It further states on page 438 "The orange New Haven box car that was heat-stamped "6464725" was designated no. 6464-735 when it came packaged in a box and no. 6464-750 when unboxed. The "-735" version was used in this outfit."
I am not sure what this means, but this set was not offered to Sears until sometime in 1965 to be included in their 1965 Xmas catalog, not 1963 when the car was first issued and the term 6464-735 was first introduced.
Close-up of description in Lionel 2011 Signature catalog
The Lionel 2011 Signature catalog text states that the 6-38349 # 12885-500 C&O GP-7 Promotional Outfit set includes "6464-725 New Haven boxcar", yet the image clearly shows "6464-735".
As I have collected what I hope are all of the 6464 boxcars, I ordered this set irregardless, which I know is not a word, of which numbering scheme it would include, but I was leaning towards the 6464-735 designation as something unique and different, correcting a wrong as it were.
I eventually got my wish, as item # 6-27780 New Haven boxcar was numbered "6464-735", but as the saying goes, "be careful what you wish for, you may get it."
Close-up of 6-27780
One would imagine that the story would end here, but this numeric designation is clearly jinxed.
Upon further review, it appears to me that there was originally a "2" that had not been whited out, but rather "oranged out", and overstamped with a "3", a "3" that clearly does not really line up properly.
I examined the prototype at the Lionel display in the Orange Hall at October 2011 York, (outside with permission of course) and their version did not have any overstamp that I could determine in the pouring rain and the numbering was plumb .
Close-up of prototype
Did I have a one of a kind I asked myself?
If anyone was entitled to one, who better than I was more deserving I thought.
But now I wanted a "normal" one to compliment my error. I was able to purchase another one from a totally different dealer after they eventually broke up the set.
I waited with anticipation for my second one to arrive so I could carefully examine them side by side.
So now I either have two one-of-a-kinds, or, all of the production versions are this way, with only the prototype being "correct."
Because I wanted to document this item for posterity and have the facts revealed by those in the know, I contacted Matt Ashba, Product Manager of Lionel LLC. Thanks to Matt for his cooperation and explanation:
"The original art that was forwarded to the factory was numbered 6464725. This art was later revised to read 6464735 as a collectors' nod to the special "-735" box that this car was packaged in for the original 1965 Sears set. As I review the current sample and review your comments about your cars, it's clear to me now that the bodies had all been completed, and that the factory then went back over them to change the single digit from "2" to "3". The sample that I have does not show misaligned numbers, but looking very carefully I can see there was an overprinting done over a "2" digit. So, I am sure we would find that the "3" digit on some of the cars is aligned properly, but on others it may be misaligned to varying degrees."
DOUBLE TROUBLE "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."
Custom item, 1962 issue, metal frame, plastic trucks on Postwar TYPE IV original shell-Orange with black door
Custom item, 1962 issue, metal frame, plastic trucks on Postwar TYPE IV original shell-Black with orange door
Custom item, 1962 issue, metal frame, plastic trucks on Postwar TYPE IV original shell-Black with orange door and "N"