Here is what many American Flyer collectors consider as the “holy grail” of all Gilbert S Gauge refrigerator cars, the highly sought-after 24416 Northwestern reefer, five-digit counterpart of the 989. It was manufactured only in 1958 and then only at the very end of the production year. It came in two sets: the 20480 Santa Fe Diesel Freight (the great majority of these sets came with the 989) and the uncataloged 20046 Service Special.A brief history behind this car: in 1957, Gilbert computerized their plant inventory and implemented a new five-digit numbering code. These five-digit numbers were used to identify all items that year, but three-digit numbers were still applied to the items themselves. By 1958, the five-digit numbers began to appear on the items themselves, but not before remaining supplies of three-digit items were used up. As a result, many sets from 1958 included one or more three-digit items in five-digit boxes. Not all three-digit items were exhausted at the same time; different items sold out at different times. In the case of the 989, there were plenty of them on hand. Consequently it wasn't until the year was almost over that a handful of 24416 cars had to be made to fill remaining orders. The fact that the 24416 was dropped in 1959 accounts for its rarity. The car itself is in very nice shape. There is some scuffing on one side near one of the ends and few tiny paint chips. Both original stickers are intact as is the one-piece brakewheel, and both knuckle couplers work. It is a worthy addition to any collection and would make a great shelf piece. It seems that the term, “rare” is used much too often, even for items that are not rare by any means. The 24416 is a truly rare car, probably the rarest S Gauge refrigerator car except perhaps for the 24420 Simmons Mattress car, and one that doesn’t turn up all that often. If you have been searching and searching for a 24416 to round out your collection of S Gauge refrigerator cars, now is your chance. My loss is definitely your gain. Payment is expected within seven days. All sales are final. I am a TCA member; please contact me with any questions. I only ship to the lower 48 states and DO NOT ship overseas! There is a reserve due to the scarcity of this car and for the sake of fairness, I will not reveal the reserve price. Bid early and bid often.
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