Fender Hits the Decks for Custom Shop’s Latest Reclaimed Wood Guitars


Following in the creative footsteps of the Old Growth Strat, Front Row Legend Esquire and 80 Proof Blues Junior, Fender has now used salvaged wood from a famous Toronto nightclub for a pair of limited-edition guitars by the Custom Shop Master Builder Ron Thorn.

The original El Mocambo was opened on Spadina Avenue in Toronto in 1948 when it housed a dining room on the ground floor and a dance floor on the upper level. The property changed hands several times before becoming a music venue in the early 1970s. The Rolling Stones made a surprise appearance in 1977 as The Cockroaches and attracted international press attention due to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s wife’s birthday party with the group.

Other notable performers on site include Tom Waits, U2, Joan Jett, Dream Theater, Jeff Healey, Blondie, Meat Loaf, Queens of the Stone Age, Al Di Meola and Elvis Costello. The list continues. But personally, I will always associate this place with an explosive performance filmed by the legendary Texan guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.

In late 2014 the club was refurbished by new owner Michael Wekerle and the limited edition Custom Shop El Mocambo guitars were built using the timber from the rafters and floor joints removed during this work.

The El Mocambo Telecaster is the work of Custom Shop Master Builder Ron Thorn


Toronto native and Custom Shop master builder Ron Thorn reportedly considered adding a striking yellow/green finish to the instruments to mark the occasion, but luckily decided against it.

“Once we got into the woods and how much character there was, it just seemed like a shame to cover it up,” he said. “We don’t need color, it’s just gorgeous exactly the way it is.”

The El Mocambo Stratocaster and Telecaster each have an eastern white pine body from the club’s renovation and have been treated with a heavy relic finish. Each rocks a Canadian maple neck with a 1959-style D-profile and 21 jumbo frets on an African blackwood fingerboard with gold inlays, including a palm tree motif inspired by the famous 22-foot (6.7m) board at the first fret.

A palm inlay inspired by the 22-foot panel outside the El Mocambo club sits at the first fret
A palm inlay inspired by the 22-foot panel outside the El Mocambo club sits at the first fret


Both instruments have also been treated to hand-wound Josefina Campos pickups with special wiring and switching – with the Strat sporting a Texas Special single coil in the bridge, a Vintage 65 in the middle and a 69 in the neck, while the Tele also gets a Texas Special in the bridge position but the neck slot is filled with a Twisted Tele.

Elsewhere there is a Vintage Custom Shop tremolo bridge for the Strat and a 58-63 Tele bridge with Gatton saddles for the Tele, etched neck plates for both, black 3-ply pickguards and style tuners vintage.

“These are definitive rock guitars,” Thorn said. “These are special guitars. And where the wood has been for 80 years, that just makes it that little bit more special.”

Th El Mocambo guitars are delivered in pairs and come with hard cases, a "collectible candy box" and certificate of authenticity
Th El Mocambo guitars come in pairs and come complete with hard cases, “collectible candy kit” and certificate of authenticity


The El Mocambo Strat and Tele are available as a pair for US$25,000 and come complete with stunning green hard cases, guitar strap, DVD of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s amazing 1983 show, stickers and certificate of delivery. ‘authenticity. The video below has more.

El Mocambo Stratocaster & Telecaster | Dream factory | Wing

Product Pages : Strat El Mocambo, El Mocambo TV


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