One of the rarest instruments ever produced by Fender, with numbers thought to be only around 100 made between 1968 and 1972, the Fender Montego is a real collectors item. Commissioned as a high end hollow body experiment in 1968 by CBS, and designed by Roger Rossmeisl in the Fender R&D department, the Montego and LTD models produced were further ventures in to the hollow body market after Rossmeisl's work on both the Coronado and the Starcaster. The Montego I & II models feature styles and sounds that were not typically associated with the company, and were seen initially as a challenge to makers like D'Angelico and the higher end Gibson arch top instruments. Though appearing in the 1969 Fender catalog, the Montego II was essentially a custom order instrument, constructed in the R&D department by Rossmeisl and Phil Kubicki. Rare as they are, this 1972 Fender Montego II is extra special, as we believe it to be factory fitted with the companies CuNiFe Wide Range Humbuckers. It is the only example we can find, and as such may well be a factory prototype.
Montego models were built with a custom designed jazz hum bucker developed by Freddie Tavares, with its unique shape recognisable on all models seen for sale, along with original catalog. Upon looking at this guitar, it became clear that this guitar had never been fitted with the typical Montego jazz pickup. The wiring loom is original, intact and untampered with, and the original pickguard has been cut and bevelled to accommodate the larger Wide Range shape, rather than the slightly slanted cut guard seen with the standard Montego pickup. Even the pickup risers allude to factory work, with a white plastic used either end with a stack of two rubber grommets that reminds us of the pickup surrounds used on vintage Rickenbacker hollow body guitars, which would make sense given who was putting together these Montego instruments. To the best of our knowledge, we are as sure as can be that this is the only example of a Montego II guitar to have left Fender with the Wide Range pickups fitted. As these pickups were introduced by Fender in 1971, it is believable that the R&D department would have tested them out in what was at the time one of the companies top of the line arch top guitars.
Aside from this, this 1972 Fender Montego II is a beautifully crafted instrument. Constructed from a pressed Spruce top and heavily flamed Maple back and sides, it would have been one of the more resplendent arch top guitars available at the time. The hardware and electronics are original, although there are no visible pot codes. The Montego guitars were finished with multi ply top and back binding, ornate pearl headstock and fingerboard inlays, and an ebony block trapeze tailpiece bearing the 'F' logo. The Grover tuners, pick guard, bridge and knobs are original and correct. The label is hand signed by Roger Rossmeisl, and bears the production number 106.
This guitar is in very good cosmetic condition, and is internally and externally original. There is some minor lacquer checking to the front and rear of the body, along with some ageing to the pickguard. This guitar also includes a period hard case.
As with all our vintage instruments, this guitar has been given a thorough service by the Vintage Instrument Workshop and is guaranteed for 3 years in line with our vintage instrument warranty.