American Flyer Circus Flat Cars

Manufacturer:American Flyer
Manufacturer ID:643
Category:Flat Cars
Road Name:American Flyer Circus
Year Introduced:1950
There were 4 variations produced of this car. The main photo shows the rarest of them all, the car that was manufactured for about two months in early 1950, after which the design was changed. This version held the load in place using riveted box car door guides instead of the later wooden blocks. John wrote about his find in the May 2014 issue of the S Say (Rocky Mountain Hi-railers newsletter), and in the Nov/Dec 2014 issue of the NASG's The Dispatch. These contain more photos. John has sold the car to another collector since taking the photo.

The next rarest, also produced in 1950, is the red die-cast model with a wooden block to secure the cages and truck. This one is shown in Photo #2.

The most common version is the yellow die-cast model with a wooden block to secure the cages and truck. It was produced from 1950 through 1953. It is shown in Photo #3.

Due to the Korean War, in 1952 and early-1953, material shortages forced A.C. Gilbert to produce the car using what is commonly referred to as "pressed wood" for the car body. The pressed wood variation lacks the details such as steps and brackets on the side. The substitution did create some issues, such as paint not adhering to the pressed wood bodies. Once the paint chipped off, it exposed a brown/tan chassis that is typical of the pressed wood version. This version is shown in Photo #4.
Photo #2
Photo #3
Photo #4
model owned by John Eichmann
photo © John Eichmann

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