My example was picked up at a local swap meet for $25. It was being sold by an older woman who was recently widowed. When I informed her that it was worth far more, she thanked me and said that her son set the prices and that she would go by that. Conscience cleared, I found when I brought it home that it had a warped frame inside the boiler, causing the rear engine to set tippy-toed on the forward driver. After many hard stares at it, I finally broke the frame into three pieces, then carefully glued it back together with JB Weld. With some careful filing and fitting and a coat of paint, the engine was reassembled with a DCC chip, 3 ounces of additional weight and an LED headlight. It pulls 35 cars easily up a 1.75% grade and runs quite well with the original 3 pole motor.
Hard to believe it will be turning 50 next year. My examples include the rather hard to find Presidential Seal version, pulled from the shelves on demand of the White house for TYCO’s unauthorized use of the seal. It was soon replaced with a more simplified version…it was a gift from an online friend.
This one was part of a freebie lot that came from a local police evidence locker…
This one, the oldest of the four, was another gift, and dates back to the original release.
…even Canadians have one…
Thanks to DCC and Tsunami sound modules, mine was found in a box of cast offs for next to nothing and, as you can see, is near flawless. Alessandro Rivarossi worked hard to make these beautiful locomotives of his affordable and able to operate on impossible radius track (18″ for most–even his 2-8-8-2 N&W Mallet!!).
In our vain glorious attempt at modeling perfection, we’ve forgotten what feats of engineering these little beasts…even the oldest of them…can be. As Solomon put it…;
Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. –(Ecclesiastes 2:18-19)
I have pictures of a 4-12-12-6 articulated built in gold elsewhere on this blog. When I look at it and the past works of others long since gone, how much of that is now laying at the bottom of some landfill, food for whatever lives in that debris.
It should give one pause…to consider one’s way…and one’s final end. It all goes to dust in the end my friend, no matter how accurately done.
Finally took some pictures of this fine model, given by a vendor seeking much business from my company at the time. Alas, to his undoing, we prefer Goodman…