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

Friday, May 1, 2009

A sharp American OO express reefer

From the collection of Ed Havens we have yet another beautiful car in need of an ID.

So far as I know, only the following express reefer models were produced in American OO:

Express reefer, 44 1/2', plain--Picard
Express reefer, 45', wood--Champion
Express reefer, 50', plain--Picard
Express reefer, 50', wood--Graceline
Express reefer, 55’--Unique Miniatures

The Picard models have plain sides, the Champion cars have printed card sides, and the Graceline cars have sides of a pressed card material. Details on the Unique Miniatures models are sketchy, but they were advertised as available in the period around 1941-42 and had printed sides with rivet detail and detail castings, decorated for ATSF and perhaps others.

The model in the photo seems to have replacement sides of wood, and my best guess is it is a Picard body as they are fairly common but actually it could be almost any brand on the list as it was obviously modified, built by a master craftsman. It certainly has some Scale-Craft parts, the doors are the later version Scale-Craft reefer door for example.

The trucks also caught my attention. They are not the common Scale-Craft passenger truck. I started looking in catalogs and got a little excited as I discovered that Scale-Craft made an express reefer truck in OO but it was only listed in the last post-war SC catalog. I believe this truck to be somewhat rare because it was introduced so late in OO history. But digging around in my cars I found that I have a few pair on express reefers of my own, and these are not those. Actually the trucks on the car are Famoco, not as rare but still nice trucks on a very nice car. Thank you again Ed for sharing.

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