Strat-type Build For an Uncle

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Wizzer, Sep 11, 2019 at 6:28 PM.

  1. Wizzer

    Wizzer Squier-holic

    Jul 12, 2010
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Back in the day, my first car was a '68 Charger R/T. It had been sitting in a barn near my home in Iowa for God knows how long. My uncle and I took it to his buddy's shop in a small town and set to restoring it. I sold all my baseball cards to fund the restoration, which amounted to almost $10k at the time.

    We drove to that small town almost every night for about two years. I learned everything from sanding to carb rebuilding to prepping and painting. I loved that car. My uncle was only seven years older than me and we bonded quite a bit over that two years. We rebuilt the factory 440 Magnum motor and restored it top to bottom.

    We brought it home and all it needed was a new vinyl top, something we were going to have a shop in town take care of for us. Naturally, being 17 years old, I had talked a lot of smack at school about how fast it was and how it was going to blow the doors off every car in our high school's parking lot.

    Long story short, someone broke into the garage and vandalized it beyond repair. Or at least, beyond repairs that I could afford to make. They put sand in the oil and I started the car and it screwed the motor something fierce. My credit union wouldn't loan money on a car that old and I was only making minimum wage at the grocery store, which was $3.35/hour at the time.

    I ended up selling the car and I'm going to stop talking about it before I get too emotional. I still miss it. Every day.

    Anyway...we had a family reunion at the end of August and a few months prior, my son and I decided to do a build for my uncle that was a tribute to that car. I used my Strat template to shape a big piece of alder, and I made it thinner than standard because my uncle needed the weight relief(years of machinist work has wrecked his back). Picked up a neck from GFS's clearance section, shaped the headstock, tinted it amber and put on some trapezoid tuners I had at home. I got some Dodge paint--code B5 blue--off the internet and shot it with a full can, then a couple cans of clear gloss.

    New bridge and pickups from Amazon. (Nothing special, pickup-wise.) . Chrome plastics for everything. I got a mirrored plastic pickguard and backplate. Then in the midst of a, well...herbal remedy evening I decided to put some amp tolex on the guard and back plate to simulate the car's black vinyl top. Worked like a charm. Then I ordered up a '68 side marker light off eBay, drilled a hole beneath the bridge, and epoxy'd it into the body. Kind of a nice touch, I think.

    At the reunion at the end of August, my son and I gave it to him in the hotel. We have a big family(grandparents had five girls and five boys, then raised me as number eleven). I didn't want him to get emotional in front of everyone and I figured he would. I was right. And when he got emotional, then I did, my son did, and his wife did. Kind of am again right now.

    He's not a guitar player, but I wanted him to have something that reminded him of the car. And of me, I guess. We live about 2000 miles apart and I hadn't seen him in about a dozen years. I can't make a '68 Charger but I can make a guitar, so I did the best I could.

    Pics, as usual. (Taken before intonation was set.)

    Thanks for letting me run on all long-winded, also as usual.

    Attached Files:

    Rey08, mofojar, Davis Sharp and 11 others like this.
  2. Kenneth Mountain

    Kenneth Mountain Squier-Axpert

    Beautiful Story and Guitar ! How can we not get emotional ? Kudos !
    Wizzer likes this.
  3. daan

    daan Squier-holic

    Oct 21, 2013
    Twin Cities
    That is super badass! The vinyl top pick guard is super cool, and the side marker light is a really awesome touch. How hard would it be, to make it light up when you plug it in?
    Wizzer and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  4. WNCStratman

    WNCStratman Squier-Meister

    Aug 21, 2019
    North Carolina
    Man, I don’t normally get that emotional but reading this story really got to me. I hate to hear when people choose to do the worst instead of the best they can do(some people really are hateful and jealous)I really hate to hear about your car back in the day, but man, when you did this project, you knocked it out of the park!! What a gorgeous guitar and a strong showing of the kind of human you are. This is just beyond cool.
    Kenneth Mountain, daan and Wizzer like this.
  5. Best1989

    Best1989 Squier-Nut

    Apr 25, 2019
    What a great motivation for a beautiful guitar like that one. Love it!
    Kenneth Mountain and Wizzer like this.
  6. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Nov 24, 2018
    Grouse hunting
    Beautiful guitar and great job. It's definitely a sad story about the break in and destroying the car.
    Wizzer and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  7. wickedtools

    wickedtools Squier-holic

    May 16, 2010
    west texas
    What a great build, love the looks of that Strat :)
    Wizzer and Kenneth Mountain like this.
  8. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Squier-holic

    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
  9. Davis Sharp

    Davis Sharp Dr. Squier

    Jan 7, 2016
    Maryland, USA
    Fantastic inspiration. Outstanding execution.
    Kenneth Mountain and Wizzer like this.
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