A Personal Guide to Collecting Postwar 6464 Boxcars – Part 4
By Mike Stella
We start off Part Four in this 6464 series with what has to be the most desirable, most expensive, and most famous paint scheme ever applied to a Lionel Boxcar. Of course I am referring to the 6464-300 RUTLAND. While the regular production boxcar can be easily obtained, often in an OB, and for a very good price, it is the variations that send thrills and chills among most postwar collectors. One variation is easy to find and priced about the same as the common version.
The variation is created by the “RUTLAND” lettering starting in the 2nd panel instead of the 1st panel. A much harder variation and thus more expensive boxcar has both the Green and the Yellow painted on. The mold can be several different colors, even clear. As with other 6464 boxcars, there really is a visual difference between cars that are painted and cars that use the body mold as a primary color. Painted boxcars look better. While there are more desirable Rutland variations, I believe the yellow painted version is much harder to locate.
Lionel produced the 6464-300 with a SOLID SHIELD herald and also with doors that were painted green on the bottom to match the rest of the car. I think the “split door” is actually the harder one of the two to find but never commands the higher price tag. A Solid Shield Rutland can cost as much as a new automobile, which is OK if you live in Juneau, Alaska.
The next two boxcars in the series have always commanded higher prices. I don’t think they ever came as a set component and possibly weren’t as flashy as other boxcars, so didn’t sell as well?
The 6464-325 B&O Sentinel was a tough boxcar for me to find in the days before the Internet. I bought a “table grade GOOD” car years ago just to fill the hole in my collection. Thanks to the Internet, I was able to acquire a nice boxed example a few years back, although I paid a hefty price. I know of no variations with this boxcar nor with the one that follows.
The 6464-350 MKT is another boxcar that is highly sought and priced accordingly. I added mine to my collection about 16 years ago when a good friend was liquidating his Lionel trains. Wish I had bought more but a tight budget was in effect. Though not as popular as many 6464 boxcars, I find the 6464-375 Central of Georgia to be one of my favorites.
Maybe it’s that big silver oval that covers almost the entire sides of this boxcar. I bought mine over 20 years ago and have always had it on display. I didn’t know there was a variation in the maroon car until I stumbled across a version that had no built date.
This was a car Lionel manufactured 10 years after the first run and I guess it was easier to remove the built date rather than update it? While these two maroon boxcars are pretty, it is the RED version that commands the most attention.
This is a very difficult car to obtain but I did see one on the Internet a short while ago and the asking price was far less than some boxcars I’ve seen. Everything is available to those with patience and greenbacks.
We’ve discussed another four 6464 numbers and added another ten cars to this e*Train series.
In Part Five I will try to show you the hardest 6464 boxcar I ever purchased! Now, where is that mirror?