Grouse Guitars, your favourite vintage guitar dealer
Grouse Guitars - your vintage guitar, bass and amp dealer. Click the 'back' plectrum to go back to the previous page, or click the "Grouse Guitars" nameplate above to go directly to the Grouse Guitars homepage.

In 1993, Fender purchased some aluminum bodies from Marty Schulte at Spruce Hill Guitars, and had some engraved for that year's NAMM show. In 1994, Fender made approximately 400 American Standard Stratocasters and 100 American Standard Telecasters anodized in three colors. There was a blue tie-dye, a purple tie-dye and an American flag pattern for Fender's 40th Anniversary. Unfortunately, Fender didn’t keep records of how many were made in each color.

There were several other versions, including from the Fender Custom Shop in California, which used Marty Schulte's beautiful hand-made bodies. The highly engraved chrome Aloha, the chrome Mustang Strat for Ford Motor Co., and many limited editions or one-of-a-kinds. The most famous (and these days, valuable) is the 1993 Harley Davidson Anniversary Stratocaster. Most of this information can be found in the "Vintage Guitar" magazine, July 1997 and July 1998 issues.

My personal introduction to these amazing guitars was in 2006 when I saw Robert Cray live at the Melbourne Arts Centre. That performance was remarkable for the phenomenal amplifier troubles he suffered that night, but also for the amazing sight and sound of his Aluminium (he'd have called it Aluminum) Strat (the Austin Chronicle also has a photograph of him using an aluminium Telecaster at the 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival). I was in no position to afford the huge prices being asked for the Aluminium Fenders on the market, but it wasn't long before I got in contact with Marty Schulte himself, and I ordered 4 bodies to eventually build my own dream guitars. A Strat body, a Strat and Tele each in single-cone resonator form, and a Tele body especially ordered to make a 30" scale aluminium-Tele-bodied Baritone (tuned A-A) or Fender VI (tuned E-E) custom, depending on the strings fitted.

That order turned into a drawn-out wrangle as deadlines came and went several times. It went on to become an unpleasant and quite expensive experience (I have no idea what caused the obvious personal melt-down by the maker, but many others got burned at that time, and many weren't as lucky - or persistent - as me and lost their money and their patience in the end). Maybe Fender's very small production numbers using these bodies reflect the same supply issues. However, as with most artists, Marty's craftsmanship was astounding. You really have to see these bodies in detail to fully appreciate the amazing metalworking skill involved. They are truly works of art in themselves, using 1/16" 5052 aluminium sheet for the hand-beaten body sections and aircraft-grade 6061 structural aluminium for the TIG-welded strutted interior framework.

Spruce Hill seems to have continued to have a spurious existence - a newspaper article here outlines one USA town's experience - and recently appears to have started again in another location.

Eventually my order was honoured, and I kept the four bodies in storage (along with necks I had custom made to my preferences) awaiting transformation into my dream instruments. Life's trials and tribulations and a major health issue intervened for almost a decade.

Until now...here are the truly superb and unique instruments that have just emerged from my workshop after countless hours of very exacting work. And huge thanks to Andy at Guitarlogoz who printed (here in Australia) the grouse Alumaster headstock decals.


Alumaster Strat®

(click image to view more details and photos)

Alumaster Baritone Tele®

(click image to view more details and photos)

Alumaster Reso Strat®

(click image to view more details and photos)

Alumaster Reso Tele®

(click image to view more details and photos)

 

Not for sale!


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