1958 Fender Stratocaster - Sunburst
The historic Strat, serial #028228, is a ‘58 three-tone sunburst with an alder body and “slim C” profile neck. The neck measures .840” at the first fret, .992” at the 12th fret, and has a slightly larger-than-standard 1.665” nut. The peghead thickness is .570”. It’s the last of three (or possibly four) Stratocasters that Holly owned during his short career. In July 1958, Manny’s in New York City shipped the Strat to him while he was on the road. This instrument replaced a Strat stolen from the group’s station wagon while the band stopped for lunch in east St. Louis, Missouri.
According to Tommy Allsup, who played lead guitar on several of Holly’s later records and tours, Fender shipped two free Stratocasters and two Twins to the band just before the July tour (one pair for Holly and one for Allsup), and it was Holly’s “free” Strat that was stolen and replaced by Manny’s. Some fans speculate that #028228 was sent to Holly in mid-April from Adair Music in Lubbock to replace another Strat (most likely his original ‘55 model) stolen on one of the DJ Alan Freed’s rock & roll “package” tours. This theory is doubtful, however, because #028228 is dated “4/58” on its neck and body cavity, and was probably still under construction (or being shipped to a dealer) in mid April. What we do know is #028228 was Holly’s last Stratocaster, and it was returned to his parents after that final tour.