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638-2361 Stokely-Van Camps

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Production: 1962 - 1964

History
The 638-2361 short box car of the early 1960's continued a trend started by Lionel in the mid-1950's by including a company logo on the sides of their entry-level box car. There are two very interesting footnotes associated with this car:

  • First, it was available for three years but never appeared in any Lionel catalogue and remained uncatalogued for all three years.
  • Secondly -- and even more interesting -- is the number on the car, 638-2361. Its three digit stock number (638) does not fit into any pattern ever used by the Lionel Corporation during the postwar era. The origin and use of this odd number remained a mystery until recently. It appears the 638-2361 was a telephone number at the Stokely-Van Camp's corporate home office!

The Stokely-Van Camp's box car is a difficult freight car to locate. In addition to the two interesting items listed above, this car is also a savings bank box car as it has a coin slot molded into the roofs catwalk. Given all of these unique characteristics, the 638 is a highly sought-after box car.

Features
Standard features of the 638-2361 are minimal and include: unpainted red body with white and yellow lettering, non-opening doors on each side, metal frame and two non-operating couplers. The trucks are usually Arch-Bar trucks, but is sometimes found with AAR trucks of the era.

Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information

Dark Red - Shown in the photo above - The common variation has a dark red molded body.
Light Red - The light red body is scarce and very difficult to locate.

Both variations are shown in the photo below:

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