Company Profile: Con-Cor International

History in a Nutshell

Jim Conway, his father and his uncle started Con-Cor International in their home in Chicago in 1962. They did some manufacturing, but mostly they imported and distributed HO and (later) N Scale products from around the world. They also specialized in custom-decorated cars for clubs, retailers, and organizations such as the NMRA. They're known to have purchased old tooling from other manufacturers and reissued the products; thus, they were somewhat behind the curve in terms of quality. But they developed a number of cooperative business relationships:

In the 1990s, Con-Cor moved from Chicago to Tucson, Arizona. They purchased LaBelle Industries (a manufacturer of model lubricants), and also began developing new products of their own, including models of CB&Q's Pioneer Zephyr, the North Shore Electroliner, and the Aerotrain. Although they still offer products in both HO and N, Con-Cor's core business remains N Scale.

Incidentally, to the best of my knowledge, Continental Monarch Model Company was a tiny, obscure, short-lived business that only made O Scale rolling stock and parts.

N Scale Products

Con-Cor was among the first importers to rebrand N Scale products for sale in North America; their name appeared on freight cars made by Sekisui (now known as Kato); note their smaller-than-usual flanges in the days of pizza-cutters. Con-Cor continued working with Sekisui for years, commissioning many North American models.

Con-Cor announced in 1966 they were representing AHM, Arnold (later Revell), Faller, Kibri, KleiWe, Mössmer (Willke), Peco, Preiser, Swift Line, Trix and Vollmer. AHM seemed like an odd choice since they didn't offer anything in N Scale until 1967, but it turns out Con-Cor was carrying AHM's Egger HOn2½ products. Later, Con-Cor rebranded Heljan and Piko structure kits, among others.

Printed Matter

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Charles C. Merzbach < Return > International Models

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