By Tony Cook
As I was doing the layout for Justin Sobeck’s review of recent Atlas N-scale freight cars (see page 62), that Wabash stock car struck me and I kept wondering about it. I enjoy hobby history and many older toolings present interesting challenges in discovering what the prototype for a model may have been or if there is one. A 50-foot stock car is a bit uncommon (most were 40 feet or less), but there were some of this length.
I reached out to George Irwin, who many will know from his interest in N scale. Mr. Irwin regularly appears in The N Scale Enthusiast publication and produces an informative newsletter on Micro-Trains releases. George was very helpful and confirmed several of the 50-foot stock car prototypes I’d been considering might be candidates for this model’s prototype.
ABOVE: This was the prototype I had in mind for this stock car model. Built by North American car around 1960 for New York Central, NISX 3000 is a 50-foot, double-deck stock car… though not an exact match for the model. — photo courtesy New York Central System Historical Society
As I was leaning toward this being a New York Central prototype, I also emailed The New York Central System Historical Society who shared my request with society member Seth Lakin, who shares information and images on NYC roster members. Seth’s information on an early 1960s North American car prototype leased to New York Central and wearing NISX reporting marks was the prototype I had in mind. The roof and ends on the model are a slightly newer style than what was on that NYC stock car, and the prototype had double doors versus the model’s single door.
While I did not find a match, it was a fun bit of research and part of my enjoyment of our hobby. I welcome communication from readers with more information and knowledge who might have an answer.
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