1967 HOFNER AMBASSADOR LEFTY All Original in perfect conditions, very rare code LH899
Ambassador Model was available in the UK between 1965 and
1968The Ambassador however was not a revamp of an existing model. Its neck to
body fixing made it fundamentally different to the other jazz guitars
distributed by Selmers up to 1965. Gone was the rather flimsy end fixing and
cantilever fingerboard over the body. Guitar had a full length joint between end
of fingerboard and neck heel, similar to that on the Verithin. The effect of
this, and the robust pointed cutaways gives a much more solid feel when handling
the guitar than with the more delicate earlier design Hofners. To be blunt, it
feels more like a Gibson.
The body was only offered in the thinline depth, i.e. just under 2", and had a laminated spruce top with flamed maple sides and back. The timbers on the sides of my guitar are not anything like as fancy as on the earlier President models, but the full width veneer on the back has a beautiful soft marking. Multiple body binding similar to the President has been fitted - Thick white/thin black/w/b/w/b. The neck and headstock with five laminations of maple/mahogany/beech/mahogany/maple, and rosewood fingerboard board.
Headstock is again just the same as that which the President was fitted post 1960, with the usual mother of pearl vine leaf inlayed into an ebony veneer. The machine heads are of good quality, but still with open gearing, and of course a truss rod is fitted. The tailpiece is the familiar "Lyre" design, but the scratch-plate shape certainly broke new ground for Hofner. Quite apart from the shape, it is a black and white plastic laminate instead of Hofner's traditional tortoiseshell
The bridge is the Micro-matic, fully adjustable type, which from about 1965 was fitted as standard to most of Hofner's better quality guitars, including acoustics, that were brought into the UK.
Two of Hofner's own humbucking pickups are fitted, and these are controlled by one volume and two tone rotary pots. Pickup selection is by a very flimsy three-way selector on the upper treble bout. In the Ambassador, Hofner was providing a good quality semi, with a much more American feel to it than their earlier designs, but at about half the price in Britain compared to those guitars made in Kalamazoo. Perhaps the fact that we all wanted the "real thing" was the reason that less than five hundred Ambassadors, according to Selmer serial numbers, were ever made.
The Hofner Ambassador was a short lived model, first produced by Hofner in Germany in 1965/66, for distribution by Selmer in Great Britain and beyond. It was demonstrated at the 1965 BMI trade show in London, alongside the newly re-designed Hofner Verithin 66, to which it was rather similar, but with a standard thin (1 7/8"), rather than very thin (1 1/4") body, (and was actually an inch narrower too). Like the Verithin 66, it had a double Florentine cutaway body style, but was available in Sunburst finish (rather than the Verithin's Cherry). There were other subtle differences too, in the controls and position inlays, but hardware and pickups were identical.
It was described in the 1966 Selmer catalogue as follows:
Exclusive to Selmer London, the unique Florentine design makes for playing ease and attractive stage appearance. The Ambassador is the outcome of Hofner’s many successful years of guitar making. Only experience and craftsmanship can produce such quality at an economical price. All the well-proven and exclusive Hofner features—powerful "NOVA-SONIC" pick-ups, "Slenda-nek" cambered rosewood fingerboard, adjustable truss-rod, micro-matic bridge for fine tuning. Rich golden sunburst finish. All this adds up to one of the most exciting models ever to leave the Hofner workshops. Body Dimensions 20 1/4" x 15 1/4" x 1 7/8"