Bob Chaparro wrote:
"I picked-up a Walthers forty-foot SP gondola, stock # 932-3805. The very
low price, replacement sill steps, replacement metal wheels and good
weathering job were the selling points. Walthers no longer offers this
So, given that it is a Walthers model, is there any chance this car is
based on or reasonably close to an actual prototype?"
Not really. It's coincidentally close to some C&EI cars - do a
search on "C&EI gons" in the group archives for the posts.
"And is the model original to Walthers or did another firm sell the
original tooling to them?"
Not original to Walthers and not in the Train-Miniature line. This
7-side post steel gon with dreadnaught ends has been offered by many
manufacturers over the years, starting with Varney c. 1955, subsequently
offered by Life-Like, with a close copy in AHM's line. Cox tooled a copy
of this car with slightly different side posts and ends, and this model ended
up with Bachmann. Not sure whose tooling ended up with Walthers.
As old tooling goes, this model isn't that outlandish. The ends are
a bit crude, but the model is certainly plausible. It's too bad that the
number of prototypes don't match the numbers of these models sold over the
past 55+ years.