Bg wrote:poly is the best finish without a doubt, thats why they used it so much.
its only cork sniffery that wants thin lacquer based finishes, after all the tonewood has no effect either!
Read an article on 1950's paints recently (thanks Molly)
Back then, paint was evolving rapidly; especially automotive paint. Nitrocellulose lacquer was the basis for automotive paint but it had several major drawbacks; it's tendency to crack, for one.
This was addressed by adding plasticisers. Contrary to what it sounds like, plasticisers were slow dissolving solvents. You sprayed on a thick layer and over the years, they 'gassed off' until the paint thinned out and eventually cracked.
So: in the 1950's, paint was evolving like modern tech. By the time you owned it, it was already obsolete; which makes a mockery of 'period correct' Fender paint.
But there's my favourite bit:
Olympic White, many folks favourite Fender colour. From day one, it was Poly; never made in Nitro at all.
I can sense the gasps and shudders from here.