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

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Two Champion OO gauge 36' reefers

Up today are a couple more cars just through the paint shop, these reefers featuring Champion 36' reefer sides.

The Champion overview article is here. What got me inspired was I spotted these two bodies in the Picard supply and noted they were about 1/2 done. Both had the rather intense cast frame installed, seen in the second photo, but one body was Picard and the other was by an unknown maker. Which is saying a lot as I have looked at all this OO gauge history so much. As always, click on the photos for a better view.

The reefer built up on the mystery maker body is the Purina car. This car was number 309 in their line and according to the instructions with the sides was to be painted with Tuscan red ends, roof, and trucks with a black under body. I will switch out the trucks at some point, the cars are both on Schorr trucks I had on hand at present. What is unique about this body is it is a bit chunkier than the Picard body and there was a raised, flat area to glue the roof walk onto.

I have never been a beer drinker but the number 327 Budweiser sides I had appealed to me as well. These sides are slightly shorter in height so they went on this slightly shorter Picard body, all painted in the "dark olive green" (Pullman green) recommended in the instructions printed with the sides. On both of these models the ends and ladders are Scale-Craft parts, the brake cylinder is Eastern, and the hatches are probably HO parts fished out of the parts supply.

Looking from the bottom, you can see the frame casting. I am not sure it is an OO or a HO part but it fits both models like a glove. I used Kadee whisker couplers on both cars, making a great pair of vintage style models.

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