Saturday, 26 November 2011

1968 Fender Coronado II semi-hollowbody in southpaw edition and Antigua finish
Here's another left-handed Fender in Antigua finish, this one being their almost forgotten first attempt at a semi-hollowbody guitar, the Fender Coronado II. The Coronado series was designed by Roger Rossmeisl, who had previously designed guitars for Rickenbacker, and were produced between 1966 and 1972. The Coronado models I and II differed in number of pickups (which, incidentally, were made by DeArmond), the Coronado I having a single neck pickup and the Coronado II having an additional pickup in the bridge position. There was also a 12-string model, the Coronado XII, plus a bass model. Antigua was not the only rare finish, as a number of Coronado II and XIIs were made in Wildwood editions with bodies constructed of highly grained beech wood from trees which had been injected with colourful chemical dyes before being harvested.

But back to the Antigua finish. Note how the 1960s Antigua differs from that produced in the late 1970s. The 60s version is almost a cream to black burst, whereas in the 1970s the whole burst effect is more "mushroom"-like. A few years ago I had one of the Crafted In Japan Fender Strat reissues in Antigua, and the colour was different yet again having more of a green tinge to it.

What's more, the eBay listing tells us that the above-pictured Fender Coronado II originally had a cherry finish before being refinished in the factory in Antigua. I had heard the the Antigua finish was originally developed to hide a mistake and wonder if this might be the reason for this guitar being refinished. (Anyone know the full story?)

Anyway, this guitar is currently being offered for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $2,590.

G L Wilson

Additional: Via the comments Sam writes:
I have a book on Fender called The Fender Electric Guitar Book: A Complete History Of Fender Instruments.

Here's what it says: "Virgilio 'Babe' Simoni remembered a particular problem with the Coronados... 'We couldn't get the binding material to stick to the Coronados,' he said later. 'We'd bind them at night and come back in the morning and the thing would be popped loose. [So we had to] re-bind them several times, and the veneer is very thin on them.' In order to cover up the burn marks caused by this re-binding, the team had no choice but to devise a special white-to-brown shaded finish, which they called Antigua, to salvage the scorched Coronados."
So yeah, perfectly conceivable - and very likely - that this was one such Coronado originally finished in cherry and then refinshed in Antigua by Fender after the binding failure damaged the previous finish. - GLW

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  1. that one looks like a remake.
    i have a real 69 and they are different in a few ways.
    just so ya know

    1. The re-issues have only just been launched now in late 2013. This blog post is dated November 2011 so it is hardly one of those!

      Also I have seen photos of these Antigua Coronados before. DEFINITELY an original.

  2. That's the real deal and sweet as pie..... Dearmond pickups and left handed too! the new ones have what are essentially Gretsch Filtertron pickups.

  3. That's the real deal and sweet as pie. Dearmond pickups, proper trem etc. I wish (as a lefty) they were making them as equipped like this one.



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