A1G 3110 Series: 94 Foot Super Tank Cars
I think it's safe to say that there is no mistaking these monster cars for anything else. The available popup images (in the table of releases) are just about actual size in order to get them to fit!
The prototype was developed by General American Transportation-- GATX-- and somewhere in the archives I have the full story, which I'll try to dig out sometime. The GATX release of this quartet is relatively prototypical but the other three schemes, all for oil companies, are pure fantasy. That has not stopped collectors, as we'll note in a moment.
Built by Roco for Atlas, it is the only car Atlas ever had that requires four trucks. To make it work, there's an unusual arrangement: a bolster and end platform is attached to the body, and the trucks are attached to the bolster. Believe it or not, it will negotiate a 7 1/2 inch radius. But it ain't pretty. The trucks with the couplers are significantly longer than the "extended" trucks used on the hi-cube box cars, "Pig Palace" stock cars and auto racks. In fact, they are not used anywhere else. It's one reason why these cars are sought after-- if they're intact. Folks who buy the bodies only with the intent of just finding any old wheelsets to put under them are soon made aware of what a challenge they've taken on!
These cars were first introduced in 1970. They were reviewed in the "Trade Topics" column of the September 1970 issue of Model Railroader. By my reckoning are the last of the "First Generation", and have not ever been released since by any marketer. They are also easily the rarest of the whole bunch, especially in "as manufactured" condition. While oil company paraphenalia collectors ratcheted up prices past the $100 (!) range for mint in box examples in the late 1990's, prices realized since that spike have settled back considerably. Even so, you may need to be prepared for some spirited bidding if you seek to add these four to your A1G accumulation.
Key spotting features for this car are:
Note: The following information on conditions and "Approximate Value" prices are intended to be a guideline only and is presented with no warranties, express or implied. Caution: Definitions and prices can and do vary with collectors, buyers and sellers, and, of course, whether a person is buying or selling an item. That's the way a "free market" works...
A 3110 series tank car in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
A 3110 series car in "mint in box" or "MIB," meets all "As Manufactured" criteria plus:
"Runner" 3110 series cars are worth approximately 50-60% of the "As Manufactured" value but should be complete-- it's a must with these cars because the bolsters and extra long extended trucks are not available as spares from any other N Scale cars.
AV = Approximate Value (US$ 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