Okay, so in 1981 Fender introduced these amazing colors. They were limited. They were eccentric, and they were bright. I'm falling more and more in love with them every day. Just... awesome.
The colours were; Arctic White, Morocco Red, Maui Blue, Monaco Yellow, Capri Orange, Sahara Taupe, and Cathay Ebony. The stratocasters produced later in 1981 became known as the "Dan Smith Straocasters" and began adopting the 4 bolt neck joint. These were some of the last produced with the 3 bolt joint. The series did not continue into later years so with only 1981 production of these colors are a very rare find indeed.
Every Fender dealer could get them from Fender in a batch of 15 guitars per color. So, if someone wanted to buy a capri orange the dealer had to buy 15 from Fender.
The Sahara Taupe was the one finish that did feature the 4 bolt neck and non-bullet truss rod. Most people theorize that the Sahara Taupe are the leftover 1979 anniversary guitars. All of the Sahara Taupes I have ever seen were 4 bolt guitars? whilst some believe it was a remnant from the run of 1979 25th Stratocaster Anniversary guitars", there is nothing from Fender to support this.
Unfortunatley information on this Short lived run of guitars are fairly scarce. Few believe it was Fender's way of clearing out old stock prior to the launch of the Smith Strat. If I recall correctly Bob Gruhn refers to it in passing.
Below are some pictures of a Beautiful Maui blue i obtained i few months back. The guitar was part of a large collection which had unfortunately been passed down from a death in the family. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the guitar was immaculate all over. Its always a good sign when the case looks factory fresh. I remember opening the case and being fragranced by the smell of aged lacquer.
It seems the most popular finish is Capri Orange. Among the wealth of guitar forum's capri orange is speculated as the rarest and most sought after. This "Maui Blue" 1 owner, all original strat not only sounds great, but plays just as well as it looks. There are no issues with it. An unbelievable find for its age. The frets are in incredible condition, with virtually no ware. Everything works as it should. This guitar was bought new in 1981.
These are continuing to increase in value and will keep going up. What a great investment for someone who enjoys old Strats and wants something unique and different. As you can imagine she wasnt for sale too long selling at £2000. I hope she enjoys her new home in Devon!