Pictured below are the two Fender Telecaster necks side by side. The maple neck on the top was purchased as a "1969" neck. It does have all the attributes of a 1969 and up neck. Unlike the maple cap necks of 1968 it has the skunk strip on the back were the truss rod was inserted. The neck and fretboard are one piece of maple. This is essentially how they made maple necks in the 50's. After offering Rosewood fretboards Fender again offered maple fretboards but they were capped just like the rosewood fretboards.


My friend and I speculate on why Fender would choose to put "Fender" decals on some left handed necks and "Telecaster" on others. I guess I understand that the standard decal fit a right handed headstock just fine and perhaps if clipped and swapped may fit a left handed one. But to put half a decal on one guitar and half a decal on another?  Who knows.  I have seen at least three left handed Telecasters with the "Fenderless wonder" decal. All dating from 1968-1969.


When I bought the 1969 maple neck (left) it had been "professionally re-doweled" and unfortunately drilled to "specs". Well whatever the specs were they were not mine. I re-re-doweled the holes and re-drilled them for a snug fit on my 1968 Telecaster body. Curiously the "Fenderless wonder" rosewood neck (right) is beautifully dated in a most obvious fashion. It is dated SEP68B. Nothing cryptic about that. What is cryptic is the "SPECIAL" stamped across the back of the heel. If by "special" they mean undesirable to the Fender aficionado (like I'm) because it doesn't say Fender then yes, It is indeed "special". Apparently it bothered me enough to buy another neck to put on. I must say though that the maple fretboard give this guitar the classic Tele look with the butterscotch body and black guard.


This was before the rosewood Fender-less neck was replaced.