Tri-ang Car Transporter R342

Discussion in 'Collectors and Vintage Rolling Stock' started by Wolseley, Jul 6, 2021.

  1. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    My latest purchase was something I always wanted but isn't Dublo. It was a pair of Tri-ang car transporters. They usually sell for more than I would want to pay for a piece of Tri-ang plastic, unless they have railings damaged or missing, and I didn't want that. So, when a pair of them, in excellent condition but unboxed and missing those garishly coloured Minix cars they originally came with, cropped up on eBay, I put in a low bid (at the starting price of $A40.00 for the pair) and, for some reason, no-one else was interested so, a few days later they were mine. An added bonus was that the vendor was in Australia, so the postal charge was reasonable. They arrived yesterday, very well packed, and proved to be in near mint condition.

    R342 was produced from 1965 to 1974. The catalogue description stated that it "comes complete with 6 Minix automobiles each with windows and plated fenders. End ramps of Transporter allow autos to be driven the length of a train. Centre section can be raised or lowered.". This is what it looked like new:

    tri-ang transporter 1.jpg

    Here are mine:

    tri-ang transporter 2.jpg

    tri-ang transporter 3.jpg

    And, yes, the horse box is one of those convertor wagons that Tri-ang produced briefly after the Hornby takeover, with a Tri-ang coupling on one end and a Dublo coupling on the other:

    tri-ang transporter 4.jpg
     
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  2. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    I like these TIERWAG wagons and their garishly coloured cars but there appears to be no equivalent made by contemporary manufacturers.

    Unfortunately some 10 years or so ago the Tri-ang Minix cars became collectables in their own right with some models becoming ridiculously expensive, many transporters were stripped of their cars and sold off making it difficult to buy these wagons either at a sensible price or even to get the basic cars. It took me some while to obtain a number of these wagons in undamaged condition even in the UK and then I generally bought the cars from collectors selling off the common models.

    Although the basic wagon wheels are too coarse to run well on Peco Code 100 Streamline obtaining 10.5mm diameter disc wheels made by Romford makes them good runners, however those wheelsets are almost impossible to buy now.

    I believe that they are a typical wagon wheel diameter in the USA and and other HO dominant countries so easier obtain outside of the UK.

    Anyway I can make a decent train now and they fit in well with my 'antique' fleet, Jim
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2021
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  3. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    They certainly look the part on your layout there. I guess with the addition of cars on them they would look even better, yours is a train going back empty to the factory i guess...
    I like how the centre lifts up, as a kid, that would have given a lot more 'playability' than the later Lima car transporter that I had, the one where fairly rough Mercedes cars without glazing or many other features such as rolling wheels were screwed onto the wagon. Not great for a kid who like options. Mine fortunately wasn't one of the totally wrongly marked (IMO) British Leyland wagons with Mercedes cars on it, what were they thinking?
    On the matter of wagon wheels, there are a lot of 10.5mm wheelsets for HO sold here, they are marketed as 36" additionally. It would just be a matter of finding the right axle length. The main issue I guess here would be the small scale flanges that the modern wheels have, not sure what would happen with the old track there.
    Could just fill them up with nice Oxford cars I suppose.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
  4. Jim Freight

    Jim Freight Full Member

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    So long as the replacement axles are a little too long they can be fitted, the Triang-Hornby length appears to be 25.7mm and some other manufacturers are 26mm (yes, the 0.3mm makes a significant difference) then tools are available to deepen the the coned plastic bearings to accommodate 26mm axles.
     
  5. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    The wagons are, for some reason, quite rare in good condition, so that was quite a lucky find.

    I liked the Minix cars, because with a bit of tweaking, and full repaints, they came up very nicely. Before the likes of the Pocketbond and Oxford diecast cars came along, I would scour the swap meets for reasonably priced Minix cars to repaint and doll up. I still have a few on the workbench even now.
     
  6. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    I actually found that they run pretty well through Dublo pointwork, although the same can't be said of the convertor wagon, which jumps a bit but at least stays on the track. Maybe I need to change the wheels just on that one. Dublo trackwork, while finer than Tri-ang, is marginally coarser than code 100, so maybe that makes enough of a difference to enable the car transporters to run well. From memory I think Dublo track is around code 110.

    I bought these to run them rather than to have them as museum pieces, so I'll be putting something like Oxford cars in them rather than trying to get hold of enough Minix vehicles, as that could prove a rather expensive exercise. Maybe two Oxford cars in the lower deck and, to avoid them being top heavy, something plastic (Wiking?) on the top deck. The extra weight from the two die casts might even improve their running quality.

    Jim
     
  7. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    Depending on what era you want for the cars, Bachmann at one stage had packs of plastic modern (BMW) Minis, so they wouldn't overload a longer train. I'm not too sure if there are any other lightweight plastic cars available in OO scale. That's where the Minix ones came in in the first place, I suppose. All of the ones I bought at swap meets were unboxed and sometimes in somewhat scratched and/or dirty condition, but that suited my purposes perfectly, and meant that they were inexpensive.

    A bit more exotic, and now difficult to find, were the Carkit4 series from TPM, which had resin body shells with white metal bases, wheels and seats, and in some cases, etched stainless steel components as well. These are heavier than Minix cars, but lighter than diecasts, and would give you quite a few types from the '60s and '70s that are otherwise unavailable. They won't be cheap though.

    [​IMG]
    TPM10 cropped
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
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  8. Dr Tony

    Dr Tony Full Member

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    Now a Hillman Hunter, that is a modelling opportunity for someone. Have seen those old kits, but yes, very rare, too rare.
    That's a very nicely painted one you have there.
    Bit of a waste having really nice Oxford models on the lower decks though, they deserve to be in full view.
    Cheers
    Tony
     
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  9. SRman

    SRman Full Member

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    The Hillman Hunter kit was really good, because it had several optional bits to make mark 1 or 2 versions, A Humber Sceptre version, or a Hunter GT version. I have done three of them, with the Humber in the photo above, and the mark 1 and 2 below. Sorry these are all old photos, but I stuill have the cars and am using them on the current layout too - with the glazing finished!

    [​IMG]
    TPM09 cropped
    by Jeffrey Lynn, on Flickr
     
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