Something Novel, Unusual, and Extraordinary
By Shannon Sikora
Being a graduate student of Lionel trains, I learned long ago that I have the passion for the strange and odd pieces. As I enjoy running to shows to find that out of the ordinary piece; be it a paint sample; prototype; or just an unstamped shell; the curiosity is always there on what I may find next. The enjoyment of finding something is totally worth the reward of searching the shows and flea markets.
The year was 1994 and Lionel introduced the 6-16674 Pinkerton animated gondola. Regular production run was a red molded gondola with white lettering. The car was a simple but a nice color scheme and I decided to add the car to my collection.
A few years later as I walked the rows at a local train show, I came across a black gondola with the same graphics as the 1994 Pinkerton. I took a closer look at the car it was painted black over brown. The sides were painted black, while the rest of the car was brown.
Then I noticed that there was lettering under the black paint that read “Lehigh Valley 16388”, a gondola also made in 1994.
As I studied the car in great detail, it would appear that Lionel took the Lehigh Valley and used this car as a paint sample for the Pinkerton. One side has all the lettering on it, while the other side just has the small data applied.
The car now shares a spot on the wall with my other oddball pieces.