*Rare* American Flyer S Gauge 24416 Refirgerator Car

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  • Item Category: Toys, Dolls, Games & Puzzles
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Mar 27, 2011
  • Channel: Auction House

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.
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