These models (February 1951 to summer 1951) are known as "No Casters".Starting in the summer of 1951, Fender adopted the name "Telecaster" for this model, and started using new decals after all the old clipped decals were used. But be aware that Fender was a month or two ahead in making body parts.Other Person states that S8xxxxx SN#s are for 1977-1982.
At that time, Fender USA was still trying to get back up on its feet after the CBS buyout, as USA quality under CBS ownership let their standards really slip.
until the new factory was built in Corona, California.
It has been estimated that 80% of the guitars sold during this time were made in Japan.
When the Corona plant was started up, only the Vintage Reissue Stratocaster models were first produced (between late 1985 through 1986).
The other indicator on Fender copies is the Tokai logo on the headstock.
At some point in time the 'T' was changed from a backwards 'F' look to a normal looking 'T'. But, Other Person who seems to be quite knowledgable about Fender guitars told me that I have a 1982, not a 1978 Telecaster. If he is accurate and I am way-off-base wrong, then I have to rethink my decisions as which guitars to keep and which to sell. I pulled my listing for my Telecaster off EBay as I thought I might keep it and get a perfect "sister" Telecaster as a backup.Check out the picture from the '85/'86 catalog, on the catalog page, to see what I mean.Also, this may have taken place earlier we just haven't been able to determine how much earlier.The first Fender solidbody model, the Esquire, lasted (in name only) from April 1950 to October 1950.