1951 Tonka The Dayton Company Private Label Semi
Example #1 of the Dayton semi
Example #1 featured just above, is another rare private label semi, manufactured in 1951 by Tonka for The Dayton Company, a department store founded in Minneapolis, MN in 1910. Twenty-five Dayton semis are believed to have been manufactured with two known to exist in mid 2009. (In June of 2013, a third Dayton semi was found. See sales info below) The semis were given to Dayton drivers. Historical information and photos of Example #1 courtesy the Mr. Moe collection.
In addition to "The Dayton Company" decals on both sides of the trailer, there is a like worded decal located on the front, top center of the trailer and another located on the rear of the trailer frame below the rear doors. The side decals are larger than the front and rear decals. The front and rear decals appear to be the same size.
Example #2 of the Dayton Semi
Example #2 hit Craig's List in late July 2016 and appears to be the 4th known Dayton semi to see the light of a new day. Scott Bunkowski, already the owner of a Dayton semi, immediately called the seller in Woodbury, MN only to learn it had already sold. The seller had owned the semi since new. It was given to him as a gift from a relative who was a Dayton employee in the early 1950's. The semi spent most of it's life in storage showing very little, if any, playtime. Note the variation in the graphics. Also note the tandem trailer axles. The image was attached to the Craig's List listing.
Value: A clean, original, unretouched, 1951 Dayton semi in very good plus condition, missing rear doors, major paint loss in fifth wheel area but overall paint is shiny, decals good to very good, was purchased from a private seller for $500 in early June 2013. NOTE: My personal feeling is that the buyer got a bargain price for this item. This semi brings to 3, the number known to exist.
Value: A clean, original, unretouched, 1951 Dayton trailer only in good condition, missing rear doors and dolly wheels, heavy paint loss, decals good at best, sold for $250 USD on eBay mid June 2014. NOTE: This trailer brings to 4 the number known to exist.