Fender Telecaster Gold Elite

Bill Schultz, who became Fender president in 1981 and would lead the employee group that bought Fender in 1985, recognized the Telecaster’s fan base and began offering fancier versions of the basic model, exemplified by the Gold Elite Telecaster of 1983.

The Elite’s upgrades included active electronics with a pair of white-covered poleless pickups, a bound top and a tremolo bridge with six individual saddles and drop-in string loading.

For the elite of the Elite, Fender added gold-plated hardware and pearloid tuner buttons to create the Gold Elite.