Lionel Ambassador Club/Club Cars

Made around 1998 to 2000 Std O caboose, bunk and tank car. final item in the program was a Thank You boxcar.  On the the Std O caboose, bunk and tank car, there are actually 3 different numbers for each, a bronze, silver and gold edition which were respectively the Ambassador Award, Engineer Award and JLC Award.  Bronze (Ambassador Award) are most common, the silver and gold versions are extremely rare to say the least. These cars were part of Lionel's short lived Ambassador Program, in which fellow hobbyist would volunteer to promote the hobby and be awarded points for different activities.  based on the number of points earned, these cars would be awarded.


fellow forum member PaperTRW wrote an article about the cars which appeared in the TM Books Modern Era price guide, off the top of my head Im thinking it was around 1999 ?


Listed below are all 10 items that were made:


16817Ambassador   "1999" Ambassador Award, 1dTank2000Unc
16818Ambassador   "1999" Engineer Award, 1dTank2000Unc
16819Ambassador   "1999" JLC Award, 1dTank2000Unc
16820Ambassador   Thank YouBox2000Unc
19664Ambassador   "1998", Ambassador AwardBunk1999Unc
19665Ambassador   "1998", Engineer AwardBunk1999Unc
19666Ambassador   "1998", JLC AwardBunk1999Unc
19957Ambassador   "1997", Ambassador AwardStd   O1998Unc
19958Ambassador   "1997", Engineer awardStd   O1998Unc
19959Ambassador   "1997", JLC awardStd   O1998Unc
Originally Posted by turtle7:

ed h   thanks for that great info !!   turtle7

One of the rarest items is the Ambassador leather jacket. I think there were less than ten of them produced. They were awarded to the member with the most earned points. I know of one person who received one.


I still have the list of Ambassadors so I could look up the total number and it would give you an idea of how many cars were produced. For those Ambassadors that did not earn enough points the cars could be purchased with the exception of the gold and silver and the "Thank You" cars.

For the Ambassador level award, there must have been some surplus cars made.

I recall being able to purchase 2 additional of the Std O caboose in addition to the one recieved from being part of the program.  I dont recall if additional tank cars or bunk cars were offered for sale.


One thing I do recall about the program was a survey that was sent out to the Ambassaors regarding what items they would like to see.  The results of the survey where published and it was interesting in later years to see what items from the survey were made.

Here's a photo of the three Ambassador Cabooses from 1997. This is an extra set that I'm selling for a friend.


 Ambassador Cabooses


I'm still looking for the silver and gold versions of the tank cars, if anyone out there has 'em.


Ed, there you go talking about that PaperTRW character again. I really feel old thinking back how long ago some of that stuff was written. Maybe one of these days I have a moment to do another article or two. Those were fun.




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I have every Ambassador car plus two jackets witch were never leather.I was number one Ambassador all years I also did shows for Lionel Corp with Eric Shifler who was out of the corp office.I will be putting up my Ambassador collect for sale I want to pass it on





Originally Posted by lionel400e:

I will be putting up my Ambassador collect for sale I want to pass it on






Would be great if this was donated to the National Toy Train Museum.  Yes, I realize that there's no money in it for you, but this sounds like such a unique one-of-a-kind collection of Ambassador Club items, it'd be super for it to be on display for all the world to see.


Thanks for your consideration.



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