model train set on track

American Flyer Macy’s Speed Special

e*Train Issue: Aug 2012   |   Posted in: ,

By Leon Sweet
(Summer 2012)

Lionel trains are often associated with Macy’s uncataloged/special prewar train sets, but it appears that there is at least one American Flyer Macy’s set, the “Macy’s Speed Special” set.

I can only guess at the date of manufacture to be c. 1931-33 and base this on the original wheels that were found on the set, which were orange painted steam engine wheels with the gear hub for mounting steel gears, which in turn were used on American Flyer steam engines in 1930-1931 and used on late electric box cab and steeple cab motors.

Macy’s uncataloged Lionel sets are known for either being red or green, so it is of no surprise that the American Flyer Macy’s set is red.

The set features a red 3110 steeple cab electric engine, which according to the Greenberg’s American Flyer Prewar O Gauge guide was manufactured in 1931.  However, the same guide lists the 3541 and 3542 cars that came with this set as being manufactured in 1933.  Therefore, without more information I really cannot pin down the date of manufacture of the set.  I suspect that the production would be closer to the 1933 date due to the cars having decal identification as opposed to featuring heat stamped lettering like the earlier 3141 and 3142 similar, but unlighted cars, which are thought to be 1930-1932 production.