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Cox locomotives, remember them?

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Cox locomotives, remember them?
Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Saturday, May 13, 2006 11:09 AM
Anybody remember the old Cox locomotives from the 60's and 70's. I had a couple of them a long time ago. They ran all right, though they did have some minor problems. It was years later, When I got my first Athearn locomotive, that I noticed they were nearly identical in appearance and quality. Didn't think too much about it then. A few years ago, I was doing some research on Athearn and came across something that explained a lot. Cox didn't make thier own locos. They were Athearn locos made with the Cox name on them and packed in Cox boxes. Surprised? Yes. I had never guessed that they'd done that.

Now I wonder where Tyco got thier worthless standard line stuff from. They were second worst in my opinion, the first being IHC/AHM locos. Rolling stock wasn't any better. They looked like toys!

Any comments?
[?][?]

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 13, 2006 12:10 PM
I don't remember the Cox engines. Isn't Cox the one who makes gas model airplane engines? I have an old Tyco engine but it's so old that it actually has a Mantua power truck and runs great even now (30 years later). I have heard that regular Tyco stuff is garbage or even worse. Guess I just got lucky :)
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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Saturday, May 13, 2006 12:23 PM
If you've got a tyco with a Mantua drive, It will run for years. I got a Mantua trainset as part of a layout in 1966. The loco finally died in the 80's. They were very good quality back then.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:08 PM
I have one of the old Athearn made Cox diesels. It's a U30C with C&O paint, and I got it for $2 at a train show.[:D] It runs fine, but the later Athearn diesels (post 1970s) are definately better. I also got an Athearn UP U30C dummy from the same guy and swapped the shells, because the UP one is much nicer. The Cox railings on the C&O shell are pretty awful.

Cox did make their own diesels later (F3A and GP9M), but then stopped. I heard they weren't very good, so they probably didn't sell well. Model Power now owns the F3 molds, and Walthers uses the GP9M molds.

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Posted by R. T. POTEET on Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:26 PM
I remember them but I never owned one. If I recall correctly they had a Sacramento, California mailing address and marketed a covered wagon unit as well as the only low-nosed GP9 on the market? I had a model railroad acquaintance when I was stationed in Germany in the early 70s and when I commented one day about this low-nosed GP9 he was running on his layout (I was thinking about a recent article from one of the hobby magazines which had done an article on modifying an Athearn unit) I believe he said that it was one of these Cox units. I also seem to remember that the ads depicted a lot of "animated" rolling stock (missile launchers, etc).

Surprisingly, there was one of these (a GP9 and a crummy - olive drab lettered for U.s. Army) offerred for $5.00 at the silent auction at either Seattle or Cincinnati. I gave it only a cursory glance but I do remember that it was in a box (brown and cream???) that was in pretty good shape.

As an aside o this posting, Jeff, you might be carrying this analogy of an Athearn unit just a little bit too far. The drives may very well have been Athearns but ole Uncle Irv did a lot of injection molding contract work for other "manufacturers" over the years - you supplied the dies; they did the injecting. I seem to remember reading somewhere where most of the old Trains-Miniature line used Athearn for their ihjection work. (Now if you remember Trains-Miniature this is an appropriate time to say "Boy!!I sure do remember those!!Must be getting old!!") Unlike Cox, trains-Miniature must have gotten their power units somewhere else as they had their FA/FB locomotives on the market before Athearn introduced their U-Boat line which used AAR Type B trucks.

From the far, far reaches of the wild, wild west I am: rtpoteet

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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:32 PM
When I said they looked like Athearn units, I was referring to the drive units, but thanks for the clarifier. As for those other companies, I do remember a few of them (showing my old age).

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
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Posted by BRAKIE on Saturday, May 13, 2006 2:00 PM
Walthers uses the Cox GP9M shell on their Train Line GP9M..Also this body will fit a Athearn GP7 drive with some modications..But..I don't recommend this for the timid or weak of heart-aka the unskilled...

Larry

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Posted by cacole on Saturday, May 13, 2006 4:12 PM
I have a Cox U.S. Army train set in HO scale with an E-7 (?) engine that was purchased in the mid-1970's. It hever did run very well, and just sits on static display today.
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Posted by Medina1128 on Saturday, May 13, 2006 5:20 PM
When Cox was making locomotives, I was into Cox slot cars and their .049 planes and cars. My brother had a really cool dragster by Cox. It ran on a tether/guide line and there was a metal clip attached to the end which shut the motor off and popped tha parachute. It made 2 passes. Then, on the third pass, the guide line broke, and the car shot from one end of the parking lot to the other. It found a parking block at the far end. But, it sure looked cool when it exploded!
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Posted by trainfan1221 on Saturday, May 13, 2006 6:23 PM
I remember Cox making those little gas powered cars, or were they airplanes. Either way, their locomotives are weird because if you see a catalog it is so obviously an Athearn engine with their name. I'm not sure what anybody really got out of this arrangement, but they eventually left the model train market with little legacy to speak of. I don't remember much about them when they were actually out, but the tripod model resources site has some info on this and others,with the main subject being Tyco. I used to personally buy AHM stuff, some of their things were not too bad, but would fall short of quality standards today.
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Posted by aloco on Sunday, May 14, 2006 2:38 AM
My first train set was a Model Power set made by Lima of Italy. The hobby shop had a bunch of them on sale, but I didn't care for the loco (a Santa Fe FP45 with one powered truck). I wanted a yard switcher, so the store clerk offered to substitute the loco and sell me the set at the same price. So I got a Cox SW1500 (same as Athearn's SW7). Little did I realize that the loco I wanted was a better running unit than what came with the set.
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Posted by jeffrey-wimberly on Sunday, May 14, 2006 11:29 AM
Very seldom are train set locos better than those you can get separately. They range from average to absolute junk. The worst one I know of are IHC, followed closely by Tyco (out of business, BTW). Following that would be Bachmann who are cleaning up act now (They have a damage control to do!). I know there are others.

Running Bear, Sundown, Louisiana
          Joined June, 2004

Dr. Frankendiesel aka Scott Running Bear
Space Mouse for president!
15 year veteran fire fighter
Collector of Apple //e's
Running Bear Enterprises
History Channel Club life member.
beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam


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