Fender Coronado II
(used in Speedway)

Elvis with Fender Coronado II from Speedway - 1968
Photo courtesy web

In the 1968 release of MGM's Speedway, Elvis' twenty-sixth film, he costars with Bill Bixby and Nancy Sinatra as a benevolent and successful race car driver in trouble with the IRS (Nancy Sinatra) because of extravagant spending and mismanagement of funds by his childhood friend/manager (Bill Bixby).  He had previously worked with Bill in Clambake and had first met Nancy when he returned from the Army and again when they worked together on her father Frank's Welcome Home Elvis television special in 1960.

Nancy Sinatra and Elvis with Fender Coronado II from Speedway - 1968
Screen capture © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Production began at MGM Studios in June of 1967 following Elvis' recent marriage in May in Las Vegas, which, incidentally, he traveled to and from via Frank Sinatra's personal Learjet.  In the movie he and Nancy perform one duet together of There Ain't Nothing Like a Song during the final scene and in it he is briefly pictured playing the only guitar he's seen with in the movie, all the while with his arms around Nancy.

1967 Sunburst Fender Coronado II
Photo courtesy Kwackers

The guitar used was a 1966 or 1967 Fender Coronado II.  Designed by Roger Rossmeisl, the head of Fender's R&D department who was brought in to Fender initially to develop their acoustic guitar line, he was also responsible for the development of a guitar seen with Elvis in Clambake, the 1967 Wildwood.

1968 Sunburst Fender Coronado II
Photo © Guitar Photographer

In their attempt to cash in on the semi acoustic thin-line electric series like the Gibson ES-335 and Epiphone Casino, the Coronado models, I, II and XII, were first listed by Fender in their July 1966 price list at $229.50, $319.50 and $449.50 respectively with Cherry and Sunburst the only colors listed.  An optional tremolo (vibrato) tailpiece was an extra $55.  They would soon offer a Coronado bass and other colors, including Wildwood and the antique-style Antigua.*

Nancy Sinatra and Elvis with Fender Coronado II in promotional shots from Speedway - 1968
Photos courtesy fem.com, web and MPTV.net

They guitars had maple front, back and sides with top and back binding on the top and back binding. While the Coronado I was a simpler single pickup model with dot inlays, the Coronado II featured two pickups, block inlays, neck and f-hole binding.  The necks were maple with rosewood fingerboards, optional maple fingerboards for the Coronado II in 1969. The Coronado XII was a twelve string version. The pickups were made by D'Armond but eventually were branded Fender. Though they are somewhat collectible today, the endeavor was not that successful for Fender at the time and the Coronados were discontinued in 1971.*

Bill Bixby, Nancy Sinatra and Elvis with Fender Coronado II from Speedway - 1968
Photo courtesy Ger Rijff's Elvis Album

Bill Lynn, an acquaintance of Elvis' who had appeared as a band mate on screen in Easy Come, Easy Go, also appear in Speedway as a member of the band in Speedway playing different instruments.  In the final scene of the movie he is seen as the drummer, his real life profession.  Though the Coronado II is used only briefly in the scene, it has appeared in more than a few promotional shots and had sometimes been confused as the very similar model played by Elvis during the 68 NBC TV Special, that being a Hagstrom Viking II.

This page added August 15, 2010 is part of the section The Movie Guitars of Elvis Presley.

*courtesy Vintage Guitar and Basses site.

FENDER®, STRATOCASTER®, STRAT®, TELECASTER®, TELE®, P BASS®, PRECISION BASS®, and the distinctive headstock designs of these guitars are registered trademarks of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.


All photos on this page unless otherwise indicated are the property of the designated persons or company, any unauthorized use or reproduction is prohibited.

Home History Discography Scrapbook Guitars etc... The Studios

The Venues

In the Press Tour Dates Links Search

This site created and managed by James V. Roy for Scotty Moore with the sole intent to help promote the arts and history of American popular music and Scotty's major role in it. Every attempt was made to give credit for any images or text borrowed from the World Wide Web and we greatly appreciate the use of it. Technical difficulties or questions dealing with this Server should be addressed to the Webmaster. Copyright © 2002, 2014