A Dilemma

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A Dilemma
Posted by gottcent on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 9:11 AM

i"m facing a dilemma for which I'd appreciate some advice.

I have two Lionel postwar 6416 Boat Loaders, both relatively rare pieces. The essential difference between them is--you guessed it--the nature of the boats they carry. One unit has boats that are the correct original colors (blue top over a white hull with brown interior)--but they are reproductions. [I know this because I gently disassembled the boats. Originals were made of black plastic over which the colors of the various parts were painted. But my boats have no black plastic bases to them.]
The other unit has boats that were made from the original molds by Athearn, which made all these boats for Lionel in the early 60s. They have black bases which are painted over. But the colors are white tops over red hulls, again with brown interiors.
Since I have no room for two such similar items, I plan to keep one for my collection and sell the other. (Of course I will tell any buyers the real nature of the boats they're getting.) So ..... which set do I keep for myself: the one with original colors that I know are repro's, or the one with boats from the original mold, and of the appropriate age, but with the wrong colors?
Any thoughts? (Oh, the trials and tribulations of train collecting!)
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Posted by rrswede on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 12:57 PM

I guess the dilemma continues. See following Tandem Associates text.

The Boat Loader Car No. 6416 came with four boats and was produced from 1961 until 1963 on a DARK REDchassis mold No. 6511-2 with WHITE heat-stamped lettering that has the number to the left of the "LIONEL" inscription. This car has early AAR trucks equipped with disc couplers. Aside from the lettering, this car is identical to the No. 6414Auto Loader car. On early issues the boats were packaged in cardboard sleeves (2 boats/sleeve). Reproduction boats are available. The original boats were made for Lionel by Athearn as are the reproductions. There are four variations:
Variation A: Boats came with WHITE hull, BLUE top with BROWN interior piece. The most common version.
Variation B: Boats with RED hull, WHITE top with BROWN interior piece.
Variation C: Boats with WHITE hull, BLUE top with RED interior piece.
Variation D: Boats with RED hull, WHITE top with WHITE interior piece. Most likely used on Lionel’s HO car and not original equipment for the 6416.
The original boats were molded in BLACK plastic and painted. The BROWN interior piece of these original boats usually shows the BLACK plastic along the edges of this piece. Later production of this interior piece are entirely BROWN in color. It is unfortunate that the boat must be disassembled to verify this feature and this is not a perfect solution for verifying originality because all of the parts are interchangeable.
The fact that Athearn later made these boats in the painted RED color for Lionel’s HO, and their own HO line, indicates that only Variation A is original to this issue. However, the debate among collectors as to which of these colors are original productions continues to this day.


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Posted by cwburfle on Thursday, June 28, 2018 7:25 AM

I'd probably hold onto both. But, if you are certain you want to get rid of one, it would be the one with the Athearn boats. I would keep the one with the properly colored reproduction boats.

I don't think there is anything special about having a boat loader with incorrect Athearn boats. I assume that the Athearn boats are a regular production item, nothing special. I have an Athearn boat kit, brand new in it's poly bag on a hang tag. I don't think its that old.

Is Tandem Associates correct in their statement that your reproduction boats are Athearn too?

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Posted by sir james I on Thursday, June 28, 2018 10:04 AM

I would keep the one's that match the age of the car.


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Posted by gottcent on Saturday, June 30, 2018 2:16 PM

Thanks, folks. But--that's one vote for keeping the original colors, and one vote for keeping the "older" version. Hmm--the dilemma continues.


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Posted by JaydenWood on Wednesday, July 04, 2018 8:12 AM
I would choose those that are closer to the original and would have left for myself. It seems to me that are much more pleasant to look at them.

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