If you love driving and making music, prepare to drool over the Fender Stratocaster 1. It’s a custom electric guitar built no less by Ron Thorn, Principal Master Builder at Fender’s Custom Shop. And unlike other custom guitars, the Stratocaster 1 is the only one inspired by the Saleen S1 supercar.
“Fender Custom Shop and Saleen Automotive are two titans in their respective industries – both producing top gear and high-performance products in Corona, California,” said Ron Thorn, pictured above. “Being an automotive enthusiast, I’m absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with the legendary Steve Saleen and his amazing team.”
The Saleen 1 is a true American supercar
Sure, Saleen is currently bankrolled by Jiangsu Secco Automobile Technology Corporation of China, but all Saleen 1 models will be built in the USA. Saleen is also working in expanding dealer networks and service centers across the entire country.
Also, the Saleen S1 may only have a puny 2.2-liter four-cylinder motor. But with forced induction, rear-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual gearbox, this car is as good as it gets. The engine produces 450-horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the S1 from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5-seconds.
The Fender Stratocaster 1 is essentially a guitar version of the S1
And we’re not only talking about the guitar’s shape, which is clearly inspired by the curvaceous top-view of the Saleen S1 – it goes deeper than that. “The new Saleen S1’s beautiful lines, carbon-fiber construction, and other unique details were the inspiration behind the design and construction of Stratocaster 1,” continued Thorn.
Combining the love of high-performance guitars and fast cars came easy for Ron Thorn. This one-of-a-kind Stratocaster has a hand-laid and hollow carbon-fiber body to reduce weight, something that every rock star and virtuoso guitarist will surely appreciate.
The Stratocaster 1 also has a roasted alder center block and a hand-carved maple top. The quartersawn roasted maple neck has a 12” radius carbon-fiber round-lam fingerboard with medium jumbo frets, rounded up by a matching carbon-fiber headstock overlay.
“It was an extremely challenging yet fulfilling build, utilizing methods, materials, and concepts new to both the Fender Custom Shop and I, resulting in an exciting homage worthy of representing both brand’s products,” added Thorn.
The Fender Stratocaster 1 is equipped with a high-output TV Jones Power’Tron Plus bridge pickup sitting beneath in what is conceivably the Saleen 1’s rear window.
Unique to the Stratocaster 1 is a handmade Strat 1 tailpiece and a new 6-stack bridge to deliver a sleeker look and a custom tone. Also standard is a custom Strat 1 pedalboard with custom volume, tone, and wah-wah controls.
It’s a rock star’s dream come true
Finished in Saleen Candy Apple Red – the same color found in the actual car – the Fender Stratocaster 1 is rock star’s dream come true. Fender’s newest custom electric guitar debuted last week at the National Association of Musical Merchants (NAMM) Show in Anaheim, California and was rightfully shown alongside the Saleen 1 supercar.
“Similar to Fender, Saleen was born and raised in Southern California, and the culture here of building hot rods and supercars has been very influential around the world,” said Steve Saleen, Founder and CEO of Saleen Automotive. “The qualities that we look at in producing cars at Saleen – the engineering, technology, sculpture and design and pride of craftsmanship – are very much in-line with what Fender looks at, as well.”
Unfortunately, Fender failed to disclose pricing and production numbers for the Stratocaster 1. But we do know the Saleen S1 starts at $100,000 with first deliveries arriving in mid-2020.