You will notice that there is quite a bit of overlap of numbers and years.
While there have been periods where dramatic changes have occurred, for example: the transition periods between Leo's Fender and the CBS years, as well as the transition between CBS' Fender and the current ownership, generally speaking, most models are feature specific and do not change from year to year..
Serial numbers have been used in various locations on Fender instruments through the years.
They have been placed at the top of the neck plate, on the front of the headstock, on the back of the headstock, and on the back of the neck near where the neck bolts onto the body.
They were stamped on the back vibrato cover plate (early '50s Strats), and on the bridge plate between the pickup and the saddles on some Telecasters.
Most notably, production dates have been penciled or stamped on the butt end of the heel of the neck of most guitars and basses.
instrument production history, production dates have been applied to various components.
So, obviously a neck date, while being helpful in providing a date range of production, it cannot be a definitive reference.
The neck date simply refers to the date that the individual component was produced.Given the modular nature of Fender's production techniques, an individual neck may have been produced in a given year, placed in the manufacturing warehouse and remained in stock for a period of time, and then subsequently paired with a body to create a complete guitar in the following year.