50's colors?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by MythicGuitarCo, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. MythicGuitarCo

    MythicGuitarCo TDPRI Member

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    I'll be the first to admit that I don't know everything about every guitar ever made, but, I'm continually learning more every day.

    Long story short, I bought a MIM vintage 50's maple neck, (roasted in color) that was purchased brand new by a guy, who didnt like the color, and in turn sold it to me (for considerably less than it's worth).

    I have a mahogony body laying around that I made a few months ago and I want to put together a period correct tele. (I'm not trying to fool anyone with it and will likely keep it for myself.)

    One thing that I can't find, is specifically what colors were offered with this neck. (The time period).

    Like i said, 50's style, all maple, truss in the heel, and a wood plug at the head stock with a skunk stripe on the back. (Please verify 50's)

    I know there were blond, at some point, TV yellow, and possibly tobacco burst. Probably a sea foam or something,

    But can someone please verify what my color options would be for this guitar?

    Let's not hang on the fact that I said "period correct" and "mahogany" in the same breath. .... I know....... I know......

    With that said, it is a multi piece body, so the translucent paints won't work well. I didn't build this body with this in mind, and did so before fender and Gibson started suing everyone under the sun for using the same alphabet to spell their brand names.

    I guess what I'm really asking for is what my solid color options are........ sea foam? Did they make a black one at any point using that style of neck before they changed it in... what, 1960?

    Thanks


    mythicguitars.com
     
  2. MythicGuitarCo

    MythicGuitarCo TDPRI Member

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    Ok, I say "a few months ago" but I realize now that it's been a LOT longer than that. Time flies

    mythicguitars.com
     
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, Leo & co would paint a guitar any colour you wanted if you paid. Custom colours formalised in about 61-62 with the release of the chipped colour chart.

    Typically they seemed to use Du Pont supplies so any 50s GM colour (who had a big interest in Du Pont - forced to divest under anti-trust laws) should be OK.

    One thing to bear in mind - America in the 50s was a socially conservative place. Cars were mostly boring colours. Most Telecasters would be blonde. Some sunburst, black. A very few white, given 54-on blondes went very pale.

    Only 60s did people really start ordering pretty colours - similar to the explosion in car colours with the advent of cars like the T-bird and Corvette, then the musclecar and Hotrod craze.

    Sonic blue or Seafoam green would probably be safe. Or - Fender had a copper 52 RI. Obviously there must be a few of them.
     
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  4. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted

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    In the 50s, teles were basically one or another shade of blonde. From what I’ve read, custom colors were ULTRA-rare – even more so than for strats. Still, I am pretty certain that certain other colors were used in the 50s on teles:
    - Black was the original color for the Esquire
    - I am positive that Duchossoir includes a picture of an original, ’57-ish Fiesta Red tele. That’s what they’ve gone for with the new Vintera 50s and I like it a lot.
    - I am also pretty sure that there were two-tone sunburst teles (nb: they were custom color, as 2TSB was stock on the strat only…)

    I’ve seen plenty of 50s-style reissues in Sonic or Daphne Blue, Surf Green, Shoreline gold or Shell Pink … but I’m not sure any teles were actually painted like that in the 50s. Still, these are worthy color options if you’re going for a 50s vibe. The blues and greens I tend to associate more to early 60s guitars, when the custom colors really took off.

    @Dacious beat me to it ;)
     
  5. Adam Wolfaardt

    Adam Wolfaardt Tele-Meister

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    If you take a look at songbirds museum you will be amazed at the amount of 50s custom colors from the 50s
     
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  6. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
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  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's the point about the 50s - people could walk in and request any colour or even made up colours. When quality topcoat cost many times what prep coats did that was a consideration. Fender had to buy paint that then might not ever be used again. Smaller quantities were no doubt more expensive.

    Fender decided to limit the colours to presumably their common stocks and/or colours they knew they could readily get - chev and Olds, Buick and popular Caddilac colours. Any candy colours are expensive, ditto colours like shoreline where there's the metallic followed by a translucent colour and topcoat. Not only for the paint, but also prep time and scrap.

    Sunbursts and black cost more than blonde I bet. You'd need several colour coats for coverage compared to blonde.

    The further along the sixties went probably the less and less custom colours as a proportion would have been done I bet. Coupled with CBS who would have taken more of a bean-counter view. Especially with increased competition as time went by.
     
  8. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

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    I agree that period correct colors would technically be blonde, sunburst, maybe black ... But since custom colors were available, that opens a door ... I would research original 50s Fender custom color guitars and see what you find...
     
  9. igor5

    igor5 Tele-Meister

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  10. MythicGuitarCo

    MythicGuitarCo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks for the responses so far guys.

    I don't have time to respond yet, but I did want to share something I found. Tons of good info here.

    It doesn't answer my specific question, but answers things that I never thought to ask when it comes to verifying age etc.

    http://www.guitarhq.com/fenderc.html

    I'm sure this link has been share dozens of times over the years.

    mythicguitars.com
     
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  11. MythicGuitarCo

    MythicGuitarCo TDPRI Member

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  12. MythicGuitarCo

    MythicGuitarCo TDPRI Member

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    Opted for black..... (this is the first of many coats)[​IMG][​IMG]

    mythicguitars.com
     
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  13. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted

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    Black can't be wrong ;)

    And yes that article on Guitar HQ is excellent .... I did not post it because it did not answer your question directly but it's very good. I look forward to seeing the Black 2-PU Pine/Mahogany Esquire completed ;)
     
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