A1G 2390 Series: Ice Refrigerators, Steel, 40 Foot, Hinged Door
This series was initially manufactured by Rivarossi for Atlas. Similar cars have been made over the years for AHM (very late in their history), Life-Like and Trix. More recently, in the mid-1990's, E-R Models revived this body style for a limited run of two numbers each of some roadnames including Railway Express and several meat packers. (See below for some bonus photos of those cars!) And Rivarossi still marketed at least the ATSF version of the car in its multipack sets in the late 1990's; it will have the "Atlas" removed from the underside of course.
The eight different releases in the series is tied for tops in any one group. There are no major variations known for any of these eight paint schemes. This series includes some of my personal favorites in the A1G collection, including the 2391 Illinois Central (which almost looks metal), the 2392 ATSF "El Capitan" and of course the 2393 Railway Express (REA), for which my grandfather worked for more than 50 years. The painting of the door detail on the 2391 Illinois Central, 2392 ATSF "El Capitan" and 2397 Morrell are among the earliest examples of this feature in N Scale. It took Micro-Trains until the decade of the 1990's to do this!
These cars are pretty popular and sometimes not that easy to find. The 2398 Carnation Milk can be particularly vexing and I'm quite sure I paid too much to get it! So the estimated value for these cars is a little more than typical for say, box cars.
Just to show that there are still things to learn about the A1G series, in 2020 (!) the gang at A1G@groups.io (the successor to the YahooGroup) discussed what I'll call the "Enjay" cars. Apparently someone purchased an unknown quantity of the 2394 Miller High Life cars, and covered the Miller trademark with one of three stickers (and I mean this literally) for products of Enjay Plastics: Butyl, Chlorobutyl, and Vistalon. These were all components used in manufacturing other products such as tires. In October 2020 we found five cars of this type on eBay. We also know that some Bachmann cars got the Enjay "sticker" treatment, and there was an Enjay Promotional Train Set comprised of N Scale items from multiple brands... but that's out of scope for this site!
Key spotting features for this car are:
Note: The following information on conditions and "Approximate Value" prices are intended to be a guideline only and is presented with no warranties, express or implied. Caution: Definitions and prices can and do vary with collectors, buyers and sellers, and, of course, whether a person is buying or selling an item. That's the way a "free market" works...
A 2390 series car in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
A 2390 series car in "mint in box" or "MIB," meets all "As Manufactured" criteria plus:
There are no approximate values for "runner" 2390 series cars.
AV = Approximate Value (US$ range)
AM = As Manufactured (see above)
MIB = Mint In Box (see above)
Abbreviations: Hld=Herald, R/N=Roadname, L/R=Left/Right Side of Car
BONUS! Here are images of some of the E-R Models releases from my accumulation. These were commissioned by E-R (now out of business) and were on the Rivarossi shells. I don't think I have all of them, but here are the models I do have. Like the A1G models that preceded them, these are not really more than "stand ins" for the prototype, but I liked them. Despite a very short run of each car, they didn't sell well; by the time these were released, better models of steel refrigerator cars were available. Note that on the Morrell cars, one had the "Morrell Refrigerator Line" legend on the left and one didn't. I think that was intentional and not necessarily a valuable error on the MORX 9903.
The insert label of the 70206 PFE states, "This model is one of 250 pieces of this roadnumber. Two roadnumbers are available per roadname. This production consists of a total of 10 roadnames. Models are produced in part in Italy, Canada and USA." Ten roadnames?!? Yikes, I guess I need to keep searching. I'll note that as of October 2020, I have yet to see some of these roadnames, which makes me wonder if in fact all ten were ever produced.
Internet Denizen "Spikre" (those of you who were active on the former Atlas Forum certainly recognize that handle!) reminded me in 2013 that I do have a complete list of the roadnames and catalog numbers. "Spikre" cited an E-R Models advertisement on Page 65 of the March 1995 issue of Rail Model Journal, which is quite embarassing since I actually own that particular magazine... As you can see, at this writing there remains a fair amount of data needed. As usual, where available, click on the "Image" to see what the car looks like.