every time i think the American Flyer numbering system cannot get worse, i have to adjust my thinking.  the Flyer 6½" freight cars of the 1920's came in both 4 wheel and 8 wheel versions.  for the boxcars, #1112 was the cataloged number used on 4-wheel cars and #1115 was the number used on 8-wheel cars.  ...except when it wasn't.

add this to the variety of truck types, door graphics & colors and roof types and i've come to the conclusion that a car not listed in the Greenberg text is not all that rare.  here are a few i shot today...

AF 1112 AutoBox03 02
on Type IV trucks...

AF 1112 CP 02
or the earlier (and very worn die) Type II trucks.

AF 1112 Southern 02
one truck on this car is completely smooth, devoid of any embossing.

AF 1115 4wh AutoBox 01
with no door graphics (not an error).

AF 1115 4wh deluxe AutoBox 01
Greenberg only lists an 8-wheel version of this "deluxe" model w/ ladders
and a brake wheel, but here it is on a 4-wheels frame, too.

AF 1115 SP 02
well, at least i have one that follows the catalog numbering system!

fun stuff! ... gary


Photos (6)
Original Post

from the same family of Flyer freight cars...

AF 1118 AF Tank Lines 02
#1118 Tank Car -- i'd love to get ahold of that font!

AF 1117 Caboose 02
and a #1117 caboose.  the 4-wh version was cataloged as number #1114.
this one is on the earlier Type II trucks.

AF 1114-1117 caboose-1114
a slightly later version featuring Type IV trucks & with added handrails and ladders sporting #1114 on one side...

AF 1114-1117 caboose-1117
and #1117 on the other side.  i tend to call these blunders rather than errors.



Photos (4)

Hah, you have not even scratched the surface yet.  Lets say that Prewar Flyer (pre gilbert) was Laissez-Faires about numbering.  I have gons with 1112, 1115 and 1117 numbering.

Im thinking that research to try and make sense of it all is basically futile.  We know some, but all?  No way.

Prewar Tin...Any maker, any gauge, anytime!

overlandflyer posted:
Rob English posted:

Sorry Art... he's got his hands full with Lionel O gauge ...

i believe i've heard of them... did they make trains, too?

They made everything, designed everything and were first with everything. Just ask any true blue Lionel foamer.


Thanks for sharing all the freight cars.  I enjoy looking at them and the litho work is beautiful.

One thing I've often thought about is that I bet the factory employees couldn't even keep straight what they were making at times.  The numbering system was probably designed by some super smart, organized, OCD person, and it was just a miserable mess of confusion for everyone else, especially with the steam locos / tenders.  Think of how much productivity time was lost, just trying to put out "catalog correct" products.

"Built like a Battleship" -Baldwin

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