Fairfield Traction Models - Japan
Info's found on the website trolleyville.com
TRACTION MODELS OF MODEL TRAMWAY SYSTEM & FAIRFIELD TRACTION MODELS
by George L. Huckaby
June 15, 2002
Updated May 2, 2008
In recent years, many of the earlier HO scale traction models imported in the 1950's through the early 1980's have been made available from different Internet sources, such as eBay and it was noticed that many of the sellers do not know what the model represented or the source of it. Trolleyville recently obtained an article written by Jack LaRussa (N. J. International) that he wrote some time ago for Brass Modeler & Collector. In this article, many of these models were identified. With Jack's permission, this article was originally written to pass some of this information to the current generation of modelers.
Bert Sas or more correctly Gijsbert Johannes Sas was an influential HO gauge traction pioneer who operated the Model Tramway System from 1952 to 1966 and then Fairfield Traction Models from 1966 to 1982. Bert imported many models of United States and European prototypes. Bert was born in the Netherlands and grew up near the now famous NZH interurban line. He used this and a city line in The Hague to commute to school and familiarized himself with the streetcars there. Then he moved to New York where he enjoyed what was left of the Third Avenue Railway System. He produced his first stamped zinc models in 1953 and his first brass models in 1958. The first model was body only since there were no power units available from Japan at that time. The body sold $15.00 at the time. This model, as were subsequent ones, was manufactured by Kumata. Below is a list of those U.S. prototype models imported.
As a traction collector, my first HO scale brass traction car was a #378 New Orleans Class 800 class, acquired in March 1968, and has been running on my layout ever since. It was painted in 1979 with paint obtained from NOPSI while living in New Orleans. There are two other#378 models currently in the paint shop. I have been fortunate to obtain at least one of almost every American prototype model that he produced.
My personal relationship with Bert Sas started in 1971 when I wrote the old Model Tramway System to inquire about trolley models. The letter finally got to him and he answered it. Then, I added one of his #333 Brooklyn & Queens 8000 Peter Witt models and had no idea of the paint scheme. Writing him again, I got my answer. Then we split an old Pennsylvania Scale Models Brill Suburban Trolley. He needed a body shell and I needed a new power unit. We continued to write until I received my final letter from him on November 4, 1982. I never got to meet him face-to-face.
We still prize every single example of Model Tramway and/or Fairfield Traction Model imports that we can obtain. Since the original article was written, we have obtained even more of the prized Fairfield models, mostly from eBay. Today, the #355 Cincinnati Single End Curvesider arrived. All models are usually converted to overhead wire operation and the old open frame motor is replaced with a Mashima can motor from A-line. Another schoolhouse lesson covers this remotoring subject. After a good paint job, it is Happy Motoring!
Source & copyright: trolleyville.com/tv/school/lesson7_1/