1950s Athearn Kit?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gary S., Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I thought y'all might be interested in this, at least it is interesting to me. I was at the LHS the other day and ran across this on the consignment shelf... for 5 bucks. I had to have it, not necessarily to even build it, but for historical value. I don't have a clue whether it is of any value. There is a date on the instruction sheet of 1950. Anybody been around long enough to have built these when they were new?

    Interestingly, the entire kit is made from metal, except for the wheels and couplers. Oh, and the floor is actually wood. Came with metal sprung trucks.

    Attached Files:

  2. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    WOW! :eek: That's pretty cool! I have an old Metal Athearn Tank car, and they look great on the layout! :thumb: Wood floor, eh? just like the real thing!
  3. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Very nice!

  4. brakie

    brakie Active Member

  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    There was also an old all-metal Athearn tank car there, it was already put together but missing parts and in general pretty beat up. It is a yellow SP gasoline service tanker. I bought it too, figuring I would fix it up and add it to my fleet. However, I am planning on using under-the-track uncoupling magnets... I put some trucks on the car and put it on my test track and the magnet pulls the car all over the place! It pulls one direction, passes the center and stops, then pulls back the other direction, etc, for a couple times until it stops. Same problem with the box car in the photos. Looks like they are resigned to display duty.

    I have an old Tyco tanker that I had when I was a kid back in the early 70's. It has a "pot metal?" (non-magnetic) underframe with the lower portion of the tank molded on, with the upper part of the tank in plastic. I mounted Kadee couplers on the underframe and in general cleaned it up. It is very similar to an Athearn tanker as far as looks and detail. It is the only thing I have left from the trains I had when I was a kid, so it is a valued part of my fleet.
  6. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    brakie, thank you for that link. Great site for old Athearn stuff.
  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Great stuff, I most enjoy old school model railroading:thumb:
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Bowser now has the tooling for the old Athearn metal cars. They used to have them listed in their catalog, but made of nonmagnetic brass instead of steel. Unfortunately when I looked into it, they had it listed but were not offering any kits. I think they may have dropped it from the catalog since. That was probably 20 years ago that I saw them listed in the catalog. I wanted to build one for "old times sake."
  9. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Gary: test the trucks against your magnet, then the underframe. It could be just the axles that are magnetic and they can be replaced with modern ones (or the whole truck). That's just a bit before my modelling; they'd gone to plastic when I got into HO.
  10. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Cool. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  11. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I hate to admit it but I remember those boxes and the kits in them. State of the art for the 1950's. Wait until you find one with brass sides and ends and a built up wood inner structure. There should be an insulating bushing on one side of each axle to prevent shorting.
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

  13. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I tried the magnet against the underframe and the carbody itself. All magnetic except for the roofwalk and a some small pewter parts. I am considering contacting the HOSeeker guy from the website above, to see if he would want the boxcar. He has a photo of a Southern Pacific boxcar just like this one, only with a different number.
  14. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Stuff like that is really neat. I dream of driving by a garage sale and seeing a big ol' box of old trains for $10.
  15. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I get a ton of enjoyment out of older model railroads. I really get a kick out of the stuff the now-deceased generation did. John Allen's stuff is my favorite stuff by far.
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Forget that, I dream of going by some rural garage sale and finding a (insert vintage car here) in a barn for $100. I think that Porsche used this premise in their advertising in the mid-80s.

    ;) :D sign1

  17. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I had a couple of those cars, but got rid of them a few years ago. I still have an Athearn metal flatcar, though, part of my first HO train. The body is one piece, with a wood sub-floor. It, and an old Silver Streak SP-style caboose are the only cars from that first train that are not still in service on my layout. The locos, an A-B-B-A set of F-7s, from Globe, are long gone. I also have a Varney metal boxcar, very similar in construction to your Athearn one.

  18. COX 47

    COX 47 Member

    You should be carefull of any of the pot metal parts they can just fall to pieces in your hands...Cox 47

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