B-216 Filling Station and Automatic Car Wash
This delightful accessory was first released in the 1971/72 catalogue and remained in the program for just 5 years, appearing for the last time in the '75/76 catalogue.
The doors are opened and closed smoothly by two metal links connected to a large plastic cam-wheel mounted on the brushless vibrating AC motor. This motor style is found in many Faller acessories such as the Water-wheel, Windmill etc.
As the motor turns the front door opens for a short time, closes and shortly after the rear door opens and the cycle repeats. Under manual control the driver would enter the wash-hall when the door is open, stop inside and wait before exiting when the rear door opens. An adjustment screw on some motors allows to increase or decrease the motor rpm.
This accessory was not designed with any form of automated control of the cars, although with a little imagination it would not be difficult to add a set of contacts to the door cam, and use these to control power to the required track sections. The problem would be compensating for the different speed of the vehicles so that they would stop in precisely the right point - the interior length of the car wash is almost exactly the same as the length of the longer autos such as the Diplomat, MB300 etc.
The kit is supplied with two base-plates of the same height as the single-lane AMS track sections to ensure that the building will sit at the correct height. These base-plates are not required if the carwash is not being used with AMS track.
For those wanting some replacement building parts, or to try a bit of 'kit-bashing', this item was still available (without the motor or door mechanism) as B-296, then re-numbered as 130296.
An interesting and curious detail for the observant can be seen in the display window of the shop. Any attempt to contact Faller now seeking any parts or information about AMS products will get the standard response that all items are long-discontinued and nothing is available. I quote (from a 2002 email response).....
"Thank you for your e-mail and your interest in our products. Unfortunately we cancelled the AMS range for many years ago. We do not have any more spare parts for the AMS"
Yet it is interesting that if you purchase the most recent version (130296, still listed in the 2012 catalogue) you will find within the kit there are some accessories for the shop window, including an original AMS front grill for a Mercedes Benz 280, AND, a pair of AMS wheel hubs (chrome or grey colour). The wheels hubs could be particularly interesting as these are prone to splitting around the axle and genuine chrome replacements would be helpful. Perhaps Faller would consider an order for several hundred (or thousand)?, otherwise I guess it would simply not be worth their while. And I'm not sure what can be faintlyu seen on the shelves within this catalogue image, AMS Chrome Bumpers?
I suspect Faller have more in their inventory than they are letting on, or perhaps no one knows where to look??
CAR WASH ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS - the original of these is an unusual size, larger than A3, and I have had to break it down which is why there is overlap.
Please print all the pages (A4), then it's quite easy to cut and paste them for a full sheet. I tried to rejoin them digitally but it was too fiddly and alignment just would not match.
** With thanks to Mark Moerman (Netherlands) for the use of the original literature.
Text Instructions for above diagrams (full size, opens in new window)