Modeling Notes: Hartoy's Model Numbering System

(photo © Carl McAbee)

The content for this article was provided by Carl McAbee, published with his permission, and edited by the webmaster. Carl is an avid collector of Hartoy and 1:64 vehicles in general.

If you look at the Hartoy Product Gallery on this web site, you will notice that most of the entries have a manufacturer's ID set (those that do not are simply unknown to the webmaster at this moment). Those letters and numbers have a meaning. For example, the manufacturer's ID for the truck shown in this photo is "L05012".

Vehicles like this one were part of the Hartoy American Highway Legend (AHL) series. Hartoy was started by Phil Shaeffer in 1991. The company produced the AHL series and the Precision Engineered Models (PEM) series of tractor/trailers. The company was sold to Tonkin Replicas in 2003, who released several more AHL models starting the following year.

Hartoy made several "internal releases" for various companies and these are often hard to find but all of them (with a few exceptions) used the same numbering system, and they all started with the letter "L". However, for these special runs, the number is often not found on the individual boxes, which leads some dealers to mis-number them. In all, over 160 different models were produced.

There are several models that have variations where all the variations use the same number. For example, one of the Coca-Cola trucks comes in two shades of yellow and a third variant is actually gold plated. They all have the same number. There is at least one variation that has its own number.

When Tonkin bought the product line, they used a different numbering system for the 5 trucks they produced using the Hartoy castings (made for the Chicago S Gaugers, Scenery Unlimited, and others).

Many in the S-scale community can use these cars on our layout, from the American Flyer operator to the modernday "scale" modeler, as they are period-correct. Hopefully knowing the code will make finding the model you want a little easier.

The Letter

All but a very few AHL trucks have a five digit number preceded by C, H, or L.

    C is for the Coca-Cola series
    H is for the Hershey's chocolate series
    L is for all the rest
    M is for the PEM series of trucks that Hartoy also produced (not covered in this article)

First Number

Only one of two numbers were used.

    0 this is a truck with no trailer.
    5 this model is a truck with a trailer

Second Number

The second number indicates what type of cab is used on the model.

    1 Mack, model BM
    2 Mack, model CJ
    3 Peterbilt, model 260
    4 GMC, model T-70 series (cab-over-engine, COE)
    5 Ford, model F1 through F8
    6 Ford, C cab
    7 Ford, C cab with dual headlights

Third Number

The third number tells which trailer was used.

    0 no trailer
    1 22-foot bull nose
    2 two 22-foot bull nose
    3 Heim tank trailer
    4 40-foot rib-sided van trailer.

Fourth Number

The fourth number indicates the kind of body that was on the model.

    0 no body (has a fifth-wheel as a trailer)
    1 van body with curved top
    2 metal stake body
    3 drop side usually with canvas top (same casting as #4, but with different plastic cover)
    4 drop side with soft cover (same casting as #3, but with different plastic cover)
    5 service body, with stakes at rear
    6 tanker
    7 box van with flat top
    8 stake bed (plastic stakes)

Fifth Number

The last number indicates the paint scheme used, assigned as the model was designed, starting with zero.

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