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Selling off Trainpop’s trains is about finished. One last project to tackle.

Chuck had a favorite set from his childhood that was very close to him, restored a few years ago , I believe he said by Len Caparelli. The family does not want the train. Vince and I are taking care of selling it for them, but neither has much post war knowledge. Can anyone recommend someone who we could contact for a value? Len Caparelli was my first thought, but his profile has no contact info.
Set is aNew York Central, ABA set Box numbers 2354P, 2344C and 2354T.

My contact info is in my profile.

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Last edited by Jim M Sr
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That's a beautiful set Jim, the family is indeed fortunate to have your assistance!

You will probably receive a great variety of estimates so here is my 'currently uninformed' opinion:

It is sad that no one in the family wants this as it should have the most value to them because of the personal and historical factor. Otherwise it is 'just another very nice antique toy' to the general public. I would imagine that fact that it has been restored could in some buyer's eyes actually diminish the value although it is certainly a beautiful job from your excellent photos!  

The market is almost flooded with postwar items and in general, the market (us) most interested is shrinking because we are slowly passing away while younger people have little to no appreciation for these pieces. We have to admit that Nostalgia is likely the driving force in postwar trains that the younger people don't have for logical reasons.

Add to these factors the abundance of similar NYC locomotives from over the years produced by Lionel, Williams, MTH, and even Marx and American Flyer, there are almost too many choices for an interested buyer.

My guess as to a $$$ value is just that - a guess.  $300? maybe a little more?  If they were mine, I'd surely hang onto them!

Last edited by c.sam

The 2354 is the last of the NYC AAs to be made....53-55. I assume P&T stand for "powered" and "trailing".

2344C is the NYC B unit made 50-55, which switched from screens to louvers to match the 2354s. I assume this one is also louvered......

It has been restored and I have no idea what that does to the value. I can only speculate.

However, it is a beautiful set..........and, I totally agree with C.Sam......the highest value would be to family, because though it is a beautiful set, there are many just like it out there.

Peter

"...the market (us) most interested is shrinking because we are slowly passing away while younger people have little to no appreciation for these pieces."

Across the hobby board, this is the norm, their 'younger people' only interest is giving themselves myopia staring at a little screen.  In the ham radio market, all those teenage hams in the 50's and 60's who could not afford the high end gear of the era, bought it used in their retirement years, and either refurbed or had the gear refurbed, and now, as they pass, it is possible to get a 1950 radio in like new condition at a fraction of what was spent on it on get it going again, but the market is no longer there.

Here is a quote from the 2024 Edition of Greenberg's Guide to Lionel Trains :

B unit  $95 Excellent and $255 Mint

AA units $226 Excellent and $403 Mint

You have boxes and original wrappings which can command a premium BUT you mention "restored" which makes establishing a value most difficult.  Many collectors do not want restored items, regardless of the quality of the restoration.  In most cases with collectors restoration decreases the value.  Less than 1 year ago, I purchased an Excellent condition, unrestored NYC AA the earlier "screen wire" version for $295.  I already had the B unit (also screen wire).  Based on all this, I would tend to agree with c.sam that you might expect to get $300 - $400 or so for the 3 unit set.

Don

Considering the family doesn't want it, the idea of saving it for sentimental value is moot.

My usual M.O. on this is to put it up on Ebay for the lowest I am willing to take for an item and let the market decide on the value.  Or, if you're not comfortable with that, start the auction at say $500, and see what happens.  If it doesn't sell, do what Trainz and others do.  Keep relisting it with a lower price until it does sell.

I suppose the only issue is is if one of Trainpop's friends would be interested then you need to propose a price.   As Don had said, probably a value between $300 and $400.  Suggest a price that is fair to both parties and go from there.

It's been almost 5 years since I lost Lin, and I don't need physical objects to remind me of her.  Kinda feel guilty about disbursing her stuff, but, she's in my heart and that works for me just fine.

I'm in agreement that the $300-400 range is probably near the top, along with the other comments about this type of engine not commanding the value that it once did.  IMO, the values listed in the Greenberg guides are no longer useful. Although it's a beautiful restoration, it's still a restoration and that limits the value.

I'm not sure that contacting Len Carparelli would be of much value, since I'm betting that the restoration probably cost as much or more than the engines would sell for.  I checked the TCA roster and he's no longer listed.  However, if you search for him you'll find his website and contact info.

Post it here on the forum - I'm guessing that it will sell quickly and you won't pay a commission.

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