1956 Tonka State Hi-Way Low Boy DeSalle Collectible

DeSalle Tonka State Hi-Way Low Boy Prototype

Prototype 1956 Tonka State Hi-Way Low Boy


DeSalle Prototype Lowboy

Don DeSalle's sign-off of the prototype low boy trailer.
DeSalle Prototype Lowboy

Compare the writing style to the style on the production low boy below.

THE PROTOTYPE...Typically in manufacturing, using Tonka as an example, engineers from the various engineering disciplines, will assemble the specified components to confirm that the resulting product meets all required criteria. These pre-production products are referred to as (you guessed it) prototypes. Prototypes that are rejected are destroyed. However, some end up as office ornaments and are displayed on desks, on top of filing cabinets, etc. Over time, the office display ends up walking out the door, with permission of course, to a new home. On the other hand, prototypes that meet all required criteria, will be assigned to the company's historical archives for future reference.

As a potential buyer, get it in writing from the seller that the item being sold as a prototype is indeed a prototype. What documentation is available to help authenticate the sellers claim. A certificate of authenticity would be good first step. In the case of the DeSalle Lowboy, the seller offered the following. Compare the style of the numbers in the date on the prototype to the style of the numbers on just about any DeSalle collectible. Did the hand that stroked the date on the prototype also apply the date on production trucks? In this example, the seller improved the chances of selling the lowboy as it was described in the auction listing. See the listing below.

"1995 ORIGINAL PROTOTYPE # 1 - THIS TRUCK WAS PURCHASED DURING THE LIQUIDATION OF THE DESALLE TOY COMPANY & HAS BEEN IN MY COLLECTION MANY YEARS. IT HAS SOME PAINT CHIPS & SCRATCHES, JUST THE WAY I RECEIVED IT. COMPARE THE PRINTING STYLE OF THE DATES, IT IS THE SAME AS THE SIGNED TRUCKS. INCLUDES TRUCK & TRAILER ONLY, NO BOX"

Bottom line...Do your homework before you pay a premium for a claimed prototype Tonka, Structo, Buddy L or anything else.


DeSalle Tonka State Hi-Way Low Boy

300 DeSalle Tonka Low Boys were manufactured in 1995. The Low Boy above is #002.


1956 Grille Detail

1956 grille detail
DeSalle Name Cut into Trailer Frame.<br>There is NO serial number assigned to the trailer

Note "DeSalle" cut into the rear trailer frame.
There is no serial number on the trailer

DeSalle Signature. Barely Visible is the Serial Number.

DeSalle signature. Barely visible is the serial
number punched into a frame cross member
Lowboy Packaging

Well packaged for shipment

Value: A mint lowboy, #211 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $600 USD in late December 2007.

Value: A mint lowboy, serial number unknown, with its shipping carton but no certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $531 USD in late February 2008.

Value: A mint lowboy, #291 of 300, with its shipping carton but no certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $550 USD in early January 2009.

Value: A mint lowboy, #299 of 300, with its shipping carton but no certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $512 USD in late February 2009.

Value: A mint lowboy, #122 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $671 USD in early March 2009.

Value: The new owner of #122 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, resold it on eBay for $762 USD in mid April 2009.

Value: A mint lowboy, #039 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, on eBay for $616 USD in late August 2010.

Value: A mint lowboy, #035 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, on eBay for $636 USD in early July 2011.

Value: A mint lowboy, #035 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, resold on eBay for $710 USD in late July 2011.

Value: A mint lowboy, #029 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $696 USD in late December 2011.

Value: A mint lowboy, #270 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on Girard Auctions for $375 USD plus 10% buyer's premium in mid April 2012.

Value: A mint lowboy, #190 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $700 USD in mid September 2012.

Value: A mint lowboy, #276 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $760 USD in late September 2012.

Value: A mint lowboy, #050 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $795 USD in early February 2013.

Value: A mint lowboy, #002 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $1107 USD in late April 2013.

Value: A mint lowboy, #087 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $875 USD in mid May 2013.

Value: A near mint lowboy, #006 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, changed hands during a private sale for $875 USD in late July 2013.

Value: A mint lowboy, #212 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold through a private sale for $600 USD in late July 2013.

Value: A mint lowboy, #212 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $1175 USD in mid December 2013. NOTE: Yep...it's the same one that sold in July 2013.

Value: A near mint lowboy, #190 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $1153 USD in early February 2014.

Value: A mint lowboy, #223 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $693 USD in late May 2014.

Value: A mint lowboy, #108 of 300, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $711 USD in mid September 2014.

Value: A near mint lowboy, #180 of 300, very small paint chip on 5th wheel, with its shipping carton and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $1050 USD in late September 2014.

Value: A mint lowboy, #226 of 300, with its shipping carton, foam inserts and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $760 USD in mid October 2014.

Value: A mint lowboy, #163 of 300, with its shipping carton, foam inserts and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $780 USD in mid November 2014.

Value: A mint lowboy, #031 of 300, with its shipping carton, foam inserts and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $890 USD in mid December 2014.

Value: A mint lowboy, #029 of 300, with its shipping carton, foam inserts and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $762 USD in early March 2015.

Value: A mint lowboy, #011 of 300, with its shipping carton, foam inserts and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $801 USD in mid March 2015.

Value: A near mint lowboy, #014 of 300, couple of small scuffs on the back of the trailer, NO shipping carton, NO foam inserts and NO certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $896 USD in mid April 2015.

Value: A near mint lowboy, #085 of 300, with its shipping carton, foam inserts and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $721 USD in late January 2016.

Value: A near mint lowboy, #122 of 300, with its shipping carton, foam inserts and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $859 USD in late January 2016.

Value: A mint lowboy, #009 of 300, with its shipping carton, foam inserts and certificate of authenticity, sold on eBay for $926 USD in early July 2016.



Back to the DeSalle Collection