A1G 3120 Series 85 Foot Steel "HiCube" Stock Cars
This series was one of the last of the "first generation," made by Roco for Atlas. Many folks weren't sure that such cars existed, but they did; in fact the 3123 Food Fair release bears the reporting marks of the Allen Packing Company of Elizabeth, New Jersey, not far from Atlas' headquarters and also not far from both of my New Jersey homes. Allen Packing was located hard up against Exit 13 of the New Jersey Turnpike, where the "distinctive" scent of meat packing could hardly be discerned among all those "eau de oil refinery" and chemical plant smells...
And of course the nominal prototype for this car was built by the Northern Pacific, a much larger version of their 1958 "Pig Palace" cars which were constructed from old boxcars. The Northern Pacific Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment, Pages 102 and 103, show the construction of NP 84200, the prototype for the series which was constructed in 1964 out of two 40 foot boxcars. The silver roof is correct on this car and Atlas got the lettering down as well. However, the real cars didn't have roofwalks (running boards).
Since these were stock cars, they never got the audience that the 86 foot box cars or the super jumbo tank cars got, but more recently they have found more favor among accumulators, which is reflected in the higher estimated values. Nothing earth shattering, of course; but this also takes into account the higher original list prices for this quartet.
Key spotting features for this car are:
There are no major or minor variations of these four cars of which I am aware.
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 3120 series car in "as manufactured" or "AM" condition has:
A 3120 series car in "mint in box" or "MIB," meets all "As Manufactured" criteria plus:
These cars are "gettable" but becoming harder to find and as such there is a "runner" value of from 40% to 50% of the "As Manufactured" value based on condition. AM and NIB values are higher than with other cars because these cars had a higher original price than earlier issues in the series. The Northern Pacific is the most common of the four, and the Food Fair is the scarcest.
AV = Approximate Value (US$ range)
AM = As Manufactured, MIB = Mint In Box.
Abbreviations: Hld=Herald, R/N=Roadname, L/R=Left/Right Side of Car