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Fiesta Red Fender Jag-Stang Prototype Sold At Auction

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The Fiesta Red Jag-Stang prototype is up for auction at Juliens at this url:

Blog Post with details: https://www.jag-stang.com/2018/05/fiesta-red-fender-jag-stang-prototype-up-for-auction/

Auction closes at 05/19/2018 10:00 AM EDT.

The auction has now closed with a winning bid well above the estimate.
Winning Bid: $93,750

It looks like the guitar has ended up at Fender HQ in Scottsdale, Arizona based on this instagram post by Brad Traweek.


Edited by Al(ex)
Edited with info on winning bid. Added current location of guitar.
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I find some things odd with this guitar....don't want to be a buzzkill but....

The Serial# V069200 would be a MIJ Serial# from circa 1996 - some of us here on the board have Jag-Stang's with earlier serials - mine is U023314 for example (MIJ), the registry puts mine as a 1995 - which was the first year these were made from what I understand (the first reviews and writings about them started to appear around mid 1995, I remember Guitar Player's September 1995 issue had a full page review of the "Brand new" Fender Jag-Stang). Kurt Cobain's red prototype from the custom shop I'd think would have had a serial# of KC000002 (not sure on the # of zeroes) based on the fact his original Jag-Stang used on the In Utero tour and given to Peter Buck was KC000001. So I don't think this is the Jag-Stang they are trying to imply it as being - esp seeing as they are providing the cardboard cutouts for the final body design and Cobain's Fax with it.

Unless of course this was a Japanese pre-production body and neck with the Custom Shop pickups in it, which then is even more weird because that does not explain the 1996 serial#. We all know the RED guitar was about to be shipped sometime around April 4th 1994 as they were about to ship it as it was announced that Kurt had passed on - but this implies 1996 because V + 6 digits =1996-1997, just seems very odd to me after reading of the original KC000001 Serial#. I got the figures from Fender's site below.


That said, I have theories on why this could be.

A = Fender Custom Shop chose to use a different serial#

B = something happened with the neck or neck and body of the original, it does kind of look like there are hex-poles in the bridge humbucker, which IS a DiMarzio thing and IIRC the original production Jag-Stang H3 did not have that configuration.

C = Fender could have exchanged the original with a Japanese doppleganger from Japanese production for the museum, maybe the other is elsewhere....like the Vaults or Paul Allen's sealed away vault where a lot of Kurt's other guitars are supposed to be. I did see photos of the display at the Fender Museum and it appears the Jag-Stang was far less protected than some of the other guitars there, like the Maurauder which was behind glass, and the early Tele's, it appears Kurt's guitar was hanging on the wall. Possible Fender put a doppleganger out there in case of liability to keep the original safe. I know the R&R Hall of Fame in Cleveland had problems with people stealing the knobs off of Kurt Cobain's In Utero mustang and had to put it behind glass as a result (after a brief time of a note telling people to NOT steal parts of the display). That way if someone stole the knobs or ran off with the Jag-Stang, the original would still be safe.

D = They exchanged it for purpose above, and then forgot the original is in a vault somewhere.

Of course, I still can't say any of this 100% for sure because we would need to see the serial#. Having a "Made in Japan" above it would really show that this is not that legitimate. If it were truly custom shop, it either would be unmarked (I think the original KC000001 guitar was unmarked as custom shop), or it would be that serial without the Japan marking on it.

That serial really begs a lot of questions - especially to me who memorized my serial - how would Kurt Cobain be getting a Jag-Stang with a 1996 Japanese serial in 1994? Does Emmet L. Brown work for the custom shop?

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I noticed the serial number thing too.  But I am assuming (could be totally wrong) that prototype models do not adhere to any production serial number stamping and standards.  The listing also says the serial number is stamped on the neckplate which is not standard for the production run. As you know the serials are stamped on the back of the neck above the neck joint.

This guitar and included material in this auction is essentially what was on display at the Fender Museum. Fender Museum of the Arts Foundation is noted as providing provenance.

Back in 2008 a forum user sent us some photos (link and photos below) from the Fender Museum exhibit. And the exhibit included the prototype guitar, drawing, and the body shape cutouts. These look like the same cutouts and design drawing. The lack of more detailed guitar photos is disappointing though. 

Prototype jag-stang at Fender Museum [blog link]




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  • 1 month later...

It wouldn’t follow MIJ serial numbers. A “V” serial for Fender is normally used for AVRI guitars. Since it was a prototype, Brooks probably grabbed a V neckplate from the bin as it needed to have some serial number. There is an article posted by a new member, Malecheo. It’s a 1997 article by Larry Brooks who was the builder assigned to the guitar. He talks about this prototype in the article. Fender kept the prototype. 

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