A.F. Product Gallery: #650

Manufacturer:American Flyer
Manufacturer ID:650
Category:Passenger Cars
Road Name:New York New Haven & Hartford
Road Number:650
Year Introduced:1946
These cars were produced from 1946 through 1953. They went through several generations of changes during their seven-year run. In the photo are examples of an unlighted green, and a 1946 lighted red car with silver lettering. In 1946 some materials were still in short supply, such as light assemblies, so Gilbert was forced to manufacture certain passenger cars and cabooses that were planned to be lighted as unlighted items. The box these items came in typically had the part number stamped on the end flap followed by "NL" indicating "no light" (e.g. "650NL"). Since the green passenger cars were offered as part of the lower priced sets, many of these cars came without lights, as was the case for some of the 1946 cabooses. The other issue with nearly all of the 1946 plastic cars is that they warp as can be seen in the photo. The warping was because of the new acetate plastic used at that time which was unstable. Gilbert tried to compensate or solve the warping issue by changing the frame material on the #650 cars thus creating several variations. In 1947, the red coaches were given diecast frames. Starting in 1948, the green coaches were also given the diecast frames. Starting in 1949, Gilbert also used sheet metal frames on some of the coaches of both colors. Carl Byron wrote an article about these cars in the July 2001 issue of the S Gaugian magazine, which includes prototype information upon which these cars were based.
model owned by Ted Hamler
photo © Ted Hamler

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