Things I like about that era of MIA strat- Almost everything.
Thing I don't like- The body is wrong. Around '95/'96 they went back to the much deeper contours, more reminiscent of the 50's models. I like this a LOT. The earlier American Standards have much more shallow contours, meaning the bodies are thicker in the tummy contour and at the arm bevel. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not my preference.
FWIW, I didn't realize I preferred the more contoured bodies until I got a '57 RI, and a '96 Am. Std., which both had much deeper contours. Until I tired those, I was very happy with early American Std. guitars. I still like them a lot, I just prefer the deeper contours.
I also happen to really like those early Am. Std. pickups. Low output, extremely "stratty" in a classic sense to my ears. I also really like the TBX tone control on the bridge pickup on those models. Very cool feature.
For $1K? I was gonna tell you to pass, but then saw you're in Australia. If a new one is around $1500, and this one is clean, I think that's a fair deal. Don't know about over there, but here in the good ol' USA Fender upcharges for lefties. So even here, I don't think $1K for a mint lefty would be a terrible price. Not good, but not terrible. I think in your neck of the woods, it's probably worth grabbing if you like the guitar.
It's not a mini-van, it's a manly van, and it's awesome.