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:
- underframe stamped "Atlas Austria" in the center left of the underframe (there's no country indicated on these)
- 86 foot scale length, there has never been anything else like these cars made in N (through 2020!)
- Three panels for lettering, at the left, center and right of each side; only the NP "Pig Palace" uses the center panel for lettering
- Eight "half" doors, four on each side, these were double deck cars on the prototype
- Extended trucks with Rapido couplers-- they're needed for this car! Still the same design, though, with wheels pressed on seperate axles and Rapido couplers, attached with "foldover" metal strips

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:
- brake wheel in place with no breakage or bending
- 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. Also note that these cars did not have stirrups.

A 3120 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 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.

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.

Table of Releases: Where available, click on "Image" to popup an image of the actual car (new larger pictures March 2021).
Catalog # Popup
Description AV
3121Image NP 84200 Brown/White,Red,Silver Roof,White Ends,
"Pig Palace" Heralds L and R
3122Image CDBX 109 Silver/Black,Consolidated Dressed Beef15-1818-22
3123Image ALPX 88 Green/White,Silver Doors and Roof,
"Food Fair" Logo L & R
3124Image CBPX 3608Red/White,Silver Doors and Roof
Cross Brothers Packing Logos L & R

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