Con-Cor "SOUTHERN BELLE" Collector Set #11 -- Did I Get a Good Deal

SmittyTV Feb 1, 2012

  1. SmittyTV

    SmittyTV TrainBoard Member

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    Recent job changes have taken me out of the hobby for the last few months (too familiar of a story these days). But things are looking up for me a little and I recently got some disposable income so I purchased this set on the Bay for $162.50 (including shipping).

    [​IMG]

    It's the set plus the 2 add on cars. There's some damage on one car:

    [​IMG]

    It doesn't look too bad, almost like it can be scraped off. I've always been an exclusive MoPac guy, but want to get some of this KCS stuff -- the black, red and yellow is so cool.

    So what-do-ya-think? Fair price? When were these made? Do these old DL-109s run good?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    If your happy that's all that matters, looks like a good deal to me.
     
  3. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    That set has been around for at least 20 years. The locomotives do run OK although not as well as most engines coming out today. At that time, the hobby in general, was more tolerant of paint schemes that were not prototype to that particular car. There just was not that much available out there so if you wanted a name train, you had to accept that it would be painted onto existing cars that were available. The KCS did have DL-109s but the passenger cars are all Great Northern prototypes that Con Cor painted every scheme under the sun onto. They were all well done and I have loads of them in many different colors. I even have that same Southern Bell collector set and a whole additional train to go with it. I picked up the collector set because I had to have the model of the Good Cheer. Some of the the paint jobs hold up well against cars available today. Those sets are not extremely rare but do not pop up too often. If you like it then you got yourself something you can enjoy.
     
  4. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    That is a unique, neat looking set, and I think it would be fun to own. Let's say hypothetically that there is some expert resource out there that values that set at $100, and some exotic brass engine that runs like crap for $400. If you could get either for the $162 you spent, the ConCor set could easily be the "best value." I remember the ConCor North Coast Limited set that came out, and would love to own one of those (hint, hint, Kato; there's money to be made here).
     
  5. oldrk

    oldrk TrainBoard Supporter

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    As the old saying goes "it's only worth what someone is willing to pay for it." That said I find it interesting that all those ConCor 'collector" sets sell for pretty good money. Take for example "The Chessie Steam Special". Yes, I have one. Do I think its worth $400 I paid for it? From a quality standpoint:NO. From an authenticity standpoint: NO. But, darn it, I just gotta have it and the market tells me I can sell it for what I paid for it. Now,if there were ten for sale and I paid twice what the other nine sold for I would feel like an idiot. But like your set there just arent that many around so the final answer is.....drum roll please........it's hard to say. But you probably could sell it for what you paid for it and that aint bad.
     
  6. Logtrain

    Logtrain TrainBoard Member

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    We have been SCREAMING at Kato for years for a NCL. Unfortunately as much as us modelers want a NCL, our requests ALWAYS fall on deaf ears. :thumbs_down:
     
  7. RCB

    RCB TrainBoard Member

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    I'd say that's not bad. Passenger cars aren't cheap, even con-cor's. So, if you piece mailed it, you would have spent more. Two running engines.. how much would you pay for those? I think you did alright.
     
  8. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    Here are a few of those Con Cor cars painted up for Mo Pac. The locomotive is Life Like. I really like the paint job.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    At todays prices the cars alone are worth it. And if both locos are powered that brings it up way above what you paid for the set. So I think you did good.
     
  10. SmittyTV

    SmittyTV TrainBoard Member

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    Fun little discussion guys. That's why I posted, I knew it would be. One of the locos is a dummy.

    Russell -- I have that set. Got it in the mid 90s when I was in the hobby the first time. I Like mine. Your picture makes yours look real nice. That pic might have to become my new desktop.

    I'm the furthest thing from a rivet counter and I really don't know much about which road ran what kind of cars/locos unless I look it up on the Wik. I can however tell when something is made cheaply or just looks plain hokey. And I was a little afraid of that because it seems like there was more chance of that in the old days. I defently don't run / can't afford top shelf stuff -- I have never owned a Kato loco. Someday maybe I'll realize what I've been missing because I think my Life Like F1's run pretty nice. And the E8s I run with the MoPac passenger set are real smooth by my standards. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

    One thing that freaked me a little is that it was a one bid auction. I realize that's good, but it also makes you wonder if the starting price was high.
     
  11. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think that you made a pretty good deal for the set. Most of the ConCor sets were sold from the mid 1970's to early 2000's and some were quickly sold-out... while others didn't have quite the appeal. I re-entered the hobby in the early 1980's and there were a few of the early sets available which I passed on because they were 'too rich' for my wallet at that time. I can't attest to the appeal of that set... but... my 6/2010 Armstrong Guide indicates it was released in 10/1982 for $149.98. The guide also indicated the high auction sale amount at $351.00 (Tex-N-Rails auction 4/1990). For comparison... Set #1 was the Chessie Steam Special in 1977 and the high auction sale was $740.00 (Brooklyn Locomotive Works auction 11/1997).

    The Armstrong Guide notes the last of these sets sold at an (authorized) auction was a Lehigh Valley Black Diamond set in 12/2005. It sold in an N Scale Collector auction for $250.00 (This has a shrouded Hudson steamer)... which is the original MSRP from 3/1998... so someone got a decent deal. BTW... the steamer sets go for much more than the diesel sets... but that is to be expected.

    Bear in mind that the Armstong Guide doesn't track eBay or other onlne mainstream auction sites... so their information is not necessarily conclusive for todays market... though... tbe authorized auctions are more likely to have the better 'collectable' items.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2012
  12. y0chang

    y0chang TrainBoard Member

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    The con-cor sets while they have older locos, if complete and in good condition are actually worth a good bit of money. There was a Concor Chessie streamliner set that I would have loved. It had the old ROWA passenger cars, those are almost as detailed as modern stock and actually chesapeake and ohio prototypes. Course the only time i saw it on fleabay it soared past 200 in the bidding...Anyways 160 is very fair. It's unlikely you would have found it cheaper at a trainshow or hobby shop and very unlikely to be able to find at a estate sale.
     
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sure wish I still had mine. Regardless of how they ran, which seemed pretty good to me back then, it sure looked good enough for me.

    As to the original question, I do think it is a good deal.
     
  14. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    As I look at this thread... the one thing that comes to mind is that ConCor was the "Kato" of the 1970's thru 1980's. ConCor produced their locomotive with specific sets... just like Kato has been doing for the past 20 years. The main difference is that in the 1970's to 1980's we were happy to get whatever streamliner or freight consist that was concocted... whether prototypically correct or not. As the N scale hobby matured, the emphasis went from 'just good enough' to 'give me prototypical fidelity'. Kato's original sets were much like the ConCor versions... one prototype set and several other 'close-enough' sets... which is perhaps why so many are upset with the NON-prototypical Great Northern Empire Builder. Finally Kato got its act together in 2000 and began to produce prototypical sets starting with the California Zephyr. Now that Kato has done about a dozen prototypical sets... these older ConCor versions look 'out of sorts' with the current mindset of N scale hobbyist. Still... for their historic value... the old ConCor sets are worth having as a part of N scale development... and as a warning as to what it should NOT slip back into.
     
  15. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've seen that set at shows and on eBay listed for $200 (and higher too) that didn't sell, but I doubt they would get much below what you paid, if at all. I remember really looking at it when at the show because that scheme is so nice, and the paint job was really crisp on that set, and also on a Texas Special sitting right next to it. If I had a little more disposable income I would have bought both that day. Some fellow club members also had many of those various Con-Cor sets and they were always club favorites.
     
  16. Tudor

    Tudor TrainBoard Member

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    I think so. I had 6 of those Con-Cor sets, including that specific one. I sold them all off about a year ago, and was getting $250 per set. However the collector market is a bit down from a couple years ago now, but I still think that is a good price. Like said, not up to today's standards for running, but it is one of the nicer looking of those collector sets IMHO. I think ya did ok..

    For what it's worth, if I still had my sets, I wouldn't have taken what you paid for that one for any of my sets. I would have kept them for the kids before I went below $200 a set.
     
  17. SmittyTV

    SmittyTV TrainBoard Member

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    This is why TRAINBOARD is the best around at least for N scale. Over 400 views and 15 responses in a couple of days. A guy like Calzephyr takes the time to pull out a book and give me a detailed post like he did -- thanks a lot. And thanks to all that posted and read.

    Here's the rub. I'm dying because it didn't come in the mail today as hoped. I have to work about 30 hrs over the weekend and I was hoping to see it chase its tale around my little pike tonight. Even if it comes tomorrow, I'll just have time to open it and make sure it's OK. I do have Monday and Tuesday off so you can bet I'll post some pics and my review then (if it arrives).

    Again, it's great being part of this community.

    Thanks guys,

    Dan
     
  18. Tudor

    Tudor TrainBoard Member

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    Make sure ya take a good look at the finish and paint. Because during those days they were putting those out, the foam padding in the boxes would ruin the finish. If it was stored somewhere not in a climate controlled area, the foam would break down, and deteriorate and end up destroying the finish. Just food for thought, and it looked ok in the picture that that didn't happen, but, just take a close look at the finish on them to be sure.
     
  19. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Did one (or more) of the six sets you owned have that problem? Or, did you have other experiences that made you aware of this? This is the first I've heard of such a thing.
     
  20. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Staff Member

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    I had it happen to a Texas Special set I had. It was kind of a blooper set to begin with. Con Cor called it the Katy/Wabash Texas Special (should have been Katy/Frisco) and they put a dome car in it. The foam totally destroyed the paint when it degraded. I ended up repainting all the cars for something else.
     

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