Clearly the cars were built up and painted and then rebuilt by prior owners. The rebuilder before me I think wanted to turn them into pseudo old time coaches with a truss rod frame. The look did not work at all, they were clearly steel cars. I think that person probably knew the look did not work either; there was no evidence that trucks had ever been put back on the cars.
For decals I opted for the Union Pacific because I had two similar Graceline cars decorated for the UP, the diner and RPO seen at the beginning of the Graceline 101 article and also a Nason Hudson I decorated for the UP. The vintage decals I found matched those on the other cars almost perfectly, although the paint color is a little different. I have enough for another car and plan to decorate a S-C baggage car for the UP the next time I am painting things Pullman green, it will make a nice little train. The trucks are Scale-Craft.
One final “mystery” not shown in the photo is each car has sides that don’t match. The photo shows one type of side and the other side of both cars has paired windows. Not sure why they don’t match but both sides appear to be standard Graceline sides, not by another maker. But at least the cars are together and operable vintage cars now; getting more cars such as this together and operable has been a summer goal.