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In 1968, Fender’s supply of lightweight ash tonewood was dwindling. Babe Virgilio and Roger Rossmeisl looked for ways to use readily available, but heavier, grades of ash for the Telecaster. Their solution was to hollow out portions of the body to reduce weight. The body was routed from the back on each side of pickup assembly creating hollow “wings.” A thin back panel was then glued on the back. A new style pickguard was fitted and the resulting model was dubbed the Telecaster Thinline. When it was introduced in late 1968, the Telecaster Thinline was offered with either a natural finished ash or mahogany body with a maple fingerboard. In 1969, a three tone sunburst finish and rosewood fingerboard was also offered as an option. The maple cap fingerboard of 1968 gave way to a fretted maple neck in early 1969. And finally, in 1972, the Telecaster Thinline was outfitted with a pair of Fender’s new humbucking pickups and it remained unchanged in the Fender line until it was discontinued in 1980. The guitar shown here is from late 1969 and has an ash body with fretted maple neck. The candy apple orange finish is neither original nor a color that Fender ever used. It does look very cool, however.


Body: Semi-hollow, ash

Finish: Candy Apple Orange (non-original), polyurethane

Neck: 1-piece maple, bolt-on

Fingerboard: Maple; black plastic dot markers

Number of Frets: 21

Pickguard: Pearloid/black/white plastic laminate

Bridge: Fender steel; chrome

Nut: Plastic

Tuners: Fender, enclosed, chrome

Pickups: Two, Fender single coil

Controls: Master tone, master volume, 3-way pickup selector

Scale Length: 25 1/2 inches

Neck Width at Nut: 1 5/8 inches

Body Width at Lower Bout: 12 5/8 inches

Body Depth: 1 1/2 inches

Weight: 6.3 lb.

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