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O is for Oz – and O gauge

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Rounding off 2018 in December in style was the Trains, Planes and Automobiles auction that took place in Australia. As I’ve had occasion to remark before, it always surprises me just how many European toys turn up in the Antipodes… not to mention US confections!

Of the latter, and American Flyer S-gauge Rocket Diesel Passenger set was offered for sale. This ensemble comprised two diesel powered locomotives, a Columbus coach, a Jefferson coach and a Washington coach, along with an observation coach bearing the Hamilton rubric. Some scratches and scuffing were noted, whilst one locomotive body was loose on its chassis. The group finally sold for AUS$180 (as a guide, AUS$10 is about £5).

A Ferris (Australian manufacture) O gauge bogie country passenger/brake van commanded more attention. Despite showing a little scuffing and carrying a modest upper estimate of AUS$150, this rolled away to achieve AUS$270. Still on the bigger scale tracks, another Oz-made wagon, this time by Fox, was the O gauge NSWGR BMT bogie tank wagon, which was finished in white. Fitted with Hornby couplings and exhibiting some minor rust spots, this was eagerly contested before running into a siding for a creditable AUS$390.

In fact, the popularity of O gauge doesn’t seem to falter. A House (Australian-made) O gauge 3-rail NSWGR 36 Class 4-6-0 locomotive and tender, numbered 3617 and finished in black, was a tender driven example dating from the 1950s. It finished right on the (expected) money, being sold for AUS$1,100. Finally, in the O gauge line was another Australian made example (by Robilt): this was a breakdown wagon, in yellow, also dating from the 1950s. Some paint loss was flagged up but nonetheless bidders determinedly pushed this example all the way to AUS$130.

Back on the (UK) home front, a Tri-ang Minic tinplate clockwork Ford Royal Mail van, in red, came up for grabs. Its motor had been tested and was working, and the vehicle showed some minor blemishes on its paintwork and had suffered a little corrosion on its chromed parts, a not uncommon failing on models of this era. This realised AUS$50.  And on to Britains, to round off this report: a Britains Army Motorcyclist did rather well, speeding past its estimate to make AUS$90, while a USA Military Band set, containing 12 bandsmen in active service dress, carried an upper estimate of AUS$200. On the day it found a new home for AUS$170.

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