LIONEL TRAINS AND VINTAGE COLLECTIBLES

Location: Brantford, Ontario
Date: June 13 - 20, 2024
June 13 - 20, 2024 The first of two auctions, offering a large collection of Lionel trains, many new in the box, as well as accessories, track and transformers. A 1996 Audi Quattro, original owner, 90,000 km, in excellent condition, a Wayne Gretzky rookie card and hundreds of vintage hockey and baseball cards, as well as Planet of the Apes, Star Wars, and Charlie's Angels trading cards, a variety of diecast vehicles, many from the 50's, 60's and 70's, including Matchbox, Dinky, Corgi and Hot Wheels, sports memorabilia, including 2 vintage leather footballs and a selection of authentic train yard signs and lights, as well as as a yellow metal traffic light, wired for use. 10% BUYER'S PREMIUM ON CAR.
Visbids is pleased to present the first of two Lionel train auctions. Along with one man’s enormous collection of Lionel trains and cars, we have a number of very interesting vintage hockey and sports cards and memorabilia. Rounding out our “Vintage Collectibles” is a nice selection of Matchbox, Dinky,Corgi and Hot Wheels die cast cars and vehicles. Also included in this auction, to continue the transportation theme, is a 1996 Audi Quattro, with only 90,000 kilometres. Originally marketed in Europe, 1996 was the second year of production for the A6. With exceptional safety scores for the time, the Audi Quattro stood against Volvo, Mercedes, BMW and Saab in providing state of the art accident avoiding features, such as an improved anti lock braking system. Audi claimed that the Quattro was almost impossible to get stuck in a rut, as long as one wheel could move! With a 172 horsepower V6 engine, this is a great piece of German engineering, that has been lovingly cared for by its originalowner.It is being sold certified with all the Audi service records available.
The Lionel train collection up for auction is sure to be of interest to any collector.As any train enthusiast knows, Lionel is the gold standard of the model train world. Originally started in 1900 by Lionel Cowen, the company introduced their first train in 1901, known as the Electric Express- the world’s first electric toy train. First intended as a window display for toy stores, consumer interest encouraged Lionel to begin marketing to the public. In 1902 Lionel produced their first accessory- a suspension bridge, and then added tunnels and train stations. During their peak, in the 50’s, Lionel Trains sold $25 million worth of trains a year.  Interestingly, our very own Neil Young, a model train enthusiast, rescued Lionel Trains from bankruptcy in 1995, by putting together an investment group to purchase the company. Although no longer an owner, he remains on the board of directors.
The scope and value of the Lionel items collected by our consignor is remarkable. Many of the trains and accessories are in their original boxes, and brand new. We have engines and tender combos that are truly beautiful, and whether you consider yourself a train person or not, you have to admire the attention to detail and streamlined design of these models. There are also a number of large, new in the box Lionel and Rail King accessories, such as the A&W Rootbeer stand, complete with picnic tables and umbrellas, and an operating Pennsylvania Railroad tugboat. This man was a serious collector, and must have had rooms devoted to his train set up!
Our rookie Wayne Gretzky card is the star of our vintage sports card offerings, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other treasures to be had! This collection came from one consignor, in the little leather suitcase he’s had since the 70’s. There are hundreds of hockey and baseball cards, including an early series of baseball cards from the 1950’s, as well as trading cards from the original Planet of the Apes, Happy Days and Charlie’s Angels (Kate Jackson was clearly his fav!). An excellent place to start for a beginning collector, or for someone looking to add some vintage 70’s sports cards to their collection.
There is a wide selection of vintage diecast cars on offer, including Matchbox vehicles in their original matchbox sized boxes. Apparently English die casters, Leslie and Rodney Smith founded Lesney Products in 1947, along with partner Jack Odell. In 1952 Odell was inspired by a rule at his daughter’s school that permitted children to bring to school only toys that could fit inside a matchbox. Originally sold only in Britain, they eventually started selling in the States and added a Ford Customline Station Wagon to its formerly all British fleet of cars.
At the time, Lesney was one of Britain’s most profitable companies, until 1968, when Mattel launched Hot Wheels, and the flashy hot rods quickly captured the attention of American kids. Lesney countered with the Matchbox Superfast line of cars, and the race was on! Unfortunately the high cost of manufacturing their product in England eventually drove Lesney into bankruptcy. Their archrival, Mattel acquired the Matchbox line, and it is still being produced today – although in Asia. Our little cars are from the vintage when they were still being produced to the high standards of British toymakers.
Please feel free to come and preview our auction at our Brantford location.
Call John at 416 453 0920 to set up an appointment.
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