Our fellow member, J. R. Hunter, asked on 21 Apr 11, 8:58PM, what colors
were used on HPAX reefers. The quick answer is 'I'm not sure'. But there are
some data out there, furnishing some clues.On the MEGOW 'Refrigerator Car'
instruction sheet included with reefer kit numbers Q1-Q20, it states in the
text at the bottom of the sheet (start six lines from the bottom of the
second column) that, in contrast to the other 19 cars in the model series,
the Hunter Packing car (Q4) had the entire roof and ends painted with an
aluminum paint. Moreover, all of the fittings thereupon were also painted
aluminum. Mouldings on the Hunter car were painted black. I assume that
mouldings in this case means fascia strips or boards on the sides and ends.
(On this series of models, the fascia 'boards' were cardstock)
The Q4 MEGOW model was given the car number 1011 which is contained in the
HPAX/Mather number series 900-1049 in the October 1938 ORER , page 888, an
issue I have. Car outside length is given as 37'-3". However, the MEGOW kit
is set as a 40-42' car. One could perhaps shorten the kit parts to make it a
37'-3" model. The lettering spacing on the sides is the key.
There are two Bob's Photos 8x10 B/W prints in my photo collection of Hunter
H.P.A.X. cars, numbers 1056 & 1065. These photos clearly depict two rebuilt
Mather stock cars with the steel framing members showing below the wooden
refrigerator siding. I believe the length of the cars in the photos to be
37'-3", matching the length given in the '38 ORER, for the same car numbers.
However, as indicated above, the '38 ORER does not include 1056 and 1065
under the cars leased to Hunter at that date. These cars could be the
37'-3" ones shown with PPCX reporting marks, Mather series 1050-1065, leased
at Oct '38 to Peyton Packing Co. and by the 1942 photo date, possibly leased
In Richard Hendrickson's comments on the posed Hunter question, he
mentioned, in addition to the 37'-3" cars, cars of 42' length also leased by
Mather to Hunter. In the Oct 1938 ORER, I don't find 42' cars under HPAX
reporting marks, but leases come to temporal ends, releasing cars to be
re-leased. In the '38 ORER, there are 9 other Mather car number series of
42'( 41'-3", 41'-8" and 41'-9")cars leased as of that date to 7 lessees
other than Hunter. One or more of these series could have been leased to
Hunter before or after the Fall of 1938. A complete set of ORER's might help
determine which series corresponds. Or Richard may already know.
The 1942 photos of 1056 & 1065 don't show black fascias, but rather a
lighter color which might match the orange car side or the aluminum roof.
Remember also that 1011, the MEGOW Q4 kit car number, comes from the '38
ORER number series, but 1056 & 1065 are from a different leased group in
1942, which could have been repainted with simplified colors when re-leased
The person who gathered and organized color data for the MEGOW Q1-20 reefer
series could possibly have made a mistake or mistakes in assessing color or
recording it. But this best clue I have for the 1939 colors of the
Hunter/Mather cars suggests aluminum roofs and ends. Perhaps someone else on
this list has supporting or conflicting data. I'd also like to know before
building some Hunter models.
And, Richard, what can you tell us about the 42' Hunter cars?
I'm also checking with Bill McClung on whether Red Caboose actually made a
Hunter version of its Mather reefer. He's looking in his records.
Best to all,