Taylor Made Trucks (an official licensed product)
By Bob Mintz
“Taylor Made Trucks” are made by “The Toy Collector”, and were designed by a 25 year TCA member, who was both a train collector and operator.
The first plastic truck in the Lionel Toy Truck series #LT99 was a box trailer released in 1999 as a special offer to Sears Credit Cardholders for Christmas Holiday Season. Only 11,860 pieces were made. This truck features operating lights, authentic truck sounds and a coin bank. Opening the rear double doors on trailer can access the bank. These doors have operating hinges and a door latch. On the trailer sides, the front panel slides back to access the light and sound buttons/switch. The artwork featured is from a Lionel 1950’s era consumer catalog along with an appropriate Lionel slogan ”Lionel Trains – An American Family Tradition” and the LIONEL LEGENDARY TRAINS rectangular logo. Each truck has a license plate with the 1999 date. Each limited edition Lionel toy truck is serially numbered with gold stamping underneath. Packaged in nostalgic full color “Lionel-style” box. Currently offered at $49.95
The second plastic truck #LT20 was also a box trailer and was released in 2000. This truck featured different Lionel catalog artwork that depicted a Pennsy Steam Turbine with Madison Cars and Milwaukee Electric passing overhead. Another Lionel advertising slogan was used: ”Lionel Trains – An Investment in Happiness” and again the LIONEL LEGENDARY TRAINS rectangular logo. While similar to the 1999 truck as a box trailer style, the position of the color artwork has changed to the rear trailer panel on each side. Only 6,000 of this box trailer were made and each truck is serially numbered underneath with gold hot-stamped numbers. Truck features operating lights, authentic truck sounds and a coin bank. License plate is year 2000. Packaged in nostalgic full color “Lionel-style” box. Currently offered at $39.95
The third plastic truck in the Lionel series was #LT20CAB, a special Lionel 100th Anniversary edition flatbed toy truck with an 0/0-27 gauge lighted removable caboose! Only 8,004 pieces were made. Some were used by Sears as another test sample credit card program and the remaining quantity was released to Lionel dealers and other retail stores. The toy truck features lights and sound. Compartment below trailer has markings “LIONEL COAL” and “LIONEL SMOKE FLUID”. The license plate has year 2000 markings like truck #2. Decoration on truck cab door, in addition to Lionel “L” logo, has “diesel fuel only” and “80,000 GVW” inscription. The caboose features operating lights, they operate when caboose is mounted on the 3-rail track section of flatbed trailer or on your train layout. However. DO NOT OPERATE on train layout without changing bulbs; the higher track power causes bulb failure. Interestingly, the caboose started life as a Kusan model from the 1950’s. It seems that more than one caboose mold was made at that time and recently Taylor Made Trucks found another original Kusan mold, dormant for many years, and used it for this Lionel licensed product. The caboose chassis is now marked with the Taylor Made Trucks logo. The caboose also features a window insert, made new by Taylor for this caboose, metal wheels and operating knuckle couplers. The caboose itself is decorated in the Lionel colors of orange and blue featuring the special Lionel 100th Anniversary logo along with a Lionel Lines 2000 number on the caboose side. Caboose is NOT available separately. Both caboose AND flatbed toy truck have matching gold hot-stamped serial numbering! Both are packaged in a full color Lionel-style box. Currently a few flatbed trucks with caboose are on hand from the Toy Truck Collector for but you must call first for availability and price.
The fourth plastic truck #LT401, with only 8,004 pieces made in this unique Lionel series is another 100th Anniversary item. The Smoke Fluid Tanker Truck replicates an 18-wheeler that is supposedly delivering liquid Smoke Fluid to the Lionel factory. The location of Hillside, NJ is printed on the truck cab doors along with the Lionel “L” logo. License plates are marked 2001 Lionel Trains. The tanker trailer featured the nostalgic LIONEL ELECTRIC TRAINS rectangular logo along with the Hillside, NJ address. Along the roof walk of the tanker, each compartment is marked with the numbers of a Lionel favorite: “700E”-“746”-“773”-“726”–“671”; all famous Lionel steam locomotives. The tanker rear has a lighted Lionel 100th Anniversary logo (the last authorized use of logo during 100 year celebration) and the chromed bumper states: “THIS TRUCK STOPS AT ALL LIONELVILLE RAILROAD CROSSINGS”. The truck has operating lights, authentic truck sounds and coin bank. The coin bank is accessed through walkway and opened by sliding a round hatch cover. Lights and sound use other hatches for starting operation. Packaged in a nostalgic full color Lionel-style box and is serially numbered. Available from the Toy Truck Collector for $39.95
The fifth plastic truck #LT501 , with only 29,200 made, is another flatbed truck, but this time with a removable 0/0-27 gauge 3-dome tank car. The flatbed trailer is different from #LT20CAB in that the 3 rails are now inserted into the trailer deck without using ties or track section. In addition, wheel stoppers are included on the end of 2 rails to keep tanker from rolling off during truck movement. Truck features lights and sound. The location of “Irvington, NJ” is printed on each cab door along with the Lionel “L” logo. The flatbed trailer compartment features lettering for Lionel Lock-Ons and Lionel Rail-Joiner Pins. License plates state Lionel Collector Series with no year. The tank car is a very well detailed model of a 3-dome car with metal wheels and operating knuckle couplers. Tank car is NOT available separately. It was newly made by Taylor Made Trucks especially for the Lionel truck. Detailing includes wood grain on tank car frame, separate tank end straps, metal railings, brake wheel and Taylor logo imprinted into chassis underneath. The tank car is also lettered for Lionel Lubricant using the exact same lettering style from the original Lionel lubricant tubes of the 1950’s! On the side is copy from the original tube: “A Highly Refined Lubricant Made Especially For Model Trains And Similar Devices”. Tank car has Lionel Lines 2001 reporting marks and a “RETURN TO AGENT LVRR HILLSIDE NJ” placard. The Lionel Electric Trains rectangular logo is also used on tank car sides. Both flatbed truck and tank car have matching serial numbers and are packed in a full color Lionel-style box. Currently available from the Toy Truck Collector for $49.95
The sixth plastic truck in this always interesting Lionel series is #LT602 the Lionel Flatbed Truck with Helicopter Car. Released only a few weeks ago and currently still in production, this truck has all the standard Taylor Made Trucks features such as operating lights and authentic truck sounds. A separate printed Instruction Card is inserted into each box…just like Lionel did in the 1950’s! Decorated in Lionel’s orange and blue colors, the flatbed carries a unique helicopter carload. The truck cab doors have the Irvington, NJ location along with “diesel fuel only” and “80,000 GVW” (missing from #5). The flatbed compartment is lettered Lionel Lubricant and Lionel Track Screws. Both the limited edition flatbed trailer and helicopter car have matching gold hot-stamped serial numbers. Helicopter car NOT available separately. Truck license plates have Lionel Collector Series with no year listed. The helicopter car almost deserves a separate listing because of its uniqueness. Using the chassis from the caboose car (from #3 in this series) Taylor Made Trucks has designed a completely new body shell…fully chromed no less…that has operating/flashing L.E.D. landing lights, 3 Lionel oil barrels and a die-cast helicopter with its own lights and sound. The helicopter car lights will only operate on track layout power with an underneath ON/OFF switch to disable the flashing lights if you desire. Helicopter car is lettered LIONEL LINES 2002. The orange/blue helicopter itself is detachable from the helicopter car…remove the oil barrels first before removing or replacing the helicopter into its platform cradle. Metal wheels, roller center-rail pickup and operating knuckle couplers make this helicopter car an interesting addition for the next freight train headed to Lionelville. Both Lionel flatbed truck and helicopter car are packed in a full color Lionel box. This box is then inserted into a brown corrugated mailer carton for added protection. (#1-2-3-and 5 are also packed in this outer brown carton). Priced at $49.95 and available from the Toy Truck Collector.
HOT OFF THE PRESS–NOW AVAILABLE: A set of two Lionel die cast helicopters. Orange/blue #TMT-418H-A and blue/orange helicopters #TMT-418H-B lettered for the Lionel Corporation with lights and turbine sound. Not sold separately. Available for $19.95 per set from the Toy Truck Collector.
The Toy Truck Collector, 117 Cedar Lane, Englewood, NJ 07631.
They accept Visa/MasterCard/Discover Cards; check or money orders. (USA address orders only)
They ship by United Parcel Service.