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 $3.98 (plus tax!) at Stan's Sport Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey, back in the days when sporting goods shops were known to carry model trains. (Some still do, but not as many.) Once I decided to go after the rest of the A1G series, some spirited bidding on one of the popular Internet auction sites was required. You may need to "rack" up a few dollars or more to accumulate these four for yourself. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Key spotting features for this car are:
Note: The following information on conditions and "Approximate Value" prices are intended to be a guideline only and is presented with no warranties, express or implied. Caution: Definitions and prices can and do vary with collectors, buyers and sellers, and, of course, whether a person is buying or selling an item. That's the way a "free market" works...
A 3100 series auto rack in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
A 3100 series car in "mint in box" or "MIB," meets all "As Manufactured" criteria plus:
"Runner" 3100 series cars are worth approximately 30-40% of the "As Manufactured" value but should be complete. Watch especially for broken or missing automobiles.
AV = Approximate Value (US$ 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