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Hello all. I had never heard of "The Car Works" prior to the Stout auction on May 13, but there were several 2-rail trolley cars available in several different road names. With the plethora that were available, I thought there would be some good buys, but ALL of these auctions were hotly contested. I tried to narrow my focus to a couple that I felt had local appeal here in Southern California, and ended up with the following Pacific Electric cars; a Hollywood Car and an Interurban.


They are both really nicely done models, but both require a bit of tweaking. I can not get the Hollywood car to move. I think it can be powered via the rails alone, or the overhead pole can substitute for one rail, but in no configuration can I get even a hum. Hoping the gear box just needs a good lube. The Interurban moves nicely in both direction, with lights. However I can not determine if it is also intended to be powered via the overhead pole. It rides a little high at one end, and I think the bolster may have gotten bent.

I would also love to add DCC to both of these models, and have a number of LokSound decoders to choose from, although I haven't yet investigated any sound files.

So before I start taking things apart, I wonder if anyone has any experience with these. I know I can't be the Lone Ranger here, because as I said there was a great deal of interest in these at auction last month.

Looking forward to your insights.


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Have you applied power directly to the truck leads? It might be easier to remove the truck and de-solder the lead from the roof/pole first to do this, it'll usually tell you if the motor is the problem or not. Car Works offered 2-rail as an option (quite popular on the Electroliners as I recall) but most I've fiddled with were set-up for overhead, with uninsulated wheel sets/trucks.

The Carworks, was the child of a gent named Stan Richmond out of NJ as best I can recall. Not sure if Stan is still around or not.

If I were you, I would acquire a Proses model clamp, clamp your car upside down, and slightly loosen screws (generally in the corners) and see what starts to come apart! Guessing you will need to remove only 4. I HIGHLY recommend the Proses clamp. There are different versions. I have no vested interest in Proses, it is just an excellent product, you will likely use often.


Last edited by Simon Winter
@lionel1946 posted:

Pete, any suggestions on how to best/safely/easily remove the shell? I can just see myself removing a bunch of unnecessary screws!

I'm not familiar with either of these car bodies (Hollywood or 700 series LAP), but generally if the car body's truck bolster screws are not accessible from the under-body, usually at the edge of the car sides and bolsters, then you'll have to separate the car body(roof-sides-ends) from the floor/chassis, which is usually done removing screws at each corner of the underbody, with possibly another pair or more towards the center of car. If you can post a shot of the underbody, I'm pretty sure the advice will flood in. Note for sure, if you're going to bring these to life you will need to get comfortable with separating the chassis from the car body.

You're going to have to figure out the disassembly - may be a simple as 4-6 screws around the bottom.

Just what drives are actually installed in these?  Underside photos would help. Not all came powered and some modelers fiddled about replacing things -- good point above on how drives were set up; not all were either/or for overhead wire. Might try checking power directly to the power truck leads and also check whether the wheels are insulated at all.  Could also be that it's sat for so long that the the gearbox needs a good purging.

Last edited by mwb

I have a number of Car Works traction cars and small diesels.  Top notch construction and easily modified to dcc for the most part.  You can use H.O. decoders in the traction models because the motors draw such little amperage. Small diesels use Weaver drives and should have a larger decoder.  Finding a place to hide the decoder and speaker when your model has a full interior is another story. I have mainly combines, box motors and steeple cabs so I can hide a large speaker and decoder easily.  I also have the PE "Hollywood" car (yours is in Daylight colors) shown in your first photo.  I was able to squeeze a small non-sound decoder in the aisle between the seats and it is barely visible but again, with the full interior there is just nowhere to hide it effectively.  To my knowledge all the Car Works stuff was 2 rail from the factory BUT if someone purchased the body only (many of the traction models were sold this way, unpainted) and inserted their own power truck, they may have installed a non-insulated Q Car or Wagner truck that will run on overhead only. 

Also, many O scale traction models that I have found are unpowered even if they have trucks.  So the drive could be NWSL Magic Carpets, the later Stanton drives, or something from Q car or Wagner.  My two O scale traction cars are Wagner powered.  BTW, the current back log for Quentin of Q car to build a set of power trucks is 12 weeks minimum right now.  So, interest in O scale traction is good, just flying under the radar till stuff comes up for sale.    If you can get some pics of the underside of the cars to show the trucks they have, we might be able to advise what drives are in them.   AD

Last edited by artfull dodger

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