Lionel Speedboat, ca. 1934

Value (2006) | $1,200 Auction$1,500 Auction

It was given to me, as I remember, uh, for a Christmas present about 1934, 1935. We lived close to a park that had a nice lake, and my parents would walk me over and we used to put the boat on the water, wind it up and put it on the water.

One of the things I love on the ROADSHOW is when I find a toy and I can talk to the original owner who played with it. And I was sort of amazed when you told me that you played with it because look at the condition. It's extraordinary. When you told me that you put it in water, I was just, I was shocked. So how did it stay in such good condition?

Well, when I played it out of the water, according to some of the instruction I had by my father, I'd take it out and dry it off and beeswax it and so it'd shine. And my father told me it'd go faster that way. And that's probably why it's survived so well.

You have the remnants of the box. I guess the box fell apart on your way here.

Yeah, it did.

But I noticed here, these original instructions that were in the box, and it says right here. "It is important that this boat be thoroughly dried after operating to prevent it from rusting, especially after using in salt water. A coating of wax will help preserve the finish."

That's where I got it.

Well, that's why you have this boat in such amazing condition. You know, of course, it's Lionel, and Lionel is famous for Lionel trains, and not many people know that Lionel made a speedboat. As you know, it's clockwork and it had a very powerful motor. (whirring)

Spins away. And what, of course, we love is when we find a toy in amazing condition, and it's extraordinary that this is so original it even has the original flag. Now, how did it happen that you just managed to hold onto it?

Well, before I went in the navy, I packed it up in the box with, with padding around it and stored it. And I came home from the navy and I think I ran it one or two times. I put it back in the box and it's been with me ever since.

Well, because you took such good care of it and because you followed the instructions, a boat like this, in this condition on today's market would probably fetch at auction between $1,200 and $1,500.

My goodness. That's unbelievable.

It is.

Oh, I really appreciate it.

Well, thank you for bringing it in and it got us a chance to look at a Lionel boat.

Appraisal Details

Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
Carversville, PA
Appraised value (2006)
$1,200 Auction$1,500 Auction
Salt Lake City, UT (June 24, 2006)

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