Pre War American Flyer Pictures - An Invitation

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Posted by bearestir on Monday, September 18, 2017 7:45 AM

The observation end came off a Marx car (image taken off someone's ebay listing)

 

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Posted by bearestir on Monday, September 18, 2017 1:02 PM

American Flyer "Golden State" set with the smaller 3180 series cars rather than the normal (and longer) 3280 series cars.    I bought this set in the 80's from Pat Neil (Collectible Toys and Trains) in Dallas.    It is a boxed set, though the box has 10% of an AF label (no number) and 20% of a Montgomery Ward's label (and I believe this set was made specially for Ward's).    After I brought the set home, Pat called me and said "read the numbers on those cars."  I read them.  He said "you got me (btw, it was the first and only time I got him LOL) ... I thought those were the normal cars (3280) in that color scheme but those are shorter cars.  I've never seen those before."   At that time, these cars weren't in Greenberg's and I still have the letter where they were going to include this variation in the upcoming book (but I don't think they did then, and I haven't looked at a Greenberg's in 20 years).    This was an original owner set (owner sold it to Pat, who flipped it immediately to me).   

These cars also came with a 3115.    Oddly, there is a set with a 3115 for sale online right now, but the cars aren't particularly clean.  

 

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Posted by bearestir on Monday, September 18, 2017 1:13 PM

Last photo post for a while:  American Flyer wide gauge "Knickerbocker set."   I took the first two decently lit photos, while the rest are the seller photos.    The locomotive has an "Empire Express" nameplate.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Monday, September 18, 2017 2:13 PM

bearestir

American Flyer "Golden State" set with the smaller 3180 series cars rather than the normal (and longer) 3280 series cars.    I bought this set in the 80's from Pat Neil (Collectible Toys and Trains) in Dallas.    It is a boxed set, though the box has 10% of an AF label (no number) and 20% of a Montgomery Ward's label (and I believe this set was made specially for Ward's).    After I brought the set home, Pat called me and said "read the numbers on those cars."  I read them.  He said "you got me (btw, it was the first and only time I got him LOL) ... I thought those were the normal cars (3280) in that color scheme but those are shorter cars.  I've never seen those before."   At that time, these cars weren't in Greenberg's and I still have the letter where they were going to include this variation in the upcoming book (but I don't think they did then, and I haven't looked at a Greenberg's in 20 years).    This was an original owner set (owner sold it to Pat, who flipped it immediately to me).   

These cars also came with a 3115.    Oddly, there is a set with a 3115 for sale online right now, but the cars aren't particularly clean.  

 

 

That is a set that was made for Montgomery Wards.  There is a small note about the set in the Greenberg's guide. 

Oddly, I found this factory painted engine with that set a couple of years ago.

NWL

 

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Posted by bearestir on Monday, September 18, 2017 2:20 PM

AF "O" gauge and all its seemingly endless variations ...   I like that set with the 3116 with the unusual paint.    I've been reading the NWF and NWL posts with all the different variations - AF's variety can be amazing.   Wide gauge freight cars come in a wide array of variations (gray/black/flex trucks/rigid trucks; numerous nameplate combinations) but it is nothing like I see the two of you posting concerning  different O gauge varieties. 

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Posted by bearestir on Monday, September 18, 2017 4:48 PM

Another odd box:   A 4017 green sand car with 6 million plates and black trucks is pictured below with the correct "black trucks" box.   I have found a black truck version for every "6 million sold" plated freight car (in the common colors), but only the caboose, sand car, and stock car boxes are marked "black trucks."

 

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Monday, September 18, 2017 6:19 PM

bearestir

AF "O" gauge and all its seemingly endless variations ...   I like that set with the 3116 with the unusual paint.    I've been reading the NWF and NWL posts with all the different variations - AF's variety can be amazing.   Wide gauge freight cars come in a wide array of variations (gray/black/flex trucks/rigid trucks; numerous nameplate combinations) but it is nothing like I see the two of you posting concerning  different O gauge varieties. 

 

Although I like Wide Gauge, I discovered it too late and was too heavily invested in Flyer O gauge.  Therefore, I only have a couple of Wide Gauge sets.  It is nice to have you posting photos of Wide Gauge, as it is something that Northwoods and I do not have a lot of. 

NWL

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Monday, September 18, 2017 9:37 PM

bearestir,

Thanks for posting the photos of some beautiful American Flyer sets.  It looks like your pieces are in exceptional condition.  I know that there was a delay in some of your contributions being posted to the thread.  I encourage folks to go back one page to see several of your contributions.

I agree with your observation that American FlyerO (Narrow) Gauge does seem to have endless variations.  I think that is part of the fascination of collecting it for me.  Folks have contributed a number of examples of undocumented variations, which makes checking the thread exciting everyday. 

I admit that I am not quite as disciplined in my collecting as NationWideLines is.  I have continued to pursue Wide Gauge Flyer, adding to the two sets that I inherited from family members. This is the majority of the Wide Gauge segment of my collection, although there are a few sets packed away in boxes waiting for their opportunity to be put on display.

The O Gauge portion of the collection is much larger and most of it is boxed up.  I keep telling my wife that I will need to put up an addition some day when I retire so that I can have my own train museum.  In the mean time NationWideLines keeps coming up with variations that I want to add to my collection.

Please keep posting more photos as you have the opportunity.  I enjoy your train eye candy.  Wink

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Posted by bearestir on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:43 PM

You have a very nice display of wide gauge (and others, of course).

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 10:22 PM

What if......

 

In 1928 American Flyer introduced some delightful passenger cars into their Narrow (O) Gauge line. They are known as the 3180 Series (8 1/4"), the 3280 Series (9 1/2") and the 3380 Series (11").  My entry features a repaint of a set from 1934 containing the 3280 Series Cars.  Most often the the 3280 Series came in two tone enameled shades of blue to blue green.

3280 Club carImage Enlarger

 

 

The colors tend to mimic the colors of the top of the line Wide Gauge Presidents Special.

 

So what if American Flyer had chosen to use the colors from the 1927 Wide Gauge Presidents Special which is lithographed in a gorgeous dark blue, and create a Narrow Gauge version of it.  It might have looked something like this:

 narrow gauge President Special dark blueImage Enlarger

 

 

 Coach 

PS coach dark blueImage Enlarger

 

 

 

 Observation

PS observation dark blueImage Enlarger

 

 

 

PS Observation 2 dark blueImage Enlarger

 

 

 

If we add a glossy 3200 series steamer and a semi-vanderbilt tender we come up with:

 PS dark blue full trainImage Enlarger

Edit: This photo uses the same 3326 used in the previous What if.... entry.

 

 

 

It looks like this running on the Blueboard Central Division of American Flyer Lines

 

 Edit: This is a different engine pulling the train in these photos.

Pres Spec 1Image Enlarger

 

 

 

Pres Spec 2Image Enlarger

 

 

 

Pres Spec 3Image Enlarger

 

 

 

Pres Spec4Image Enlarger

 

 

 

And just to make sure that everyone knows that this is the Presidents Special lets put the (former) President and First Lady on the inaugural run. (This was originally posted in 2012)

 

Pres Spec 5Image Enlarger

 

 

 

Smile

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 5:25 PM

Time for another...

"What if.........."

So lets pretend its 1940.  Gilbert is firmly in charge of American Flyer and they have been making major changes to the product line.  There is a lot of Chicago Flyer inventory stacked in the warehouse.  An enterprising young employee comes up with the suggestion that they start producing unit trains to use up the old inventory.  Flyer begins to offer these trains to some of their department store accounts.

 

Here is the Tanker Special from 1940.

?tn=-1058254924

 

They have used the #401 Type XX sheet metal locomotive, the only year that the engine and matching tender have nickle plated metal parts.  There are three #410 Tank Cars, and a #411 Caboose that has had its metal add on pieces nickle plated as well. 

There are a few orders placed for the sets, but the largest order comes from a chain of hardware stores in North Dakota.  Its a real head scratcher. Why would anyone in North Dakota be interested in oil?  Wink

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, October 15, 2017 10:14 PM

Accessories

#2012  Semaphore with Light  (Circa 1922-1934)

This is one of those pieces of equipment that went through a number of variations during its history.  Two of those variations are shown a few pages back.

I recently came across a third variation in orange.

Here is a family photo of all three of the variations that I have in the collection.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Monday, October 23, 2017 6:00 PM

Another York TCA show has come and gone...  Lately, I have been searching for items from pre-1918 and before.  On Monday at one of the bandit shows, I found a mixed group of early Metzel items.  There was a #12 engine c. 1910 or after, a red 328 tender body that was mounted on a c. 1916 era frame, and two c. 1908 Chicago cars.  I purchased the group for the single Chicago car shown below and sold the remaining items.

Not shown in the photo, are the c. 1907/1908 couplers which are very tiny and typically associated with the 1907 items.  This car came with another 4 window Chicago car, similar to the one below.

 

As I had the above shown car, I ended up reselling the car that came with the one I wanted. 

This brings my collection of 4 Window Chicago cars to Four, which includes the following two cars.

NWL

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 1:25 PM

NationWideLines;

Your collection of American Flyer "Chicago"cars is awe inspiring.  It is also growing nicely.  How many variations of this car are there?  I don't have any in my collection, but the items that you post always tempt me to consider looking into this era of production.  

Thanks.

I usually collect my Flyer sets one or two pieces at a time.  It took several years to gather the three cars, the tender, and the engine that comprise (a fairly good representation of) the:

1939  No. 3 Pennsylvania Passenger 

 

This is how it looks in the catalog.  I have always thought that Gilbert's catalogs immediately after the take over do very little to inspire a person.

You can see that the catalog had a printing error identifying this as No.2 Train Set in the description.  A previous owner of my catalog made a correction with an ink pen.  

The contents of the set:

I think it is pretty clear that Gilbert put this set together to get rid of Chicago Flyer stock that was still on hand.

I would like to know what the contents of this set really are from someone who owns a boxed set.

I think it is a pretty good looking set.  This is how it looks on the Blueboard Central.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Friday, October 27, 2017 6:06 AM

Yet another York find! 

I did not buy too many things at York, but did find the following car.  This is my first New York Express variation.

An intersting thing I have noted about these small 1 piece body cars is that the bottoms are re-used metal, with the lithograph facing up, into the body of the car.  This particular car has a piece that is lithographed for a station, apparently a 97 station.

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Saturday, October 28, 2017 6:26 AM

Here is the most interesting of my York finds.  Although to many, this looks like a typical City of Denver shell that has been repainted.  However, when looking closely at it, one notices differences.  Sure the red stuff on the side and front is some sort of bondo/epoxy that fills holes, but if you look past that and the incorrect paint, what you notice is a shell that lacks the following items:

1) No hole on the side for the motor brushes

2) No holes in front of the cab windows to mount a motor

3) No hole at the rear to mount the vestibule for connecting to the trailing cars

4) No holes in the side to mount the trailing trucks

5) No holes to mount the roof mounted smokestack (which should be on the flat part of the shell)

6) No holes to mount cab weights

Additionally, there are extra holes that are incorrect, such as:

1) the holes on each side behind the last porthole window, which has been filled with the red bondo/epoxy

2) the two holes on the sloped part of the cab roof.  Someone suggested that possibly someone wanted to mount a Zephyr style smokstack here.

3) The hole in the front along the cowcatcher area, again which has been patched with red bondo/epoxy

4) The hole in the roof along the flat part.  This is approximately where the regular smokestack would mount; however, it does not seem to be for the typical City of Denver smokestack.

Lastly, the most interesting thing that came out of this purchase is when discussing the item with a fellow Flyer collector, he indicated that he had a similar UP City of Denver shell.  Since he lived close to York and went home every night, he brought his shell to the show the next day and we compared them.  His engine shell had original City of Denver paint, with early dark yellow paint and brown trim (Except no brown on the front grills) and had absolutely no holes drilled in the shell.

Both of us wondered what these cabs would have been used for?  Someone had suggested that these may be factory rejects, but I did not see evidence of that, especially with my friends, which had no problems, other than the lack of the proper holes.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure

 

Both my friend and I paid very little for these odd engine shells and purchased them for conversation pieces.

NWL

 

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Tuesday, November 07, 2017 6:56 AM

Accessories

#593 Signal Tower

When Gilbert took over the American Flyer Line they began to issue more "realistic" equipment and accessories.  The #593 Signal Tower appeared in the 1939 catalog and remained there until production was stopped because of war-time production. It is easily reacognizeable because of its yellow, brown and green color scheme.

It reappeared after the war in a red, white and green color combination.  That version is the more familiar and common one.  It is well known to S-gauge collectors. Both versions look good with S and O gauge trains.

Image result for American Flyer 593

(Borrowed from Google Images.  My example is packed away in a box somewhere.)

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Sunday, November 12, 2017 4:49 PM

Accesories

#595 a-Koostikin Talking Tool Shed

Schuweiler's information on this accessory in the Wide Gauge book is confusing at best.  The description that he provides describes a building in red and white. He  describes it as being available from 1939-1942 but also asks for verification with no reported sales.

The #595 that I have is in the yellow, brown and green color scheme, which is generally considered to be a Pre War color scheme.

It came in a box identifying it as No. 595 Tool Shed.

Schuweiler does not mention this color scheme, which I suspect may  have just been an oversight.

It definitely has the record playing mechanism.

After the War the Tool Shed returned in the S gauge line in the more familiar red and white color scheme.

(The following views are borrowed from Google Images)

Image result for American Flyer 585 

It also comes with a maroon roof.

Image result for American Flyer 585

 

It was numbered as the #585 and had no talking mechanism.

Image result for American Flyer 585

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Posted by LL675 on Sunday, November 12, 2017 7:13 PM
great looking sheds Greg!

Dave

It's a TOY, A child's PLAYTHING!!! (Woody  from Toy Story)

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Posted by Northwoods Flyer on Saturday, November 18, 2017 9:10 PM

Accessories

#597 a-Koostikin Talking Passenger and Freight Station

As you might have guessed, there is also a Prewar version of the Talking Station that is familiar to S gauge enthusiasts.  Like the two previous posts it comes in the yellow, brown and green color scheme. 

According to Schuweiler the #597 was available from 1939 thru 1942.  Once again the Prewar color scheme isn't mentioned.

 

It has the talking mechanism.

The Talking Station returned in the S Gauge Line as the #755

Image result for american flyer 755  

(another Google image)

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Posted by Nationwidelines on Sunday, November 19, 2017 1:41 PM

Don't forget there were non-talking versions of the prewar buildings as well.  The non-talking tool shed in yellow and brown typically comes with a smooth painted green roof (ie no orange peel/crackle finish) and the non-talking staion was identical to the talking version, with the exception of two power clips mounted to the top of the base for the interior lighting.

I have owned both the talking and non-talking versions in the past, but recently sold them as they did not fit with my collecting interests.

NWL

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