The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Friday, October 28, 2011

Three Winther Heavyweights

As a model built by Howard Winther was featured in the previous article, and also I have been very much enjoying running heavyweight passenger cars lately, it seems a good time to feature two more models built by this OO pioneer.

First up we have this RPO. Not very many RPO models were commercially produced in OO gauge, and this does not appear to be one of them. When I first looked at this photo my guess was that Winther took what would have originally been OO scale baggage car sides (likely J-C or Graceline) and skillfully reworked them as RPO sides. On second look it is even more impressive work; the car is based on a Scale-Craft die cast baggage car! The trucks look like they are Graceline trucks, seen also in this article. No RPO baggage car of this type was ever commercially marketed in OO, and seeing it only makes me wish S-C had produced this model themselves. This is a great model that took much skill to pull off on the part of Winther.

This second car has a similar history I believe. It is a very nicely made coach (note the full interior). As on the RPO, the end closest to the camera looks to have been shortened. This time, based on the photo, I believe the car is based on J-C or perhaps the identical Famoco sides. The trucks are I believe Nason.

In both cases we have an oddity, such nicely built cars, nearly done, but never lettered for any road. Why? Were they late projects that were not quite completed? The RPO does not have couplers visible and may have never have seen layout service.

Our final car is this similar model, a shortened Pullman, with no trucks at all, seemingly part of the same passenger car project. I would again guess it to be based on J-C or Famoco sides and other parts. As always, click on any photo for a better view.

It would have been a handsome train but seems to have not been completed. OO has many little mysteries such as this. It keeps it interesting for sure for the few people active in the scale, and I always hope that some more readers out there will get the bug and get interested in working more with these great vintage models.

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