A Personal Guide to Collecting Postwar 6464 Boxcars— PART FIVE
By Mike Stella
The most common 6464-400 has a BLT 54 Date.
Continuing my guide to collecting Lionel 6464 boxcars, we pick up with one of the prettiest cars in the entire series, the 6464-400 B&O Timesaver.
I like the deep blue color and the silver roof along with the bright orange stripe on each side. The “BLT 54” date first appeared but was later changed to a “BLT 56” date. The “56” date always seems harder to locate and does fetch a bit higher price.
This is the ONLY 6464 that came with different BLT Dates.
The Timesaver was also reissued by Lionel in 1969 and this time without any date at all!
Like the other boxcars reissued in 1969, the B&O can be found New in the O/B.
Sometimes there was NO BLT Date at all!
An “HTF” (hard to find) version of the 6464-400 has a BLT 54 on one side and a BLT 56 on the other. This car was always on my "want list" and I paid the most I've ever paid for any Lionel freight car to win one in an Internet auction. Two weeks later, another one showed up and I bid it up but really didn't want a second one. As I write this article a third one is on my Internet watch list and will close in two days. It seems nothing is "rare" anymore!
The New Haven with Half-Serif.
The 6464-425 Black New Haven is next. Rather plain looking, easy to acquire at low prices, and two variation to look for.
The first has a half-serif "N" and the second has a full-serif "N."
Easy variations to collect.
I did notice that only one comes PAINTED Black while the other is simply Black plastic.
Our next boxcar in order is the 6464-450 Great Northern. A nice looking paint scheme and at least Lionel didn't have to "groove" the sides to get a crisp middle stripe.
The first 6464-450 Great Northern.
This boxcar again showed up in the Lionel line in 1966 but as with all the late reissues, there was no “BLT date” used.
Both versions, with the 1966 “NO DATE” version on top.
I never set out in my collecting to acquire all these variations, but I have been fortunate over the years in working with several friends selling off their collections and being able to bring boxcars home, to compare and search for visual differences. Every time I found a difference, I kept the car.
The common 6464-475 Blue B&M.
We'll end this Part Five and also start Part Six with the next boxcar, the 6464-475 B&M. This is another rather plain looking car but I have four different variations in my collection.
We'll look at two here and save two for later.
Once again the car without the BLT Date is on the top. I like variations.
Lionel once again made this car both with and without a BLT Date. While I still do not count rows of rivets on boxcars, I do look for differences in the graphics used and this almost always occurs with the BLT information, or lack of it!
Here are the 10 cars presented in Part Five.
Another four numbers in the 6464 series and another 10 cars to share. The 6464-400 with partially opened door IS my "split date" B&O. I tried to use a mirror to shoot both sides at once but just couldn't get the desired results. You'll have to trust me OR come and visit my collection when you are in Southern California.
As Always, Happy Collecting.