Limited Issue Cars
(Werbemodelle and Sondermodelle)

In addition to their regular cataloged items, Märklin produces a limited number of specially printed cars, most by private contract. These models are typically produced in quantities of 100 to 500. In the case of Märklin gifts to employees, cars made for conference attendees or when cars are specially printed for large clubs the quanties are more typically in the thousands. There are also LICs printed privately (aka industry cars) in quantities as few as 60. Since 1983 the cars printed by Märklin by private contract are distinguished with a small stylized 'm'. All are Märklin cars, the majority were based on the 8600, 8612, or 8617 models and more currently 8656 and 8661 models.

The cars printed by Märklin can be found cataloged originally by Miba circa 1987. At some point H. Schmidt took over the presentation and number assignment until the late '90s. The Schmidt publication (loose leaf) contains color photographs, names, years of production, and (under separate cover) estimated values cross indexed chronologically, alphabetically and pictorially. It was last updated in late 1993. Verlag Joachim Koll published Z catalogs for "special" cars - 1996 and 1997. Koll's Spezial Katalog (ISBN 3-922164-68-4) contains black and white photos, but not of every model listed, models indexed by basis type/year of production and alphabetically. Production numbers are provided when known or otherwise estimated. Each model is fully described and a market value is listed. The text of both publications is German, the numbers Arabic, and the photographs French. The Miba/Schmidt book uses numbers (001-792 and S001-S059) we refer to as "MIBA" numbers. The 'S' series is for special special models (e.g., press gifts, seminar models, etc). The Koll book identifies models using the basis type, production date, a one digit category (e.g., beverage) and a 2 digit model number. For example 8600/89101 is a refrigerator car made for a beverage company in 1989. Select this link for cross listings of MIBA and Koll numbers. Also, Z-Club 92 publishes their annual "Z-Liste" including limited issue cars and The Z Collection seems to have taken over for H. Schmidt with regard to assigning MIBA numbers. They also publish catalog in CDROM format.

We know of no comprehensive nor up-to-date catalog for privately printed cars (although the more well known producers get some of their models in the aforementioned references.) The only one we have come across is "Modellbahn Freunde LTD. Limited Issue Cars Catalog - Z Scale" (see the bottom of the catalogs page). It consists of stapled photocopies of models placed upon the copier machine. We believe Modellbahn Freunde (MF) coined the term "Limited Issue Car" or LIC. We will use the numbers designated by MF to refer to those privately issued cars listed therein. We acknowledge this catalog as the source for the quantities issued for those LICs where we list such quantities. Select this link for Privately Printed LICs.

Those models we have personally photographed can be seen here.

Search by MIBA number: Use 3 digits with leading zeros. Enter "all" for list.

or select from images.

 Basis 8600
 Basis 8612
 Basis 8617
 Basis 8661

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Thu, Oct 19, 2006