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If the date is unreadable, it can also be written on the body under the pickguard or cavity form the pickups.
January 1965 Fender was acquired by CBS Corporation.
As you can see by the overlap of numbers and years, the reference to the actual date of manufacture is rather vague.
In March 1985, CBS Corporation sold Fender to a group of private investors led by William Schultz, where the company get the current name Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
Due to a mistake at the factory in 1990 N9 decals (which were intended for use in 1999) applied to a several instruments that were built in that year. Deluxe Series have the same standard but with the addition of a D for the Z, eg. Also here some overlap of numbers, prefixes and year.
The serial numbers in principle chronological, but as already mentioned, as a result of Fender's production, there are a several serial numbers that overlap.
The only way to try to figure out the date is to remove the neck from the body and check the butt end of the heel of the neck.
As a result of this mistake, you will be able to get a guitar with a serial number N9 that was built in 1990. The following serial numbers stay somewhat outside the well-known Fender numbering.
The guitars from 1990 have the serial number on the front of the headstock. If you have doubts about an odd serial number check the chart below, maybe you can find the number composition here.