Ron, the founder of American Models received his first American Flyer S scale train set in 1953. However desiring a little more realism, ventured into HO scale but not for long as the smaller size was far more prone to derailments and poor electrical contact of the lighter scale trains "I want to be able to walk out of the room for 15 minutes and come back to find the train still running." Sometime after about 1975 he came to find S scale almost extinct and the AC Gilbert Co. out of business. In finding a small magazine he realized there was still a group of people modeling in this scale- However he was disappointed in the lack of ready to run items for sale and only repainted American flyer equipment and "wood stick" kits available through the mail. Items promised to arrive did not and waited over 2 years for a locomotive power unit that was advertised as being available. The power unit kit he received in 1980 was so poor in his opinion that even he could make a better one.
After checking with tool and die makers and the costs involved got him thinking about making just one locomotive. So he convinced his wife of the need to sell their large house, take out the cash and put it into tooling for the FP-7 locomotive. As providence would have it friends were made in the tooling business, these friends taught him most aspects of the tool making trade. He even worked on his own molds in their shops. He was encouraged by many in the "S" scale community to continue on to other needed items so he continued manufacturing item after item.