SAN FRANCISCO, CA.-
Turner Auctions + Appraisals will present The Armond Conti Collection of Model Trains, Part 1, on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 10:30 am PST. Featuring over 250 lots from the estate of a Northern Californian who collected trains for over 75 years, the sale presents a variety of fine, distinctive, and desirable pre-war and post-war train offerings some new old stock, some limited editions, some unused, and some with original boxes. These include diesel and steam locomotives, numerous sets and groupings, and a wide selection of train cars and related lots, such as copter, crane, ore, and fire cars; and a coal loader, snowplow, and ballast tamper. Some accessories are also available, including track, switches, turntables, a transformer, and platforms. Among the manufacturers are Lionel, MTH, 3rd Rail, K-Line, Atlas, Williams, KMT, Right of Way Industries, and others, plus TTOS (Toy Train Operating Society) models. Most are O gauge.
Turner Auctions + Appraisals begins its online auction on Saturday, March 12, 2022, at 10:30 am PST; sale items are available for preview and bidding now. The auction will be featured live on multiple platforms: LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, Bidsquare, iCollector, and Turner Auctions + Appraisals free mobile app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Apps ("Turner Auctions"). All are easily accessed through Upcoming Auctions at the companys website
Born and raised in San Francisco, Armond Conti attended St. Ignatius High School and graduated from San Jose State in Industrial Technology. He met his wife Chris in the late 1950s, when they were both audience members of the popular radio show of Don Sherwood, who billed himself as the worlds greatest disc jockey. In 1964 the Contis and their then-three children moved to Livermore, California, then San Jose, where Mr. Conti worked as a nuclear engineer at General Electric for over 35 years, until he retired.
Armond Conti collected model trains for over 75 years, introduced to a lifelong passion around age 4, with a Christmas present from his parents. He continued to build and enhance his collection through the years, adding top-quality model trains from train shows and online sources. Perhaps no surprise as an engineer with an interest and skills in mechanics and technology, he also began to repair model trains for others, working after his day job at Bills Train Station in San Jose for over 15 years. He also set up an 18 x 18 shop in his backyard to pursue this aspect of his train hobby. His train layouts burgeoned as well, increasing as his homes got bigger: first at the top of his San Jose garage, where the layout platform hung down two feet from the ceiling and Mr. Conti would stand on a ladder to work on it. Later, when Mr. Conti moved to a nearby town, his train layout expanded to one-third of the basement of the familys large and spacious new home.
Through the years, Mr. Conti enjoyed train chasing with fellow train buffs, and visiting the Tehachapi Loop near Los Angeles, an engineering feat completed in 1876, where he would go watch trains with his son Mike and others. As Mike said, his dad liked trains because they were big, noisy, and kind of cool. These traits were shared with Mr. Contis other lifelong hobbies muscle cars and World War II airplanes. (Photo left, train buffs Armond Conti, right, with his grandson Greg Conti at the Tehachapi Loop Overlook)
Now, with Mr. Contis passing, the family has decided to part with the collection for several reasons: no one has the same love of trains that Mr. Conti did, the family has other interests, and the model train hobby takes up a lot of space. Fellow enthusiasts who share Mr. Contis passion for model trains are sure to benefit from and enjoy the astute rewards of collecting for over seven decades.
Here are some highlights of the upcoming sale:
Lot 24: 3rd Rail Brass O Scale Southern Pacific P10 4-6-2 Pacific #2485 in Daylight Colors. 3 Rail. In original packaging. Unused. Estimate $500-$700.
Lot 3: MTH 20-3125-1 Southern Pacific AC-6 Cab Forward Die-Cast Steam Locomotive and Tender in Original Packaging. Unused. Estimate $500-$700.
Lot 186: Lionel Post War Number 53 Rio Grande Snowplow with "a" Printed Backwards. Plow, bell, window struts, railings, steps, couplers all intact. Paint chipping on side handrails. Estimate $300-$500.
Lot 15: Sunset Models 3rd Rail "O" Scale Brass Southern Pacific F Series 2-10-2 #3770 (F-5). Mint in the original box. Estimate $500-$700.
Lot 49: Lionel Pre-War 264E Locomotive, Tender, 603 Pullman and 604 Observation in Red. All professionally refinished. Estimate $400-$600.
Lot 22: MTH MT-3015L Santa Fe 4-8-4 Northern Road Number 2921 3 Rail. With ProtoSound in original packaging with shipping carton. Estimate $500-$700.
Lot 30: Lionel Postwar 3494-550 Monon Operating Box Car. Built date one side only. Roof walk ends, skirts, door guides, doors, man, brake wheel, trucks, and couplers intact. Estimate $400-$600.
Lot 19: Lionel O Gauge 6-31700 Girl's Train. 6-28620 2037 Lionel Lines 2-6-4 engine and tender, 6-19347 6436-500 Lehigh Valley Lavender Hopper, 6-39232 6464-510 NYC Pacemaker pastel blue box car, 6-26033 6462-500 NYC pink Gondola with cannisters, 6-39233 6464-515 MKT 6464 yellow box car, and 6-29703 6427-500 Pennsylvania Porthole light blue caboose. All in individual boxes within set box. Estimate $300-$500.
Lot 2: Lionel Postwar 6469 Liquefied Gas Tank Car. End brackets, brake wheels, gas cannister, steps, trucks, and couplers intact. Wheels appear unused but there are rust spots on wheels, axles, rivets, and coupler parts. Box has all flaps, but one side flap and the label flap are off on one end. Shelf wear and tear. Estimate $300-$400.
Lot 37: Lionel 6-18300 Mint Car Series Pennsylvania GG-1 Electric Locomotive in original box. Estimate $300-$500.
Lot 57: Lionel 6-21759 Canadian Pacific F3 A-A Passenger Set from 1999. In original box with shipping carton. Lionel 6-8469 Canadian Pacific F-3 B Unit. No box. Appears to be unrun. Estimate $400-$600.
Lot 43: Williams - Group of Six Superliner Passenger Cars. All new old stock in original individual boxes and in corrugated shipping container. Estimate $300-$500.
Lot 93: Right of Way Industries O Gauge 0-4-0 Saddle Tanker #5201. Southern Pacific #9911 in original packaging. 3 Rail AC operation. Estimate $300-$500.
Lot 208: Lionel Postwar 6464-325 Baltimore and Ohio Sentinel Box Car. Decals both sides. Roof walk ends, brake wheel, door guides, doors, trucks, and couplers intact. Wheels show almost no wear. Blue paint scuff off of one step bar on one side. Box has all flaps, shows age yellowing but is very clean. Estimate $350-$550.
Lot 204: Lionel 6-18226 GE Dash 9 Diesel Locomotive in its styrofoam packaging. No box. Was displayed in a glass fronted display case. Estimate $300-$500.
Lot 133: Lionel 6018002 New York Central 40604 Hudson Locomotive and Tender in original box. Box has shelf wear. Estimate $200-$400.
Lot 148: Lionel Baltimore and Ohio F-3 A-B-A. 6-8363, 6-8364 and 6-8468. A units in original boxes. B unit no box. Estimate $300-$500.
Lot 23: Lionel O Gauge 6-51000 Hiawatha Passenger Set in original packaging. Set was displayed in a glass fronted wall mounted case. Estimate $800-$1,200.
Lot 9: Lionel Post War Number 2349 Northern Pacific GP9 Diesel Locomotive. Horns, handrails, trucks, couplers, steps all intact. Gold paint has slight scuffing on short nose. Estimate $500-$700.