40th Anniversary Custom Shop Telecaster

1988 Fender Custom Shop 40th Anniversary Telecaster in beautiful red finish, and it is STUNNING! This model is the guitar of choice for country legend Keith Urban, and this one looks brand new.

40th Anniversary Custom Shop Telecasters in all finishes

40th Anniversary Custom Shop Telecasters in all finishes

This is the very first run of guitars ever produced by the Fender Custom Shop and is highly collectable. All the original members have gone on to become “Master Builders” including Michael Stevens and John Page. These are the height of quality and nearly impossible to find. One of the Telecaster collectors holy grail. The pickup cavity is signed by all the Master Builders.

Clapton liked this one so much he had the Custom Shop build him one in 1992. Fender made this guitar with a unique 0 serial number as Clapton had seen and liked this anniversary model after all the 300 editions had already been made and were sold out. Recently was seen on Christie’s website for over $70K.


The 40th Anniversary Telecasters were a limited run of 300 with 100 of each color… red, sunburst, and natural. The best woods were chosen for the natural as it really highlights the grain. With a beautiful, highly flamed maple neck and gold hardware, this is one of the prettiest guitars you will ever come across. This particular one sat unplayed for most of its life and looks almost brand new! Not only that, it is incredible #81 making it an early one.


Note there were some of these made by the Fender Custom Shop after the original 300, but they are numbered differently and the collector value may be decreased a bit. They are also fantastic guitars.

The neck on this one is gorgeous highly figured Birds-Eye Maple. The pick guard is an unusual grained Ivoriod that matches the binding.  One of the nicest playing Telecasters I have ever played. Fret work is top of the mark. The bridge saddles are notorious for shedding their gold plating so Fender went for a “Rolex” look with gold bridge and non-gold saddles.

Keith Urban on the 40th Anniversary Telecaster. He owns several.

More on Keith Urban here.

This is one of the most valuable guitars in my collection and one of the hardest to find. You almost never see these for sale. If you do they fetch some very high prices. I was quite lucky to buy this one.

Signatures of Master Builders

Signatures of Master Builders in neck pickup cavity


  • Model Name: 40th Anniversary Telecaster
  • Model Number: 012-0850-000
  • Series: Limited Edition Anniversary Series
  • Body: Lightweight Louisiana Ash with Highly Figured Book Matched Maple Top
  • Neck: One Piece Highly Figured Maple
  • Fingerboard: Maple (9.5″ Radius)
  • No. of Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
  • Scale Length: 25.5″ (648 mm)
  • Width @ Nut: 1.650″ (42 mm)
  • Hardware: Gold
  • Machine Heads: Gold Fender Schaller
  • Bridge: Gold American Standard Tele
  • Pickguard: Grained Ivoriod Pickguard
  • Pickups: 2 Vintage Tele Pickups
  • Pickup Switching: 3-Position Selector Switch
  • Controls: Master Volume, Master TBX Tone Control
  • Colors: Honey Violin Transparent, Tinted Natural, Translucent Red
  • Unique Features: Top Bound with Grained Ivoriod Binding, Straplocks
  • Source: U.S. Fender Custom Shop
  • Introduced: June 1988
  • Only 300 Made to celebrate Fender’s 40th Year in Business















40th Anniversary Teles

40th Anniversary Teles