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My "Holy Grail" would actually be quite attainable, but at the moment I'm all-in on one my other interests that often edges out model trains: Vintage "enduro" type motorcycles. Spent a ton of money on 'em the past month or so.

So what is my "Holy Grail"?

A nice 736 w/tender. I think the PW Lionel Berk's are the absolute meanest looking of all the PW steam engines. Had one once... I'll have another "one of these days".

(My tastes in traditional 3 rail are actually quite frugal and very modest.)

That's it: A 736.  Very attainable... but I'm not willing to spend the $$ right now.

Andre

Nation Wide Lines: I had an uncle (my grandmother's half sister's husband really) who had an American Flyer 20th Anniversary clock.  He didn't have any tinplate trains to my knowledge and years later never thought to ask if he ever had had any.  I am back in contact with one of his grand daughter's (a close but no kissin' cousin) and will ask her if she received the clock when he passed away.  She, being the oldest of three female cousins, I assume she may have received it and may still have it to this day?

Nation Wide Lines: I had an uncle (my grandmother's half sister's husband really) who had an American Flyer 20th Anniversary clock.  He didn't have any tinplate trains to my knowledge and years later never thought to ask if he ever had had any.  I am back in contact with one of his grand daughter's (a close but no kissin' cousin) and will ask her if she received the clock when he passed away.  She, being the oldest of three female cousins, I assume she may have received it and may still have it to this day?

They are tough to find.  The estimate is there were c. 50 to 100 of them made.  Mine came from the estate of a clock collector.  

The "holy grail" items I do not have yet are not too expensive but they are very hard to find or have sentimental value to me.

I back in 2010 I got the MTH 4-car NYC MU set but have not been able to locate the extra 2-car set (30-2846-3). Ten years of searching and only one set turned up but I was not willing to pay $400 for something used that listed for $160 new.

When I was very little my parents used to take me to several department stores that used to set-up Christmas displays. I vividly remember in Nordstrom there was a dept. 56 "Christmas in the City" display of New York City. My first LHS had a deal with Nordstrom and would help set up displays with the condition that they could sell MTH and Lionel RTR sets there. One early Christmas season I went there with my father, Bob who worked at "The Aberdeen Hobby Shop" was setting up this "Christmas in the City" display. He had two beautiful subway sets running: the MTH Premier R-1 subway set and a Premier R32 subway set running on two loops of track. As a kid, I always dreamed of having both. Fast forward 17 years and now they are on my "nice-to-have" presuming I can get them for a good price.

I am always amazed by the beauty of K-line's 18" passenger cars and I have amassed quite a fleet of them but some sets of cars remains elusive to me. I have been looking for a complete set of the 18 inch Aluminum Pennsylvania cars (K-4680R, K-4680S, K-4680T) and the streamlined 18 inch "Phoebe Snow" (K-4638D,  K-4638E).  I know they are out there somewhere in the ether but I haven't seen any complete sets yet.

I am confident that I will be able to find these sometime in the future.

Bryce

Last edited by Oscale_Trains_Lover_

Here are the Neil Young purchase cars I referenced in my original post. All four were commercially available, not the super scarce car Dave describes. The flat car does not carry crates, but piles of wood used in guitar manufacture. It was Wellspring that bought Lionel; I believe Young owned 20% of Wellspring at the time.

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The "holy grail" items I do not have yet are not too expensive but they are very hard to find or have sentimental value to me.

I back in 2010 I got the MTH 4-car NYC MU set but have not been able to locate the extra 2-car set (30-2846-3). Ten years of searching and only one set turned up but I was not willing to pay $400 for something used that listed for $160 new.

When I was very little my parents used to take me to several department stores that used to set-up Christmas displays. I vividly remember in Nordstrom there was a dept. 56 "Christmas in the City" display of New York City. My first LHS had a deal with Nordstrom and would help set up displays with the condition that they could sell MTH and Lionel RTR sets there. One early Christmas season I went there with my father, Bob who worked at "The Aberdeen Hobby Shop" was setting up this "Christmas in the City" display. He had two beautiful subway sets running: the MTH Premier R-1 subway set and a Premier R32 subway set running on two loops of track. As a kid, I always dreamed of having both. Fast forward 17 years and now they are on my "nice-to-have" presuming I can get them for a good price.

I am always amazed by the beauty of K-line's 18" passenger cars and I have amassed quite a fleet of them but some sets of cars remains elusive to me. I have been looking for a complete set of the 18 inch Aluminum Pennsylvania cars (K-4680R, K-4680S, K-4680T) and the streamlined 18 inch "Phoebe Snow" (K-4638D,  K-4638E).  I know they are out there somewhere in the ether but I haven't seen any complete sets yet.

I am confident that I will be able to find these sometime in the future.

Bryce

Second the MU cars and subways. Hopefully one day I'll find them. Especially the R1. 

Rule #1 : ALWAYS buy the add-ons when they are cataloged with the set.  

(OK, maybe that's rule #2, behind "buy it when you see it" if you are at a train meet(assuming price is acceptable), or it will likely be gone when you "go back" (because someone right behind you maybe also found the price acceptable) )

Sorry, I know that doesn't help people who were not in the hobby when an item came out and are trying to buy them years later.  So a modification would be to try to be aware of any add-ons before you buy a set.  You are more likely to find someone selling a set including add-ons as a group than you are to find someone selling just the add-ons alone, particularly for a 4 car / 2 add-on type of subway  or MU set.

-Dave

Last edited by Dave45681
@Dave45681 posted:

I'm not sure if this is what Hiramo meant, but try searching for "Lionel Martin Guitars" and look at images.  It wasn't actual guitars, but 4 wood boxes on a flat car meant to suggest there were guitars inside.

I think, or maybe it's pallets of the wood used to make the guitars - there is a sign with a wood type(?) on top of each of the 4 items on the flatcar.  While I know what this car looks like, I never paid a lot of attention to studying it.  Maybe it's even guitar product lines?  I know literally zero about guitars... the signs say Mahogany, Sitka Spruce, Rosewood, and Ebony, and the boxes seem to be colored to coordinate with the names.

-Dave

 

Never knew about the flat car with wood pallets that are supposed to be miniature Martin Guitars. Very nice. Would love to have one since my most treasured tangible non-living thing is a nylon string Martin Guitar made in the mid-1960s. Arnold

@Dave45681 posted:

Rule #1 : ALWAYS buy the add-ons when they are cataloged with the set.  

(OK, maybe that's rule #2, behind "buy it when you see it" if you are at a train meet(assuming price is acceptable), or it will likely be gone when you "go back" (because someone right behind you maybe also found the price acceptable) )

Sorry, I know that doesn't help people who were not in the hobby when an item came out and are trying to buy them years later.  So a modification would be to try to be aware of any add-ons before you buy a set.  You are more likely to find someone selling a set including add-ons as a group than you are to find someone selling just the add-ons alone, particularly for a 4 car / 2 add-on type of subway  or MU set.

-Dave

Dave,

That is a rule I stick to but sadly no one had the extra 2-car add-on in-stock when I got my 4-car set two years after MTH made them. I did use the product locator and found one but the dealer never updated it saying it was no longer in stock. 

I see several 4-car NYC MUs for sale on da'bay frequently but never the 2-car set (either by itself or with a 4-car set). I might end up getting another 4-car set and re-numbering the cars. At least I will have two powered units! 

Bryce

Last edited by Oscale_Trains_Lover_

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