A.F. Product Gallery: 1946 Passenger Cars (coach)

Manufacturer:American Flyer
Manufacturer ID:650
Category:Passenger Cars (coach)
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.
Photo
model owned by Ted Hamler
photo © Ted Hamler
Manufacturer:American Flyer
Manufacturer ID:651
Category:Passenger Cars (coach)
Road Name:New York New Haven & Hartford
Road Number:651
Year Introduced:1946
These models were produced from 1946 through 1953. They went through the same transitions as #650, with the same warping problems (see that entry for the details). In the photo are examples of a red and green 1946 #651 Baggage Car both of which came with silver lettering. Later models have white lettering. There is one reported variation of the #651 that was made in 1953, which has a tuscan-red body instead of the typical red or green body color.
Photo
model owned by Ted Hamler
photo © Ted Hamler
Manufacturer:American Flyer
Manufacturer ID:652
Category:Passenger Cars (coach)
Road Name:Pullman
Road Number:652
Year Introduced:1946
The #652 Pullman Coach was produced from 1946 through 1953, although there is some doubt whether or not they were actually produced in 1946. Of the 15 variations, the two 1947 variations are the rarest. The 1947 variations are painted either green (see main photo) or red. They have long, 6-wheel trucks that are 2-1/2" in length with thick shank link couplers (see Photo #3). The two early 1948 variations are painted either green or red however they have short, 6-wheel trucks that are 2-1/8" long and the coupler have brass weights (see Photo #2). In late 1948 A.C. Gilbert produced three variation of the #652; one was unpainted green plastic while the other two were unpainted tuscan plastic. The difference in the two tuscan units is the number "652" is on the end on one and in the center of the car on the other unit. Beginning in 1949 all #652 coaches came with link couplers with blackened weights. Also in 1949, the #652 was painted green except "652" was located in the center of the car as opposed to being on the end of the sides. Several of the variations (4) were produced in 1949-52. Two of those variations have olive green plastic bodies with short trucks and "652" is printed in the center of the car. The differences in these two have to do with the style of lettering on the car. The other two of those variations are unpainted tuscan with short trucks and "652" located in the center of the car. Like the green variations, the differences in the two tuscan variations has to do with the style of lettering on the car. The final three variations of the #652 coaches were produced in 1953. In 1953, the word "PULLMAN" on the side of the car was moved from the position it held for a number of years. The three new 1953 variations now have "PIKES PEAK" below the windows and "AMERICAN FLYER LINES" above the windows. One variation was green while the other two were tuscan. The differences in the two tuscan models is the word "PULLMAN" on the end of the car which was either printed with thick or thin style lettering. Note that all #652 had the same window and roof ventilators. However, the two sides of the car had different configurations. This is easy to see when comparing the main photo with Photo #2, where one photo shows one side, and the other photo shows the other side of the car.
Photo
Photo #2
Photo #3
model owned by Ted Hamler
photo © Ted Hamler

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