No. 2995 -Powered
No. 2997 -Powered
No. 2993 -Powered
No. 2994 -Powered
rubber bands, displayed to the left is the drive for the Athearn Hustler Switcher. The Hustler is listed in the 1957 Athearn
catalog as NEW with HI-F Powered drive for $4.95, but doesn't carry the Hustler name. For '57, the switcher is Athearn's
Porter Yard Switcher. No roadnames are presented in the '57 listing.
Lionel's first HO-scale product line available from 1957-1966 utilitzed Athearn-produced items beginning in 1958, according
to George J. Horan and Vincent Rosa in their "Greenberg's Guide To Lionel HO." The Lionel-HO Hustlers came in two roadnames:
Navy Yard and Rio Grande. The Rio Grande was similar to the Athearn release, however Lionel-HO examples carry Lionel's "L"
in the lower corner of the cab. The Rio Grande Hustler from Lionel included the snow plow attachment. The other name from
Lionel-HO in 1958 was Navy Yard. This blue Hustler did not find itself in Athearn's offerings.
Lionel-HO would retain the Hustler or at least a close clone in its offerings following the 1958 release of the two Athearn-made
exmaples. The Lionel-produced Hustlers would include a red Minneapolis & St. Louis; white and red AEC -Atomic Energy Commission;
yellow and gray Union Pacific; and black and red Rock Island. Lionel also turned the M&StL model in a rotary snow plow faced
oddity. For further information, I highly recommend "Greenberg's Guide To Lionel HO Volume I: 1957-1966."
How do you position a rubber band drive as high tech? Athearn's 1958-59 catalog does a nice job of boasting the band by calling
it a Goodrich Neoprene Belt Drive. The '58 catalog calls the model, The Hustler and claims it pulls up to 16 cars and is
in beautiful, but not listed, tu-tone colors.
plow attachment is present in Athearn's 1959-60 catalog with a 29-cent add-on asking price. The Hustler's color selection
is present in '59 too, with five colors: Black, Red, Silver, Yellow, and Bronze. The model is still $4.95, but still suffering
from some name recognition. The '59 catalog labels it, Industrial Switcher, though Athearn does include the Hustler name
in the copy detailing the switcher and its uses.
For '62, the Hustler is first shown by Athearn in its annual catalogs in its one and only roadname: Rio Grande. Though produced
for many years by Athearn and sold also by others including Lionel-HO in the '60s and Cox in the '70s, only the Rio Grande
is presented as rostering a Hustler. Odd when you think about it. Wouldn't ATSF or PRR Hustlers have added sales?