The 6431 is the final new flatcar with vans produced by Lionel during the postwar era. It included two trailer vans plus a truck to simulate pulling the vans. This new offering was only available for a single year and is a rare freight car. Usually the truck is missing and its original box is virtually impossible to locate.
This particular freight car has caused much confusion over the years. The flatcar wears the 6430 number on the sides -- which was also manufactured by Lionel in the late 1950's. However, authentic 6431 freight cars from 1966 have late AAR trucks with open journals mounted to the body. Additionally, for this freight car to be complete it must also include the truck, which was produced by Midgetoy for Lionel.
Standard features of the 6431 include: unpainted red flatcar with white lettering and the number 6430 printed on the side, AAR trucks with open journals and operating couplers on each truck plus a brakewheel stand with metal brakewheel and four corner footsteps. A metal rack was mounted on top of the flatcar for the purpose of holding the vans in place as the train traveled along a layout.
The trailer vans were always white with an aluminum nameplate, light-colored cooper arrow, black background and white lettering. The tractor is metal with rubber wheels (usually found with some red overspray on the tires), paint red and has Midge Toy, Rockford Ill. stamped on the interior. While the flatcar is difficult to locate, original tractors are even harder to find and as mentioned above, original boxes are scarce.
Additional Detail, Photos & Box Information
The length of this flatcar is approximately 11 1/4" long (coupler to coupler).
Only known variation - Shown in first photo above - Red flatcar stamped 6430, white vans with aluminum nameplate and a red tractor.