Marx o gauge William Crooks

Long time ago my Dad gave me a marx o-gauge train.. Tin plate passenger car labeled St Paul and Pacific with a William Crooks steam engine. Over the years the steam engine was lost. I found the passenger cars and restored them to the best they can be without changing anything original. I would like to find a William Crooks Marx 4-4-0. If anyone knows of one anywhere I would greatly appreciate it. I would like to put the old set back together. I already tried e-bay and still watching. A greenberg show is in a few weeks going to try there as well. Just trying anywhere to find this engine.

Bob

Original Post

Inspect carefully any you want to buy.  This engine has more fragile plastic than

most, whistle sticking up, cab window frames, headlight, pilot, and more, and are

often found damaged.  The cars are often found missing the stacks on the roofs, but

those, I think, are available as reproductions.  The tender is usually missing its gold

lettering, but one with good lettering is a rare bird.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

My favorite Marx engine, maybe even most favorite of all.   Here are three pix,   the first pic is the best one I have found, the second pic shows a second issue next to the first issue.  No wire hand rails, shorter smoke stack and no metal whistle or trim on top of the boiler.  The third pic shows one that I am rebuilding by replacing the cab, adding the hand rails and eventually giving it a coat of red paint.  

 

The cabs are pretty brittle and it is hard to find a nice engine with an unbroken cab.   The stanchions the hand rails set on are also delicate and usually one or more or broken.  

 

These engines and sets do show up on Ebay and there have been a few  in the last year that were pretty good.  More common is an engine with something busted and parts missing.    Start watching Ebay you will see all examples.  They are not only known as "William Crookes", but also as "Tales of Wells Fargo".   Marx released a complete playset with tin western town, cowboy and indian figures, including Jim Hardie and the Wm Crookes train.   The complete playset is really rare and expensive.  It is more common to find bits and pieces.

Appreciate every day you are given and the people around you.

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I have had quite a few through the years, but am currently down to a boxed set and this one that I customized to pull my Tarantula RR cars.

 

PB100017

 

PB100013

 

This is actually a customized (not by me) battery train from one of the Marx toy sets.

 

 

Forney 2

Steve "Papa" Eastman

Yorba Linda, CA

Left Coast, Home of the lunatics

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Steve that is a great repaint.   Mine won't be that good, but it be OK.     I wonder if that plastic formula ever had any shine to it!  I've never seen one that was shiny.

Appreciate every day you are given and the people around you.

Originally Posted by Steve "Papa" Eastman:

I have had quite a few through the years, but am currently down to a boxed set and this one that I customized to pull my Tarantula RR cars.

 

PB100017

 

 

 

This is actually a customized (not by me) battery train from one of the Marx toy sets.

 

 

 

Very Nice!

If you can read this, thank a teacher.  If you can read this in English, thank a Vet!

Jim, do you have any more info on the white WC loco.   I do a search of that loco every week or so and didn't run across that auction.   Actually looks pretty good in white.

Appreciate every day you are given and the people around you.

I believe there was only one ever made. It did not go into production that I am aware of.
 
 
Originally Posted by matt b:

Jim, do you have any more info on the white WC loco.   I do a search of that loco every week or so and didn't run across that auction.   Actually looks pretty good in white.

 

Jim O'C

Upstate NY/So VT

It was a one of a kind hand painted test sample or prototype. Jim & Debbie Flynn originally planned on acquiring the Marx plastic molds for their new business and had made a lot of prototypes using original Marx plastic pieces. The deal for the molds never materialized so they ended up going into the tinplate  business instead.
 
Steve
 
Originally Posted by matt b:

Jim, do you have any more info on the white WC loco.   I do a search of that loco every week or so and didn't run across that auction.   Actually looks pretty good in white.

 

Steve "Papa" Eastman

Yorba Linda, CA

Left Coast, Home of the lunatics

Originally Posted by matt b:

My favorite Marx engine, maybe even most favorite of all.   Here are three pix,   the first pic is the best one I have found, the second pic shows a second issue next to the first issue.  No wire hand rails, shorter smoke stack and no metal whistle or trim on top of the boiler.  The third pic shows one that I am rebuilding by replacing the cab, adding the hand rails and eventually giving it a coat of red paint.  

 

The cabs are pretty brittle and it is hard to find a nice engine with an unbroken cab.   The stanchions the hand rails set on are also delicate and usually one or more or broken.  

 

These engines and sets do show up on Ebay and there have been a few  in the last year that were pretty good.  More common is an engine with something busted and parts missing.    Start watching Ebay you will see all examples.  They are not only known as "William Crookes", but also as "Tales of Wells Fargo".   Marx released a complete playset with tin western town, cowboy and indian figures, including Jim Hardie and the Wm Crookes train.   The complete playset is really rare and expensive.  It is more common to find bits and pieces.

The Sears Pioneer Express and the Marx # 15640 Rocky Mountain Express used a third style Crooks engine, much like the all black unit you have pictured but without the front 4-wheel trucks. Interestingly, most of the #15630 Rocky Mountain Express sets I have seen had the Crooks engine with the front truck.

Jim O'C

Upstate NY/So VT

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Originally Posted by Jim O'C:

Boy, electroliner, you shined that apple! Nice variation. Lionel General-ish

Well when I received it the cab was crushed and parts were missing that were not easily replaceable and so I felt free to experiment inasmuch as I could not replicate the original. It was the engine from the "Tales of Wells Fargo" set and fortunately both coaches were pristine.

The cow catcher is Lionel as is the whistle..so it is a sort of cross between the two. These engines in real life wore some colorful schemes and the black original color of it seemed flat, sort of dead. It is still recognizable as WM Crooks but has more panache than simply flat black so I am pleased with it although I suppose this treatment is kind of irreligious..but I enjoy it's appearance while inauthentic..whatever that means.



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