Most of the big guitars makers end up giving away a fair number of great instruments as part of their promotional campaigns (if you follow this blog you might have noticed that Gibson & Epiphone are particularly proficient at this) but the latest contest from Fender seriously ups the ante.
While IMHO any free guitar is a good guitar, Fender’s not just giving away a nice instrument… they’re giving away a small piece of history––the original prototype of their new Highway One HSS Stratocaster. As in: this is the exact guitar that appears in their Highway One ads (including the one seen here.)
According to Fender’s website the guitar was built in Spring of this year (2006) in the company’s Research & Development shop, in Corona, CA. As a true prototype, the guitar’s design hadn’t been completely realized at the time that it was built, so it is a true one-of-a-kind instrument.
Unlike the Highway One HSS Strat that was finally built and released by Fender this Summer, this prototype version is said to sport a more vintage-styled pickup, and apparently shows the wear & tear expected from a guitar that has been well-played during R&D, and even put through numerous photo shoots.
I hope whoever wins this thing thinks long and hard about just wrapping it up and storing it away for safe keeping––while the guitar would undoubtedly be a pleasure to play, my guess is it could be worth a small fortune in another 30 to 40 years.
You can sign-up for the Highway One HSS Protoype giveaway at Fender’s online contest page.