Has anybody mounted a more modern chassis under an early Lionel O gauge electric style locomotive (150, 152, 153, etc...)? I've been asked to assist with an operational museum display for the Christmas season that would represent a storefront window toy display from the 1917-1923 period (pinning down an exact year will happen at a later date). My plan is to acquire either a lone shell/frame for one of the locomotives mentioned above to restore into a "like new" appearance, or buy a beater unit that I won't feel so bad about modifying to like new appearance. A more modern chassis is desired since it'd be running for about 4 hours per night for several weekends and I don't have much of a desire to thrash a 100+ year old mechanism to death. I'm thinking more along the idea of easier to find/replace maintenance parts vs condemning the quality of early Lionel stuff so that I won't have to worry about it as much over the course of the event.
I'm not quite sure what might fit under one of those small shells. I'm eyeing the Lionel Postwar #60 trolley chassis since it has double pickup rollers and a bit of weight to it and parts are fairly common. I'd likely have to shorten it somewhat but could probably easily drill and tap the frame to screw mounting brackets to it for mounting the shell/frame using their existing screw tabs.
I would greatly appreciate any ideas that would help make the above project happen!