Lehigh & New England Hoppers 2-bay offset

Manufacturer:American Flyer
Manufacturer ID:632
Category:Hoppers (2-bay offset)
Road Name:Lehigh & New England
Year Introduced:1946
In the back row are two of the most common #632 hoppers. On the left in the rear is the common black plastic variation. Some of the cars came with diecast bearing journals, while many that were included in lower-priced sets, came without bearing journals like the one in the photo. Note that the body shows some signs of warping which is typical of many acetate plastic 1946 cars.

The second car in the back row is the gray die cast metal #632 Virginian hopper that did not have the catalog number imprinted on the car. It has four movable sheet metal bottom doors. The postwar Virginian was actually a carryover from the prewar days. In 1939-41, the Virginian was cataloged as #508 and as #K508 in kit form. Unlike the postwar model the prewar model had, the catalog number printed on the upper left side of the hopper and had a different style of lettering.

In the front on the left is a rather uncommon example of a black 1946 LNE hopper with white lettering and a red dot in the center of the LNE logo with die-cast bearing journals.

The illustration in the 1946 catalog shows the #632 hopper as being gray with black lettering, which is shown on the right in the front row. The hopper is actually a bluish gray and in made of die cast metal. This model has metal sheet metal bearing journal like the #632 Virginian Hopper.

Note that the two cars in the rear are resting on early American Flyer blue and yellow boxes. The box on the left is a typical 1946 box with the words "Tru-Model". The box on the left is a later version that has the wording "3/16" Scale" instead.

Photo #2 shows an example of the seven other gray plastic variations of the #632 LNE Hopper in the 1946-to-1952 time frame, some of which were light gray while other were dark gray. The first produced in 1946 were light gray, with think shank link couplers and no red dot. The second is similar to the first except it has a red dot. The third produced in 1947 is dark gray thick shank link couplers and a red dot. Two of the variations were produced in 1948 with a red dot and link couplers with a brass weight, one is light gray while the second is dark gray. From 1949 through 1952 two other variations were produced, both have a red dot and link couplers with a red dot. The first is dark gray while the second, as shown in the Photo #2, is light gray.

Some of the #632 hoppers had weights on their trucks to help them track better.
Photo #2
model owned by Ted Hamler
photo © Ted Hamler

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