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Yet another Amer8ican Flyer O Gauge set.  I certainly appreciate the help you all have provided as I am definitely out of my league.

This freight set is headed by a 401 and was made in 1938 as I believe that was the only year AF made the curly-q couplers.  I believe these are the early couplers as they have the band in the middle of the couplers.

Questions: What was the set called?  And what are the car numbers.  The 401 is missing the side rods and valve gear as well as the first axle/wheelset in the trailing truck,401 Right401 LeftTender RightTender LefrFlat RightFlat LeftBox RightBox LeftCaboose RightCaboose Left the lumber car is missing a brakewheel, the caboose is missing the endrail and the boxcar has been terribly repainted.  Am I missing anything?

How about approximate value? I plan to list it here on the Forum.

Thanks in advance.



Images (10)
  • 401 Right
  • 401 Left
  • Tender Right
  • Tender Lefr
  • Flat Right
  • Flat Left
  • Box Right
  • Box Left
  • Caboose Right
  • Caboose Left
Original Post

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Those couplers appeared in 1939 on the smaller cars that your set has.  They were only found on the larger cars in 1938, as th smaller cars in 1938 still used the hook couplers.

Not sure about the set name, but it would be set #302.

The set is in pretty rough condition, so the value is going to be for parts only.  I would guess around $50, and you might have a tough time selling it at that price.

Thanks so much for your help.  I didn't realize AF made the Curly-Q couplers in 1939.  I also thought that the earliest couplers had the ridge in the center, and the solid couplers were later.  Is this correct?  If so then these must have been assembled in 1939 using old stock.

Selling the set as is has 3 advantages: 1. Somone may be able to use it to fix up their own trains, 2.  It will put a couple of bucks in my pocket, and 3 It frees up space in my house!

Again thanks for your most knowlegeable assistance.


Those would be 1939 couplers.  The earliest, and not all 1938, couplers have smaller vertical sheet metal on their curly pieces.  Not sure what you are referring to as solid couplers.

I believe American Flyer used the curly couplers on the smaller cars in 1939 because the link couplers do not appear to handle curves very well on the smaller cars, at least on the ones that I have seen that were converted by others.  The link couplers are too long and rigid, so going around a curve requires the end of the frame to be cut completely off in order for the link couplers to have clearance when rounding a curve. 

I never said you should not sell it as is, just not to expect a lot for it in its current condition.  If it were my set, I would sell it as is.


Thanks again for your help.  I learn something new everyday.  The wheels on the locomotive are suffering from zinc pest.  I cannot rotate the wheels by hand.

I am definitely going to try to sell it here on the Forum as a "parts train".  Hopefully someone can make good use of it and it will go to a good home.

Thanks again for your honest opinion.  Guess I'll have to cancel my new yacht (LOL).


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