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Help identifying pre war army train...

7892 Views 45 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  tjcruiser
Hello all, I am new here and I do not have a huge collection but have inherited my grandfathers Lionel "army" train set from when he was a child. I am guessing pre war but can not find any information on this set. Can anyone tell me a model number or where to even start with this set please? Should I try and restore it, sell it, keep it? I have the transformer and original 0 gauge track with it as well. The bottom half of the box was destroyed but have the top half as pictured. TIA :thumbsup:

- Ryan
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The Tank is 1917 vintage from the Olive Green color. The rarest. It has a 154 motor. The turret came off a tin battle ship. If you have the set that is rarer. That is why it is hard to find out information. Information on prewar trains has always beem poor on the internet.With the economy, now is the worst time to sell. Hang on to it and leave it alone. Get a guide for prewar trains, if you have more. If you talk to anyone use another (less rare)engine to test the waters.
Selling? Get serious. We are a discussion forum, not appraisers,but you did ask for information. We have had some nice prewar questions. Just about all od them were valuable but you are off the chart. I enjoyed the pictures . Seek out a national train auction.
This one should not be restored, it will loose value.
You may want to join a train collector club.
After all you are an instant collector with an envious collection.
Type 2 is green, later models were grey. The catalog shown is 1922.
Hope this helps.
Generally I don't use the prewar transformers. Get a 30 buck 1033 to run it. O gage tubular track will work. You should mess with cheeper trains first.
The engine is so rare it is not priced out.
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Search ebay for a 154 engine. It has the same motor. It is more common and may run up to 200 bucks. This is something you just have to sit back and gather info. For cheep stuff, get some postwar that uses the same AC. A 2034 or 2026 is a good starter
Getting married is a great time but not for trains or money. I waited and collected for 20 years before I got into a larger house to get a table set up.
Your Welcome!
By all means congratulations. On both your inheritance and future wedding.
To avoid confusion, the 154 motor is the same motor in the 203. It does not have the same id tag but is mechanically the same.
Price guides are ok. The prewar should be stable enough. The modern gudes I don't like. They tell you the rare from the common but for the most part so much was made that prices waver. Some boxcars I purchased were listed for 60 and I got them for ten. So much for credibility. It is also the reason I dislike placing values on modern items too.
The only way to find prices is to subscribe to auctions, for you train. The interent is slowly improving on prewar information. It may be months or years to find more. Prepare to pace yourself. The number 203 as you know is not unique. In 1917 They had no long range plan and were just making toys. The company started out of a garage. You item is already close to 100 years old.
Maybe you should read up on the company history you own a part of it.:D
One will eventually come to auction. The TCA auctions are the best.I do not know if they are connected to auction zip. They are like a collecting communty of their own. It is best not even to ask since a price had not been established. Or maybe do and watch the offers come in. Then double that and walk away.
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