Ultra rare, the 1983-1984 Bowling Ball Fender Stratocaster was also known as a Marble Strat. It is believed that only 250 of these guitars were produced in this swirl finish. Of these 250 guitars, Fender offered 3 unique color schemes, the red, black & white (108), blue, black & yellow (105) and the rarest of all bowling ball Stratocasters being the gold & white swirl (37). Even rarer were the 50 Telecasters that were produced in this same finish.
Another interesting notation is the fact that the Bowling Ball Stratocaster is not a standard configuration, instead a Smith Stratocaster which has one volume, one tone knob and the input jack is located in place of the additional tone knob. This guitar has no access plates on the back side, leaving a beautiful pallet to highlight this one off paint scheme. Also notable is that they were only offered in a maple fretboard.
Darren Johansen developed the technique and introduced the process to Fender in the CBS era. Unfortunately by the time the first 250 Bowling Ball Strats and 50 Marble Telecasters were produced, the transition of Fender CBS to Fender FMIC halted further production of these collectible Strats.
As we move further into the 21st century, rarities such as these Bowling Ball Stratocasters / Telecasters from an otherwise un-note worthy 1980's guitar production era are gaining position with serious collectors. At the time of this writing, auction prices on Bowling Ball Smith Stratocasters were pushing upwards of $3,500.