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Charles Smiley

My friend bought a bunch of older cars from a fellow (in his 80s I think) and there were 3 stock cars built from some type of wood kits. I'm guessing Labelle or Redball maybe.

The construction looks like it was from the 1960s. They were all lettered for the Sierra Ry. They were good looking cars and needed repair work so I added some details and repainted them for the Sacramento Northern just for fun. The couplers have been changed to whisker couplers with offset heads to get the height right. The roof walks are three separate boards instead of one scribed piece and mounting cleats were redone to get the height off the roof smaller. End platforms over the ladders were added with the L shaped grabirons.

Two are finished. The third is still in the shop with more extensive work to fix a cracked floor and missing ladders, a door and other parts. I have about three full evenings into the cars so far. Very good entertainment and all the decals and other parts came from my accumulation of modeling junk.

These wonderful cars came with full AB brake rigging and sliding doors. So reviving them was a pleasure and maybe they will last another few decades now.

The arch-bar trucks will mean I have to keep them on "home rails" since I model 1956 - long past their being outlawed for interchange traffic.

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Curse You, Red Baron!
Staff member
Charles, that is some very nice restoration work. I once really enjoyed building those type of wooden kits- it gives one a great feeling of accomplishment. You can be proud of those!


Well-Known Member
Great work!

The cars look well used and worn, but judging by the shine on the wheels they have been making money!

Thanks for sharing the picture.

Charles Smiley

Thanks sirfoldalot and Bruette.

I use Kadee wheels and metal trucks. I polish the black off of the wheel treads. The only thing that is ever shiny on freight cars.

I finished the third car. This is before weathering of mud, grime, manure and white lime for sanitation. This one has the newest rebuild date so the weathering will be much less.



Well-Known Member
Awesome find!

I got a surprising amount of satisfaction reworking a few beat up cars I had purchased at a train show.

Charles Smiley

RR130 you might be right. Google of Ambroid stockcars in HO scale turned up this.

The mid-level divider (for smaller critters) was deleted but the unusual side slat spacing is the same. THe unscribed roof lacking end platforms is the same - until I added them.
Kit #K-2, Convertible Stock Car 1950 $2.50 Ambroid - "later offered by Northeastern"
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