Model train firm's assets auctioned | Serving Minden-Gardnerville and Carson Valley –

Monday, August 23, 2004
After 66 years in business on the West Coast, a model train manufacturer has blown its last horn in Carson City. The product line will now be made overseas.

Marketing/art director Jon Fox said Tuesday that Model Die Casting Inc. sold its major moneymaking asset, Roundhouse Products, to Horizon Hobby. The major hobby distributor, based in Champagne, Ill., purchased the Roundhouse product line June 14.

Roundhouse Products is a model railroad line established in 1938. Fox said all the model trains have been sent to the Champagne warehouses, and all product components have been sent to Athearn Trains, a subsidiary of Horizon Hobby in Carson, Calif.

“All tooling for the product line has been sent off shore for future use in producing the product line,” he said. “They will be making the product overseas.”

Fox declined to say in which country the trains would now be made.

Remaining company assets will be auctioned at 10 a.m. Sunday at Model Die Casting’s manufacturing plant, 5070 Sigstrom Drive. The materials to be auctioned include plastic injecting, metal die-cast equipment, motorized equipment, hand tools, office equipment and warehouse shelving.

“A major reason for selling Roundhouse Products was a desire (by the president) to retire from the business after 66 years,” Fox said.

President C.H. Menteer began as a part-time employee of The Roundhouse hobby store in Hollywood, Calif. He and another employee purchased the store while it was in the red.

Soon after their purchase, Paramount Pictures signed a contract with them to produce two locomotives and two passenger car models for Cecil B. DeMille’s “Union Pacific.” Menteer became the sole owner in 1956. The company relocated to Carson City in 1993, according to the company’s history.

Model Die Casting employed about 18 people.

“We’ve been winding things down since (the purchase),” Fox said. “My department is still working on stuff for the new company, but we’re also winding down.”

The corporation will continue to exist in Carson City, but only to finish the closing process. The building will be sold separately.

Horizon Hobby looks forward to carrying on the Model Die Casting/Roundhouse brand name and is committed to providing train retailers with the same level of quality that has made the line successful for more than 50 years, according to a press release from the company.

If you go:

What: Model Die Casting/Roundhouse Products auction

5070 Sigstrom Drive In the industrial area north of Carson City Airport

When: Inspection Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. Auction at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Information: Call 883-0808

Contact Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.
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