Thursday, 25 September 2014

Barcley-branded Japanese copy of Fender Maverick/Custom
The Fender Custom - also known as the Maverick (see here) - was a short-lived model "designed" by the CBS-owned incarnation of the Fender Corporation and was really an exercise in using up stock body and neck components for the Fender Electric XII (first produced in 1965) which had not proved to be a big seller. The resulting guitars do appear to our eyes now to be Frankenstein jobs, but perhaps we should applaud Fender who were essentially simply re-cycling (or is that up-cycling) parts. According to Fender, just "several hundred" were made and the model was never popular; it was only produced for one year and managed to hang on in the Fender catalogue until 1972.

...which makes it all the more bizarre that someone in Japan thought it would be a good guitar to make a copy of. Witness the photos above of this Japanese-made Barcley guitar currently listed on eBay UK. The hardware is pretty standard fodder for cheap Japanese guitars of the time, and the neck makes no attempt to copy the 12-string derived hockeystick headstock of the Fender "original". In fact, here the headstock is a design that some of us might recognise from other Japanese brands such as Greco and Sekova.

The body design, however, is pure Custom/Maverick. It seems strange to think that this body was cut out and shaped deliberately to look like the body of a guitar that took a Fender Electric XII body and cut chunks off of it!

This guitar is currently listed on eBay UK and has a Buy It Now price of £129. Thanks to occasional Guitarz contributor David from Barcelona for bringing this guitar to my attention via the Vintage Japanese Guitar Fanclub group page on Facebook. Incidentally, the discussion on the thread concerning this guitar mentions that the Barcley brandname (spelt with a "E") was for guitars intended for the Canadian market, whereas Barclay (with an "A") was for the USA.

You can read more about the original Fender Custom/Maverick and also the similar "up-cycled" Swinger/Musiclander/Arrow model here.

G L Wilson

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1 comment:

  1. That is such an insane concept that I love it—all the bad features from cheesy 60's Japanese guitars slapped on top of a slab copy of Fender's most hideous design!



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