibly popular among musicians and collectors. Part of this is due to the cultural impact of the Fender brand.

Cultural Impact

Fender guitars have been used by countless famous musicians, from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton to Kurt Cobain. These musicians and their music have had a lasting impact on popular culture, and Fender guitars have played a major role in shaping the sound of music.

Distinctive Sound

Additionally, Fender guitars are known for their distinctive sound, which has been used in countless songs throughout the years. From the bright, twangy sound of a Telecaster to the smooth, warm tones of a Stratocaster, Fender guitars have a sound that is instantly recognizable.

Classic Look

Finally, Fender guitars have a classic, timeless look that appeals to many musicians and collectors. With their sleek lines and iconic shapes, Fender guitars have become a symbol of rock and roll and are often seen as works of art in their own right.

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What is the most expensive Fender guitar ever sold?

The most expensive Fender guitar ever sold is Kurt Cobain’s Mustang Blue Fender from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” music video.

Why are Fender guitars so expensive?

Fender guitars are so expensive because of the high-quality materials and craftsmanship that goes into making them. They are also highly sought-after among musicians and collectors, which drives up the price.

Are Fender guitars worth the money?

Many musicians and collectors would say that Fender guitars are worth the money. They are known for their high quality, durability, and iconic status in the music world.

What makes Fender guitars so special?

Fender guitars are special because of their iconic design, sound, and history. They have been used by some of the greatest musicians in history, and their unique tone is instantly recognizable.

Can you buy Fender guitars directly from the company?

Yes, you can buy Fender guitars directly from the company through their website or through authorized dealers.

Fender guitars have become synonymous with the guitar industry. While Fender offers guitars at various price points, some of their models have become known for their astronomical price tags. The eight guitars on this list are some of the most expensive Fender guitars ever sold, each with their own unique story and history.

Whether you’re a musician looking for a new instrument or a collector looking for a rare piece of history, Fender guitars are a great choice. With a range of models available at various price points, there’s something for everyone. So if you’re in the market for a new guitar, consider a Fender – you won’t be disappointed.

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