I know this is bit of a daft question but this has always puzzled me and I've never found an explanation.

I have a Fender Strat, made in Japan between 1984 and 1987, but it seems to be missing a screw on the scratchplate (in the picture below, I'd assume there should be a screw on the right between the middle and front screws). I've not modified the guitar in any way since I bought it from a high street music shop (in Chester) in the mid eighties.

Can anybody explain why it is missing the screw? It looks like it was done deliberately.

Cheers and thanks,


84 Vintage Fender Stratocaster have pickguard with 8 holes/pickguard screws, the later versions have pickguard with 11 holes/pickguard screws.. I have strong hunch your Stratocaster is made in Japan. i dont know the reasoning behind 8 and 11 pickguard screws.. just search Fender Statocaster 80s and compare your guitar.
I have Washburn guitars 'Maverick Series' and bass 'Bantam Series' and a few pedals and amps, but man I wish to have more patience and drive practicing my playing, if it's equal to the modding itch, then I'm golden.
Many thanks for the replies. Yep, made in Japan and now I see what I'm looking for the 8/11 holes make sense. Thanks so much. I'm new to identifying guitars but this put me on the right path. I think it's mid 80s but with a vintage styling but not necessarily a reissue. So confusing!