“Praise the Lord, I Saw the Light”
by M. Stella
It seems to happen to me as a collector that an item I am looking for to add to the collection eludes me for years and as soon as I write an article without the item one immediately shows up.
This recently occurred in the e*Train magazine as the May issue contained my article on Lionel Postwar Searchlight cars and ended with my noting that there was one car I had only heard about, never had seen, and was on the lookout for.
At the May meeting of Western Division I was approached by a fellow collector that knew I was looking for this car, had the car with him, and wanted to sell it. I bought it. I paid a higher price then I like to admit but in my defense I must say I have never seen one in over 30 years of collecting. I have never even seen one pictured in those infamous “guides.” I have only read about this car and never really expected to own one. In the picture I took to go along with this article you can clearly see this Lionel searchlight car is not numbered 6822 but is stamped 6828.
My regular 6828 with the Harnischfeger crane is black. I have heard that a few cars with the crane were indeed red. I have seen one of those but didn’t get to hold it up to see if there was a hole in the flat for searchlight wires. I have monitored the ebay auction for almost five years and have seen many black flatcars that are normally red and even quite a few red 6262s and 6844s that are normally black but the red 6828 has never caught my eye to date. I am happy to have it. It does exist!