A1G 3100 Series: Auto Rack Cars


Well, these will test your original Atlas 9 3/4 inch radius curves for sure. As they say, they will go around, but they won't look that good.

This quartet, manufactured for Atlas by Roco in Austria, bear a lot of resemblance to the AHM offering of the same time period, so be sure to check the spotting features. These weren't the first auto carriers on the N Scale market (that honor goes to the Rapido version), but they were popular and they're not that easy to find in complete condition.

Part of the problem is that on a number of copies of the 3100s, the floor had a real propensity to fall out. Should that happen, you might be curious to see how the car went together. Let me help... the floor held four of the twelve simulated automobiles. A seperate center piece held four more cars, and once slipped out of its position is not easy to slip back in... trust me, I've been there. Four more autos ride atop the top of the car. There were only three types of autos-- station wagon, four door sedan and two door sedan, each in several colors. They appeared to be randomly placed into the car. If you needed more in the 1970's, no worries, as Atlas marketed blister pack cards of eight as a detail item. Looks like we've made some advances in that area too in the last 30 years... Yikes! Imagine having these attempts at motor vehicles parked next to that wood laser cut super-detailed factory?

The 3102 Union Pacific was one of the earlier additions to my accumulation. It was purchased for the then astronomical sum of $3.98 (plus tax!) at Stan's Sport Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, back in the days when sporting goods shops were known to carry model trains. (Some still do, but not as many.) Once I decided to go after the rest of the A1G series, some spirited bidding on one of the popular Internet auction sites was required. You may need to "rack" up a few dollars or more to accumulate these four for yourself. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Key spotting features for this car are:
- underframe stamped "Atlas Austria"
- no brake wheel or stirrups (end grabs)
- ten ladder-looking simulated supports on the car side, including one on each end and two very close together at the center of the car
- twelve plastic automobiles molded in various colors
- original extended trucks with wheels pressed on separate axles and Rapido couplers, attached with "foldover" metal strips (note that regular length trucks won't reach to the end of the car!)

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 3100 series auto rack in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
- all end details intact
- all twelve automobiles intact with all wheels, fastened securely to the rack and all facing in the same direction
- no weathering
- no abrasions, scratches or other damage to the paint
- the original extended trucks with the original metal wheels which were fitted to the axles
- "Rapido" type couplers, truck mounted (this is a case where changing to Micro-Trains® trucks and/or couplers is not a plus!).
Note that minor paint flaws on these cars were common and should not be considered especially "collectible"; in fact, I'd rather have a "perfect" paint job.

A 3100 series car in "mint in box" or "MIB," meets all "As Manufactured" criteria plus:
- no dust, dirt or wear on the car itself
- no wear on wheels (although discolored wheels are common)
- kept in the original large Atlas box
- box itself is intact with no cracks, breakage or crazing, with original Atlas label (usually white with black printing), plastic liner (usually blue), and cover. Both inserts and labels vary as the A1G series was sold for years. Store price stickers may or may not detract depending on the placement, size and wear.

"Runner" 3100 series cars are worth approximately 30-40% of the "As Manufactured" value but should be complete. Watch especially for broken or missing automobiles.

Table of Releases: Where available, click on "Image" to popup an image of the actual car.
Catalog # Popup
Image
Reporting
Marks
Description AV
AM
AV
MIB
3101Image TTX 71014/ATSF 119909Box Car Red/White, Rep Mks + "Autoveyer" at left15-1820-25
3102Image TTX 71014/UPSilver/Red, Roadname at left13-1618-22
3103Image TTX/SLSF (no #)Yellow/Red, Frisco Herald at left17-2022-27
3104Image TTX 71014/PC Jade Green/White, PC Herald at left13-1618-22

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