MTH Reproduction Ives Standard Gauge Black Diamond Cars #1174
by Bradley Kaplan
Over a year ago MTH cataloged a reproduction of the Ives Black
Diamond set and I ordered it. Finally a year latter it arrived,
and the question, was is it worth the wait?
MTH cataloged the 3 car set and a reproduction Ives 1134 Steam
engine to pull the set. I decided not to buy the 1134. I have
2 Ives engines, a 3236 that I am restoring in black to eventually
pull this set, and an Ives 3241 which I am currently using to
pull the set.
in the late 1920's when these cars were originally cataloged by
Ives, Ives was owned by Lionel and American Flyer. Lionel and
American Flyer were looking for ways to save money. The Black
Diamond cars were actually American Flyer car bodies on Ives trucks
and Ives couplers. The original Black Diamond set is very rare
MTH has been making the Flyer cars for almost 15 years starting
with the Lionel Classics in the late 1990s. I would assume that
MTH is using the same body tooling they have been using for the
Flyer cars for these Ives cars in the same way Flyer originally
I happen to think that these cars in this paint scheme is nicer
then any version that Flyer created in their colors, and the Ives
trucks look much better on these cars then Flyer's trucks.
MTH was meticulous with a perfect fit and finish of these cars.
Each car has a light switch to turn the interior lights on and
off. I think that when Flyer made the bodies for Ives, they removed
this switch to save money and distinguish these cars from their
own. But if this is or is not the case, who cares. Either way.
it cost MTH more $$$$ to put the switches on.
I never knew the original versions had a drum light on the observation
car. This is a great feature that Lionel never had.
So far 3 friends have come to my place and have seen these cars
and said they think they are the nicest looking of all my
trains. I agree!
Some MTH repro Ives Transition passenger sets have been snapped
up by collectors and are almost as impossible to find as the originals.
I got a feeling this set may follow this trail.
I am waiting for MTH to catalog a diner for this set. I know
Ives never cataloged one originally, but I hope MTH take the license
This set is not for display! I've run it every day since it arrived!