06 December 2013

My Freight Car Friday: mystery flat car


Above we have another mystery freight car. This one took me a while to obtain due to an Ebay seller messing up shipping for over a month. What we have here is a fenced flat car. At first glance you may think- hey this is that horse car from one the Lionel General outfit or the later Lionel Jesse James outfit. But no, this car is not from either of those.
The really strange thing about this car is that it has "fake trucks." Basically what you are seeing in the photo is a plastic mask in the shape of trucks a la Marx Trains. There are only 2 axles on this unit and if it were not for the underside Lionel stamp I would think this came from Marx.
I never thought Lionel would drop quality this far for a car- but they did and especially during the period they were owned by General Mills henceforth known as the MPC era. A sharp contrast to the ever collectible and solid Post War era.
So from what outfit did this flat car come?
The Lionel Workin' On the Railroad Logging Empire outfit from 1978 that was priced aroubnd $35 in those days
This low cost, mostly plastic set had a lot of play value but the model quality is a bit diminished. The set included 6 cars and an engine, large figure eight track, a log loader and a barrel loader.
You can see the set in action below from a vintage commercial. Seems they might have contracted with Johnny Cash for the music.