My guitar collection - G&L


Beyond the 2-pickup Interceptor II, this is the other configuration in which the entirely unique and quirky 1st X-body Interceptor was available: one with 3 narrow-bobbin Magnetic Field Design (MFD) pickups identical to the ones found on the Nighthawk and SC-3. The soft maple body on this guitar has a Red-over-Black finish, as it is referred to in the relevant price lists, with a fair amount of flame. Where it has chipped away, you can clearly see the Black has been applied over the Red finish, so Black-over-Red might be more accurate. It has the Dual-Fulcrum Vibrato (DFV) and black powder-coated control panel with 3-position pickup selector, volume control, and PTB circuit. The hard-rock maple neck has a 7½” radius fingerboard. Although most of the X-body Interceptors appearing in ads have a maple fingerboard, the majority actually have an ebony fingerboard. Even though the color matched sickle headstock with the G&L hook has chromed hardware, including the G&L branded closed tuning machines w/tab, the model decal and logo still use a gold font. Beyond the “Interceptors” page on this site, one is referred to the Interceptor Rarebird page on the Guitars by Leo Registry. The large picture at the top of that page is a gorgeous flame Interceptor III in Natural Gloss built for one of the NAMM exhibitions.


Interceptor III (1st X-body)

The story behind this guitar


Serial number:

Neck date:

Body date:


That beautiful NAMM Natural Gloss Interceptor III will make your mouth water. The current owner is not willing to part with it. And why would he? It was only by complete happenstance I found this one while looking for something different on Heritage Auctions’ website. As sold, it was missing the black plastic knob at the end of the tremolo arm as well as the cover plate for the spring cavity. This got fixed by ordering the replacement parts on the Electric Stringed Instruments (ESI) website operated by Greg Dellevigne. And no, it is not a copy-paste error. The date stamps in the pocket and on the heel are exactly the same as for Leo’s Interceptor II. No wonder the necks look so similar. Gabe also told me the completion date for this guitar is 10/6/1983 when it was entered in the sales log. If so, that makes this a non-gold hardware Interceptor from the first day of standard production referenced in Dale’s letter of provenance for S/N G000002, just one day after Leo Crabtree finalized work on that Interceptor II for Leo. Both body and neck dates are the same for both of these instruments. But note that whereas Leo’s Interceptor II has a script “by Leo Fender” under the G&L logo, this Interceptor III has the standard logo with “Made in U.S.A. Pat. Pend. Fullerton, CA.” underneath. And sure, the Interceptor III is just a maple body Nighthawk in disguise. But this very ergonomic guitar sounds as gorgeous as it looks, especially with all pots dialed back a bit. The coolest quack for the in-between settings, while well defined when separate pups are selected.

The story behind this guitar



SEP 15 1983

AUG 11 1983

D’Addario EXL120 Nickel Wound Super Light (9-42)