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

Friday, May 4, 2012

A bit of a Surprise in a Vintage Reefer


One project starting to take shape is I am working on converting a set of four junker, vintage 40’ OO scale cars into a string of four ATSF reefers, using a set of those recently produced sides that have been on eBay lately (a brief review being here). This morning was a cool morning to work in the garage and do the quick and dirty work of stripping off the old paper sides and roof details of the cars in the project.

All of them are 40’ Picard bodies and all had been damaged significantly in prior storage. This one being perhaps the worst of the group as the sides had warped a bit. Stripping the car it was clear this one had not been assembled with glue at all but with pins, so the side came off easily and revealed a mystery.

The car was stuffed full of “stuff,” some sort of vintage packaging material, as seen in the photo. No idea why. It did give the car a bit more weight, perhaps that was the idea? In any event, the packing material is now in the trash and a metal frame will provide all the extra weight the car needs. Soon the sides will be glued and clamped on, ultimately transformed into a sharp American OO car hopefully worthy of much layout time.

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