Dan Erlewine's Mod Squad(8)

This month, it’s the grand finale of the many-faceted repair job the Mod Squad has been performing on a trashed ’65 Fender Mustang. (Check out the March, April, and May issues to trace back the entire repair gig.) Here, Elliot John-Conry tackles the hacked-up body to bring back the butchered Mustang as close to original condition as possible. The owner, Matt Palsgrove, almost cried when he saw how well the Mod Squad had resurrected his “$50, as is” guitar. Now he has a real Mustang kickin’ in its stall!

Fig. 2: Elliot machined away the rough-hewn pickup cavity in order to glue in (using slow-curing epoxy) a plug of alder. The cavity was brutalized for installation of a humbucker, so for reasons of resonance and proper seating of the two “original spec” single-coils (made from scratch by Mod Squadder Erick), we didn’t want wide-open spaces under the pickguard.

Fig. 3: Elliot took care to match the alder plug to the color of the original finish—laying a piece of glass over the body upon which to mix and compare colors—even though the cavity is hidden by the pickguard. It took three weeks for the lacquer to dry rock hard, but, as you can see, the match is crazy good.

Fig. 4: The final wiring job was a headache, as the switches turned out to be bad. We installed new ones.