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The Modern Lionel Train Company had it's beginning in 1970.  Some of the trains were still being made in Hillside New Jersey but not for long.  Then the entire train division was moved to Chesterfield Michigan.  The 9200 Boxcar was the first that MPC made.  It was very popular, because it was a very colorful car. It was bright orange with black printing and it was on a 6464 style boxcar mold.  The first 9200 Boxcars came in a banner box and they had a blank a stamp on the end of the car.  This means that Lionel used the old 6464 style mold to make these cars.  Because it was the first run of these cars, I would estimate a price of $35 per car.  The next run of these cars usually came with 9200 imprinted on the end of the boxcars with lots of variations.  Some had the space between the IC on the sides of the cars thin or thick.  They also, had plastic door guides or metal door guides.  Plastic door guides were used when the metal ones ran out .  If you purchase a plastic door guide car, be very careful when putting it back in the box without a plastic bag around the car.  Why?  plastic door guide cars are very fragile and putting the car into a cardboard box  without a bag wrapped around the car exposes the door guides to the cardboard box that  could foul the door guide and break it off.  These plastic door guides are not available any where.  If this happens, you might be able to glue it in place.  These cars usually sell for $25 each.  Finally, the final run of the 9200 IC Boxcar came on a 9700 mold with a single plastic door guide on the top and a slider on the bottom.  They came in banner boxes and the new orange and white Lionel boxes.  This car also had an imprint of 9700 on one end of the car. I have never seen this car with a 9200 imprint on the end of the 9700 mold car .  I estimate that this car is most rare as it was only on the car that were made in 1972,  I estimate that this car (if you find them) would sell for $35 each.  I think there were more 9200 boxcars made than any other Modern Lionel Boxcar.  In summary:

1st run--9200 IC Boxcar with metal door guides and a blank stamp on the end of the car $35 each                  2nd run--9200 IC Boxcar with metal or plastic door guides and 9200 end stamp on the car  $25 each (there          are many variations in this run of car                                                                                                          3rd-9200 IC Boxcar with one plastic door guide on the top of the car and a slider door guide on the bottom of the car.  $35 each

I have written a very simplified version of the IC Boxcar variations.  The best way to see all of these variations is to buy the cars.  Best way to do this is to create file card and put this on the card:

1,  Box type--Banner or Orange and White                                                                                                              2.  Frame--Dull black with with or without a bubble                                                                                                3.  End imprint--none, 9200 or 9700                                                                                                                             4.  Trucks--Timken or Symmington Wayne, Wheels that have 4 little knobs on the inside. or smooth                5.  Couplers--small rectangular piece of metal or thumb tack                                                                                6.  IC Imprint on the side of the car--thick or thin space between the I and C                                                        7.  Various shades of orange on the car, cars coming on a translucent mold to an orange mold.



Sincerely yours,   railbear601                                                                                                       

     

Last edited by railbear601
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The 9200 IC is one of two cars in the series that can be found with all three types of door guides.  The other is the 9206 Great Northern.  The remaining first issue 9200s were discontinued before the molded bottom guide was introduced.

An odd feature of early 9200s is a partially complete row of rivets just to the right of the door on both sides.  It was the last bit of rivet detail left from the 6464s and for some reason Lionel left it on for a brief time in early 1970.  Reportedly some 9200 ICs have this rivet row, but in 30 years of searching I’ve never found one.  However, every 9203 Union Pacific I’ve ever seen (at least 50) has it.  This is strong evidence that the 9203 was actually the first 9200 produced.  

9200s are like a rolling study of the early MPC assembly line.  They’re a great subject for the variation fan.

Last edited by Tommy_F

Thought I would add something to my topic.  I did not list all the variations for the 9200 series IC Boxcars.  It would be boring and I did not think people were interested in them.  The 9200 series boxcars had rows of rivets removed by MPC. This allowed for a smooth surface when they heat stamped the car.  The trucks used had memory plastic springs in the knuckle.  The type of knuckles with plastic springs are very unreliable.  If you put the cars away for storage, make sure to turn the trucks around so the coupler knuckle faces the center of the car.  When you do that, you can leave the knuckle Open  and the plastic spring will not have any tension on it and will work each time.  Lionel continued to use this type of coupler (even today) and many of the starter sets have these couplers.  Remember, if you can't turn the truck around, use a round hollow piece of cardboard and slip it over the knuckle to prevent the coupler from closing.  If you buy a Lionel car with this type of coupler, make sure to leave the knuckle open when storing it away or open the knuckle up if the car is stored on a display shelf.  How many of you have bought a modern day Lionel Car and the knuckle spring is broken?  The wheels on the 9200 series cars were the first ones that Fundimensions - MPC  made and they come in a wide amount  of variations.  The very first wheels were kind of thick and if you look on the inside of the wheel, you will see 4 round knobs in them.  This was for the push pins from the wheel mold.  The trucks and couplers that do not give you any trouble are all metal trucks with metal springs.  It is most interresting, MTH cars always came with metal trucks and couplers!

There are very few collectors of Modern Lionel variations today.  If you can find a copy of Greenberg's First Price Guide, Bill Eddins (deceased) Collection of Post War and Modern Lionel Train Variations.  Although the Bill Eddins variations price guide is hard to find, every once in a while they appear.    Sincerely yours      railbear601     

Last edited by railbear601

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