Production: 1956 - 1959
The 6424 Twin Automobile Car was introduced in 1956. It was a nice companion to the 6414 automobile carrier introduced in the previous year. As a matter of fact, the 6424 autos are easier to view and better displayed compared to the 6414 automobile carrier -- where most of the sides are blocked.
A small piece of history is associated with the introduction of the 6424 twin automobile car. Specifically, this flatcar introduced a new flatcar mold (#6424-11) to the Lionel line. This mold (#6424-11) continued throughout the remaining postwar era and well into the modern era during the 1970's and 1980's! Although the number and color varied, it remained the same mold number on the flatcar.
The 6424 was manufactured for four years and there are several variations. This website will highlight a few of the more common variations. Regarding the automobile color, there were generally two color pairings by Lionel. Lionel usually included either; one red and one white automobile or one yellow & aqua automobile with this freight car.
Standard features include: black molded frame with white lettering, two premium automobiles, two functional couplers, a metal superstructure used to hold the vehicles onto the flatcar, simulated footsteps at each corner plus a single brakewheel stand with metal brakewheel. Production from 1956 used the all-metal bar-end trucks mounted to a metal plate while 1957 and later used AAR trucks riveted directly to the flatcar.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
As for variations, you'll find the 6424 with different mold numbers on the bottom, different truck types or the location of the stamped number on the frame.
Bar-End Trucks, '6424' on Right - Shown in first photo above - All bar-end versions have the number on the right. A metal plate is used to secure the trucks to the frame while the superstructure is screwed to the metal truck frame.
AAR Trucks, '6424' on Left or Right (Second & Third photos above) - The later production variations of the 6424 with AAR trucks have the number '6424' printed on either to the left or right of the word Lionel on the side of the flatcar. For all AAR truck versions, the superstructure is riveted to the frame.
'Slotted' frame for 6805 - A few examples of the 6424 flatcar have surfaced with a modified 6424-11 frame. The modification deals with the addition of 4 extra slots in the frame and 2 small molded 'bumps' on the top near each end (4 in total). This is the rarest version of the 6424 flatcar and will command a steep premium in today's marketplace.