I've looked around a bit and can't seem to find much on these cars. So I figured I'd just ask. I have a 763e and would like to get some of the cars to display with it. Here are my questions.

 

1 Is there anything I should always look for on these, like a known issue? or avoid them if?

        I've noticed though that the steps being re-attached seems common.

2 What name is rarer on these? Irvington or Manhattan

3 What is a fair price for these cars?

Original Post

Hi Don, I have both the prewar and postwar version of these cars. Like you, I have a 763E with the original passenger car consists behind it. A couple of things to look out for are a lot of these have the steps broken off the vestibules. Many years ago I found that original vestibule replacements were available at Madison Hardware but I have no idea if they are available today and if so, where.

The cars are molded out of Bakelite and many have flaking of the maroon paint. There must’ve been a problem back in the 30s and 40s with paint adhesion to Bakelite. Mine have have a slight amount of flaking but many I have seen have significant flaking.  I’ve seen some that have been professionally repainted and they look good.

As to what they might cost today I have no idea. I’m sure you can search several sites and find out some of the prices they have sold for in recent months.

Hope this information helps, Jim

 

I would think these cars can be found for about $150 each in reasonable (VG) shape. Excellent or better, a few times that amount. Not too many prewar ones out there though.

Jim

For the prewar version, Manhattan is the most common. Irvington is difficult to find. The weak link on these cars is the steps. If you want cars with steps that haven't been repaired, be prepared to spend more money. They are beautiful cars and look great behind the black 763e. Also, since you asked about what to look for, no observation car has been found for this set of cars, prewar or postwar. A Sager Place observation appeared in catalog illustrations, but it is generally accepted that no such cars were produced. 

Good luck, and please post photos of your cars when you find them. 

 

John 

I suggest keeping them on wide radius even if you run them behind a 226E or something to save the steps.  When they track around std 031 curves, the coupler overhang is right up against the steps.  They are nice cars I only have one set but they are beauties.  Love em.  And they seem slightly heavier than both the postswar and modern variety.

 

I noticed they seem tight on smaller curves. I have no intention on running them on anything put o-72 with the 763e. 

I was thinking the same thing with the steps. How many got damaged on tight turns.

I have o-42 curves on my layout since I never expected to own or run anything scale. I guess that is a lesson learned. 

LTI Lionel made the Sager Place some years back. I mention this in case their parts department may have an observation deck you could buy and retrofit onto a pre/postwar car, just to have something unique on your layout.

They are my favorite also. I have several sets, all in pretty good shape. Some better than others. 

I actually had a retired jeweler and Lionel service station guy retrofit a postwar coupler on my 763E tender. Not change out the cool prewar trucks, just adapt a postwar coupler. 

I would like to get another one with the box so I can have the 4 piece set like they catalogued. I'm sure one will pop up at some point.

I had thought about tracking down a frame and using a new body to build an observation car. If that is possible. But I'll chalk it up to another thing I'll think about but never get around to.

I have never seen any that nice. The window inserts are repro. Are the steps original? Can I ask you what you paid for these cars?

If you have a 763E, why not pull scale sized cars behind it?

K-Line made some scale sized heavyweight cars for the Millennium and they are the same color as these undersized cars, plus they are labelled New York Central.

Yeah I just got them. The steps are original but have been re-glued a few times. Not sure on the inserts. I paid around $175 each for them.

RoyBoy posted:

If you have a 763E, why not pull scale sized cars behind it?

K-Line made some scale sized heavyweight cars for the Millennium and they are the same color as these undersized cars, plus they are labelled New York Central.

I think he wants to stay "toy train period correct". Which I do as well. Again, it can't be all about realism. We must remember, we run on 3 rail track. I prefer the nostalgia of the oldies.

Besides being brittle against shocks, didn't those steps also strike the steel rail trigger for the post war giraffe car?  (one kind of old passenger car did for sure; we pulled all of the triggers because of it..... about 40years ago )

I grew up with Marx hand me downs. Marx is still my main collection. I love the 3/16 line up. About 2 years ago I decided to dabble into scale or high rail before I built my layout. I didn't like it. I really prefer tinplate and about a year ago fell down the prewar rabbit hole. 

If you'd told me 2 years ago I would have a large prewar Lionel layout. I'd have said you'd be nuts. 

The 763 and these coaches are the closest thing I have to scale right now and considering what else I own they really stick out since they aren't vibrant enameled or lithographed colors.

My issue now is my layout doesn't have 72 curves. I have to make some tough decisions on how to proceed from here because I'd really like to run these guys from time to time.

RamblerDon posted:

Yeah I just got them. The steps are original but have been re-glued a few times. Not sure on the inserts. I paid around $175 each for them.

That's about what I paid for my four car set 20 plus years ago in antique store lol .... Actually, my wife got them for me back when we still got each other gifts that each actually wanted lol Four cars with boxes and inserts and I think missing only 1 or 2 steps from the lot but a few glued back as yours have. 

 

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