Eric Clapton’s 1986 Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton Prototype (V000009)
This is the third prototype made by George Blanda that Eric received from Fender sometime in early 1986. Based on photos and video recordings from around that time, the guitar was used parallel with the other prototypes but was the only one to have made it into the 90s.
Also based on the photos, initially there didn’t seem to be any differences between the three guitars, aside from the color of the body.
By 1988 however, the second grey prototype received a 22-fret birds-eye maple neck in place of the standard vintage-style 21-fret neck. [SEPTEMBER 06: Eric Clapton (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)] This is also confirmed in the info posted on 1999 Christie’s auction [Lot 62, A 1986 Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton Signature Model – Christie’s], noting that Mike Stevens of Fender Custom Shop did the swap.
This guitar, serial number V000009, then became Eric’s main axe, and was used until the early 90s when he started using models finished in black – which were not available prior to that point. It was used most notably at the Royal Albert Hall in January/February 1989.
This third of the three prototypes remained in Clapton’s possession until 1999 when it was sold through Christie’s, fetching $107,000.