Mark Knopfler’s 1962 Fender Stratocaster (Maple)

This was Mark’s second Fender Stratocaster, acquired sometime in the mid to late 70s. It is believed that the guitar itself was made sometime in the early 60s and that it was actually a Japanese copy featuring a maple neck which wasn’t typical for that time period on American Stratocasters.

Mark playing his '62 Stratocaster in the
Mark playing his ’62 Stratocaster in the “Sultans of Swing” music video.

This guitar has been a subject of many theorycrafting and people trying to figure out its origins. Ingo Raven at is probably the most on-point. He thinks that although some of the parts on the guitar might be Japanese, that’s not necessarily the case for the guitar as a whole. He notes that some parts seem to have been changed and gathered from different sources, hinting at a possible Part-caster. (Read the full story on

Mark’s maple Strat was taken apart in 1982 by John Suhr, who then noticed all these irregularities and replaced the original neck with a Schecter one-piece maple neck. Soon after that, perhaps because of finding out that his Strat wasn’t genuine, Mark stopped playing it altogether and moved on to Schecters and other guitars.

This guitar was allegedly sold at an auction for a charity cause, although we haven’t been able to find an official listing for it or information about its current whereabouts.


This Stratocaster was Mark’s main guitar for live performances in the early days. It was used extensively in the late 70s, more so than Mark’s ’61 Strat. It was also seen in numerous music videos, including “Sultans of Swing”, “Lady Writer”, and “Wild West End”.


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