in his backyard haven

Sunday, 14 October 2012


Today, Oct. 13, 2012, John Sanford came over to visit.  He walked into the RR Man Cave - which now resembles an RXR hobby warehouse and said: “Whoa, we’d better get to work!.”   God bless  John, we sorted and packaged rolling stock for nearly four hours!  While packaging up Den's belongings it surfaces a lot of memories.  Here is a gem that John shared about how he met Dennis:

John was set up at the Riverside Senior Center location at the Roundhouse Gang RXR Swap Meet.  John had an item on the table that he hadn’t planned to sell; but he put it out to see if anyone would respond to it.  It was crowded and lots of activity but no one took a second look at this particular model.  

Along came Dennis, whom John had never met.  Den nearly jumped out of his socks!  He was very excited and wanted to know “how did you do that?”.    On the table was displayed, in it’s original box, a Walther’s (brand) plastic Santa Fe Coach worth about $30.  BUT it was enhanced by an NKP Car Company Streamline Brass Car Side Kit !   The purpose of such a kit, and the action of “brass siding on a plastic car” is to modify-enhance a the plastic model to resemble a very rare high dollar brass car on a budget . (Some cars were too rare for model manufacturers to risk a high volume tooling &production costs & these are usually only produced by the high end Brass mfgs in low volumes would be available in the $400 range)   I asked John if it was like putting lipstick on a pig and he said rather like really expensive lipstick!  

Dennis was the only guy (in a crowd of over 100) who recognized the modification for what it was.  He was drooling with desire especially because itnow represented a Rio Grande car prototype .  As a very talented modeler Den knew the value of the process.  This $30 plastic car, now modified with a $60 brass side kit & a lot of hours became as nice as the brass version valued at about $400!   This is what real modelers do when constructing prototypes . John said DENNIS WAS THE ONLY GUY WHO KNEW WHAT IT WAS!  They struck a friendship; made a deal - I’m sure there was a lot of haggling and negotiating, and John has been an invaluable friend for about four years!

Well - THERE IT WAS - the modified Santa Fe Coach was in Den's collection that John was helping me inventory and package.  I didn’t ask what the deal was but John said Dennis had pondered the plan for the entire swap meet duration and then managed to “acquire” the piece from John.


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