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Re: [CBQ] Suggestion for the Kato poll

To: "CBQ@xxxxxxxxx" <CBQ@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [CBQ] Suggestion for the Kato poll
From: "Ray Bedard" <tczephyr@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 2 Nov 2020 15:05:27 +0000
I bought the Pacific Traction PZ when it first came out. Was very slow and noisy. No interior and no windows. I contracted Pacific Traction several times about fixing it and as I remember, I was sent a new set of gears, but that did not help much. 

I eventually bought a power truck from PFM and installed it on the front of the PZ. That help a lot but it was still not my favorite. 

When Concor brought out the PZ, I bought it and sold my Pacific Traction PZ.

Since there have been several versions of the PZ in recent years, doing another one is a waste of time, IMO.

I would really like to see Kato do the E5 but another option is the Mark Twain Zephyr. That I think would be a great seller, perhaps even more than the E5.

But knowing how long it takes to bring models to market, even if they decide to do one or the other on Jan 1st, I think it would be at least 18 months or more before we see it.

RAY Bedard
San Jose CA

From: CBQ@xxxxxxxxx <CBQ@xxxxxxxxx> on behalf of Mike Martin via <>
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020 4:02 PM
To: cbq@xxxxxxxxx <cbq@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [CBQ] Kato poll...
In the past Kumata made Pioneer Zephyrs for both Pacific Traction and Nickel Plate Products.  The Pacific version is the version that has the upper windows squished so it looks a bit like "The Brow" from the old Dick Tracy comic books!  I'd like to fix one of these just for fun someday.  I don't think there is much of a difference between that version and the NPP version otherwise.  NPP offered the extra #500 with their set.

Challenger originally offered the PZ twice I think in the as built version as well as the modernized headlight version.  Later Challenger did reruns on their Zephyrs with I believe interiors and possibly lights.  I'm guessing they again offered both versions.

Hallmark, Oriental, Overland, Eagle Imports, and Challenger all offered various versions of E5 As and Bs.  Mostly the versions are 1940s with truck skirts and then a later version without skirts.  Eagle offered theirs with the Sam Houston Zephyr set and it might have also been sold separately.  Challenger did two runs with the original run being sold in separate boxes and I believe the later run sold as an A/B set in one box.  Overland did at least two separate runs as well with one of them being early (possibly late '80s).

Unless Kato is able to replicate the stainless steel finish similar to what Walthers and Broadway Limited are capable of I don't know if I'd be interested in either the E5 or the Pioneer Zephyr set from them.  I don't think the demand would be there for a Pioneer Zephyr set either unless people are going to trade up from a Con-Cor set or Nickel Plate Products set.  The sets from Challenger are fairly available on the second hand market and often for only about $600 or so which is less than new.  If I were Kato or another manufacture I'd be looking at the Mark Twain Zephyr set with the idea that you might be able to make the Twin Cities Zephyr set out of the same power car tooling and possibly the passenger car tooling.

The cost of a Kato Pioneer Zephyr is also probably going to be close to the cost of a used Challenger Imports set.  I don't see it costing for less than $600.  If they could get the E5s priced at $600 for an A/B set they could have a winner on their hands.  Again, if they don't get the finish correct it's a non-starter for me.  

I don't have a horse in the race and already have a Challenger PZ set and a couple of the NPP sets.  I've also got a few E5s... the Hallmark set, an A-B-A set of the Orientals riding on Athearn / PPW drives, and the early run of the skirted E5s from Challenger.  

Mike Martin 
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