Martin De Casas – creator of the Antigua

A very cool story for fans of Fender’s awesome Antigua finish.

My Antigua = Awesome article has gotten a great response, with more people than I expected a fan of this strange colour scheme. I’ve received some really cool messages, but this one from Val was pretty surprising…

“My dad, Martin De Casas ,who passed in 2006, created the Antigua Color. Strange it was unpopular out there, cause here the color is still very popular . But I do agree the Japanese “green” Antigua is awful , dad was not too thrilled with that re-issue, but as he would say ‘that was not a re-issue it was a completely different color’ that used his name.”

“I am so happy that you love the color & your pictures & comments made me smile. But i feel i should make everyone extremely jealous by telling you we have the best Antigua of all. As a thank you for creating the Antigua color scheme my father was given the very 1st Antigua off the line , the ”proto- type”,along with a letter thanking him from the company , & i know you said wear shows love, but my dad took perfect care of his guitars & to this day the very first Antigua is still in perfect condition, looking like it just came off the line.”


“In the background is the original case & also the wood plaque in the back is the thank you note he recieved along with it , which he took old neck wood from the trash and placed the note on , and sealed with Fender sparkle-gold paint around the edges. This is from dads memorial so theres a picture of dad in the strings from Fender in the 60s.”

“The note reads;  To Martin De Casas: In recognition for your exceptional contribution made in the area of new color schemes for the guitar, particularly for your most recent concept , the Antigua , the company takes great pleasure in presenting you the first prototype model bearing this new color.

In Appreciation,
Joseph M. Lyons , Personnel Manager
February 28,1978″

“And as a side note, Fender was covering imperfect wood way before the Antigua. Fender came to dad & asked him specifically to come up with schemes to cover up the imperfect wood, thus he created the ( forgive me for not remembering the name of the line) glitter series, starting with the gold dust. Although many tease Fender for using previously rejected wood & painting over failed sprays, i actually believe they were ahead of there time by being green & not wasting, i know they were saving money of course, but before they started this practice my dad told of bins of wood in the garbage,what a waste”

“Enjoy your Antiguas everyone !”

Thanks very much for your message, Val. Your dad did great work.