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Author Topic: new antique Bachmann Diesal Hustler Kit 40-101, need date of mfg.  (Read 6238 times)

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« on: October 31, 2014, 02:26:49 PM »

I have a Bachmann 5 HO Diesal Hustler kit, new in box. father bought it new. kit no. 40-101. would like to date it, think it's 1930's, any guesses at value would be appreciated. thankyou
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 02:31:03 PM by wsoyak1 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 03:52:00 PM »

I can't pin-point the date of manufacture of your engine, but I can tell you a little about Bachmann's history:

They were very early in the plastics manufacturing business, but only started manufacturing toy train products well after WW II. They started with plastic buildings, then later began to manufacture trains. I suspect your engine is no older than the 1970s, but maybe someone will have a better date.

As to value, older mass produced trains do not have much value. The fact that they were mass produced, along with the probability that they do not run well if at all, really limits the value. Take a look at a site like EBay's completed auctions  to see what similar items are bringing.

BTW, that "5" on the packaging is actually a stylized "B" for Bachmann.

Hope this helps & Happy RRing,

« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 05:43:44 PM by JerryB » Logged

Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 04:52:01 PM »

The HO Diesel Hustler 40-0101 Santa Fe train set was produced 1982-1990. 

May have very little value to some but worthless to most.

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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 06:17:21 PM »

that's odd, the man that was the only owner of this item died in 1964. thanks for your reply
Jerrys HO
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 06:30:49 PM »

Bachmann did not start in HO till 1970. I doubt yours is from the 30"s.
HO became popular in the states in the late 50"s

Ken G Price

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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 08:00:51 PM »

that's odd, the man that was the only owner of this item died in 1964. thanks for your reply
Time travel? Huh?

Ken G Price N-Scale out west. 1995-1996 or so! UP, SP, MoPac.
Pictures Of My Layout,
Albert in N
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 08:47:28 PM »

If the locomotive has rod shafts from the motor with large spools on the axles for a rubber band drive, then it would be an old Athearn Hustler.  It only had two axles, thus 4 wheels.   There were no gears since the rubber bands connected the drive shaft to each axle.  Also, there were no headlight bulbs.  Usually these kits were inside the early Athearn Globe boxes or later Athearn "Trains In Miniature" boxes showing Athearn address in Compton CA.  These were common in the late 1950s and on to the early 1970s.  The early USA-made Athearns had no imprinted brand or lettering on their products.  Could Bachmann have marketed some of these early Athearn kits before Bachmann started production of their own trains?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2014, 10:09:46 PM by Albert in N » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2014, 04:34:53 AM »


There was very, very little manufactured HO equipment until after World War Two and almost no plastic. In fact, there really wasn't much until well into the 1950s. That's largely due to the immaturity of the plastics industry prior to that time. Wood and metal freight and passenger car kits were the goods of the day prior to Athearn jumping in big time. Roundhouse and Tyco had cast zinc or zamac kits, Varney sold sheet tin models, Penn Line had not quite shifted from zamac to plastic heavyweight passenger kits, OK and several others had extruded aluminum streamlined passenger cars, Walthers sold highly detailed heavyweight kits with tin sides and roofs which needed to be carved, Tru-Scale, Central Valley and Ambroid sold high-end wooden kits, Campbell and Suydam had mostly wood structure kits and Plasticville was still an independent company although they didn't sell HO at that time.

I think the information others have shared about the limited value of old trains is essentially accurate. The values of most older trains in all scales suffer today due to the fact that they either don't have much detail, they require upkeep or they aren't R-T-R, which seems to be what sells today. It's true that there is a limited supply of older train models (though no one knows exactly how limited) but there's another side to the law of supply and demand: demand. And few people are going to spend limited modeling money on old trains which neither look nor operate as well as modern merchandise.

The older trains which do have value are the extraordinarily rare pieces which are not only in scant supply but highly desirable and in flawless condition in their flawless original, maybe even unopened packaging. The stories about somebody buying a box of old trains at a garage sale for $10 and selling the contents for thousands are just pipe dreams.
                                                                                                    -- D
« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 04:36:24 AM by Doneldon » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2014, 08:49:20 AM »

Sounds like the typical question before an attempted hustle Angry

Keep Calm and Carry On
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 12:48:16 PM »

There is a belief out there that there are tons of train collectors who have more money than Scrooge McDuck. I watched one of those shows wherein people buy storage lockers. In one episode the buyers find a g gauge layout complete with plastic buildings. One guy says that the trains were vintage and collectors pay a lot of money for them. I'm not up on the g gauge market but I know the trains were Aristo and the buildings may have been Pola. In another episode a different guy finds a box filled with HO trains. He holds one up (looked like a Tyco boom caboose) reads "Virginia and Truckee" on the side of the car out loud and said that collectors pay big money for old trains. I wish him good luck.

I have looked at "Vintage" trains on Ebay a lot and some of the stuff is downright junk.  How many buyers can there be for Varney F-3s or Penn Lime/Bowser engine kits? A neighbor bought a relatively early Bachmann train set for his grandson at a local garage sale - he paid $5! The boy's dad has a nice layoput and he lets his son run the set to his heart's desire. I must say that, given the treatment the set train endures, those old Bachmanns really hold up well.
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2014, 01:04:38 PM »

I  went to the Hoseeker website and looked up Athearn. They had a number of sets in the late fifties - the 1958 catalog shows a hustler set with three cars and a caboose. Including power pack and track the kit was $10.95!

I had a rubberband drive RDC many years ago and  it ran like blazes. It would go so fast that would fly over switches and derail. Fortunately, my railroad had no riders to sue me!.

It was possible to slow the RDC down a bit by putting tubing on the motor shafts. This gave a larger diameter and decreased the top speed a bit and was hard on rubber bands.


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« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2014, 04:50:21 PM »


I never saw anything go as fast on such small wheels as my old Hi-F drive Athearn RDC. I
recall that we tested it and I think it was going 450 smph or something.
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2014, 09:10:47 AM »

A friend lived in Danbury and I used to visit by taking the New Haven (er, PC or Metro North or whatever) to Danbury. Service was via an RDC. THe RDC toodled along at sbout 25 mph. The windows were either dirty or fogged over. It belched smoke coming into the station - no worry about pollution back then. It was a ride I'll never forget - too bad the real RDC didn't have rubberband drive.

I recall a rubber band hustler that also was a speed demon - they put those into sets - I can't imagine one pulling three or four cars at jet arcraft spped!
I was told that the tank engine that Athearn released along with the hustler and RDC - an 0-4-2 - had rubberband drive. I have been into HO for a half century and have never seen one of those engines - is it possible that they released a rubberband drive steamer?

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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2014, 11:48:00 AM »

The Diesel Hustler sets are from the 1970s.
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