The Good Old Days

Justin Kahn

I don't believe Binkley ever made their own sprung trucks (must have been someone else's). The first sprung trucks I bought were the MDC all-metal ones, which were quite nice and cost 75 cents for the kit (had to be assembled), and 75 cents was worth quite a bit more then--something like fifty years ago--than it is now ($1 an hour wage was respectable, so figure an equivalent of $15-16 in today's money). Varney trucks were only 50 cents, as I recall, and came assembled, but they had unit-cast wheelsets and axles in a nasty nylon (with knife-edge flanges), and the sideframes weren't as detailed as the MDC's.
I don't believe Mantua ever made any sprung trucks, and the top-of-the-line were Central Valleys, which I think (it's been a long time, and I am at the office and can't dig through old magazines and catalogues) went for 95 cents for the archbars (the HOn3 version cost $1.10). Their passenger trucks (still sought, as I note, after all these years since production ceased) went for over $2--exact price now forgotten, but probably closer to $3 than $2 (figure $35-40 in today's money)--but the springing was exquisite. They made two kinds of Fox trucks, one with individually-sprung journals--I wonder if one can find that today. Kadee sprung freight trucks were rather late-comers, although pretty much the standard for moe particular modelers by the 1960's.
As for replacement working leaf springs, have you looked in the PSC catalogue? Years ago Kemtron made them from copper and they were (as I recall) also full-elliptical as contrasted with the stamped steel semi-elliptical Silver Streaks (not that modelers back then weren't happy to have Silver Streak kits and trucks--at least I was).
Jace Kahn, General Manager
Ceres and Canisteo RR Co.

You've made my day. Was beginning to think I was one of the last who remembered bent metal tabs & slots for couplers.

What a lot of modelers would find useful are some leaf spring replacements for Kadee trucks. The last ones I have came in a Silver Streak box.

Another item is to put a black blank panel behind the truck springs, this eliminates the daylight issue with the coil springs.

IIRC, the first sprung trucks purchased came in a Binkley kit.

Fred Freitas

--- In STMFC@..., "S. Busch" <SCSBusch@W...> wrote:

The first time I ever saw
> real looking truck they were HO sprung Varneys or Athearns or

Me too!

> I have never quite recovered, and still prefer real springs.

I'd prefer real prototype springs but I don't think they'd fit plus they'd collapse my
benchwork. (-:}

Pat Wider
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