July 21, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A vintage subway car that once transported passengers to and from the 1964 World’s Fair in Flushing-Meadows-Corona Park has been bought at auction for nearly $250,000.
The subway car, one of the last remaining “Redbird” fleet of models, was snapped up by an anonymous buyer Friday who beat off stiff opposition from nearly 50 other bidders, according to public auction records.
Bids for the “9075” numbered car initially opened at $6,500, but the price tag soon skyrocketed as bidders piled in for a scoop of Queens history. The final price closed at $235,700.
The buyer will also have to foot the bill of removing the train from the Queens Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens, where it has been stationed since 2005.
The car, which is 50 feet long and weighs 40 tons, was taken out of service in 2003 and was saved by then Queens Borough President Helen Marshall from being dumped into the Atlantic Ocean. Hundreds of retired cars were sunk at various locations in New Jersey to form an artificial reef.
The Redbird fleet was built between 1959 and 1963 and totaled more than 1,400 cars, according to the MTA.
The cars initially came in a variety of colors but were painted in Tuscan red in the 1980s to combat graffiti. The cars which serviced the World’s Fair were painted light blue and cream.
The final trip made by a train consisting of Redbirds was made on November 3, 2003. The train, operating on the 7 line, traveled from Times Square to Willets Point.