Tony Thompson asked:
"List members, I have two ancient flat cars, both the same, with a wood body, cast (Zamac?) underframe, and a steel sheet body wrapped around the wood. The plastic AB brake parts look like what Varney later supplied, so I surmise that these were early Varney products. But one source suggested to me that Athearn also once had a similar flat car.
"Photo of underbody below. The stake pockets are pressed out from the side sill, and are rounded, not square at all. My two cars are both black, B&O and B&LE. Does anyone know the origin of these cars?"
Varney. Excerpt from a 1950 Varney brochure downloaded from the HO Seeker website attached for reference showing the parts of the kit. Athearn metal flatcar instruction sheet (also from HO Seeker) included for reference; note the separate stamped metal strip for the stake pockets and underframe construction similar to the Athearn metal house car kits.