In case of link malfunction above, go here.
Going, Going, Gondolas - Part III
While boxcars, cabooses and other Lionel rolling stock continue
to draw the bulk of interest in collecting, the lowly gondola
continues to be an affordable and very collectable type of car
to acquire. In Part III, we start by returning to the smaller
9" cars that were "cheapened" from the initial #2452 series. Possibly,
the cheapest of all and, yet, the most valuable are the #1002
Scout gondolas in the oddball colors of yellow, silver, and red.
These are not "rare", but do command a hefty price whenever they
are found on a seller's table. The common black #1002, and the
easy to find Blue #1002, make a nice set of five cars to collect.
The next series of black gondolas are the #6012, the #6032, and
the #6042. These are easy to find at most train meets but almost
never come with a box. It is easy to understand why original boxes
can often fetch more then the cars that go inside.
There are three gondolas that have the number 6112; they come
in the common black, easy to find blue, and harder to find white.
A number of years ago, some collecting buddies insisted the white
car was very hard to find. In the following few months, I located
half a dozen, all at about $10, and then stopped looking. Gondolas
are still easy to collect.
The collection of gondolas continues with #6142 that comes in
black, blue and, for the first time, in green. I often wonder
why Lionel didn't produce these cars in many more colors. Doing
this would have certainly added to the fun of collecting them.
I end this segment of the 9" gondolas with a few that have no
markings at all! Some sellers try to say that these were "factory
errors." Not so; this was merely the ultimate way to save production
costs. The four that I have are blue, gloss green, flat green,
and military khaki. Only one of these seems to be difficult to
locate and commands a premium.
This was to conclude the 9" series
of gondolas but, as I was double checking various guides to insure
completeness, I discovered one small gondola that I had failed
to include. I immediately ran out to my Lionel Railroad and searched
the rails, then the shelves, and finally the box where excess
gondolas are stored. I FOUND IT! I will save it for the epilog
of this series on gondolas. However, if you can figure out which
one I forgot and you are the first to email me with it before
the epilog appears, I will find some way to award a reward.
Please Note: Part of the reason
I enjoy writing articles about collecting trains is that I learn
new things about the hobby from readers like you. If you would
like to share your experiences, or notice any errors or omissions
in any of my posts, please write to me, Mike Stella, directly