Don & Barb DeSalle's Tonka Collectibles
There aren't very many trucks missing from this collection of DeSalle trucks. Courtesy Gary Aldridge
In the mid 1990's, Don and Barbara DeSalle manufactured a series of Tonka trucks for the very serious pressed steel collector. These trucks were not meant to be played with in the sandbox or crashed and smashed in typical child's play fashion, but were to be trailer queens, occupying space on a shelf, being admired by anyone showing an interest.
These collectible trucks were based on the round fender 1956 and square fender 1958 Tonka trucks of the era. Steel stamping dies were created to replicate the various steel components for the trucks. A high quality powder paint finish was applied, something you did not find on mass produced Tonka trucks of the 1950's. In fact, Tonka began to change over to powder paint at about the same time Don was making his trucks. The trucks were packaged in unique shipping cartons. No expense was spared in an effort to offer a superior, high quality collectible Tonka to those enthusiasts with pockets deep enough to afford these offerings.
The DeSalle trucks were manufactured in limited quantities, from 100 to 1500 trucks in a given series. Don signed and dated his trucks for the buyer if the sale took place face to face (non confirmed info). Each truck in a given series had its own serial number stamped into the frame. That serial number matched the number on the Certificate of Authenticity that was shipped with most trucks. The COA was signed by many of the key players on Don's staff.
Clicking a link below will direct you to detailed images of known DeSalle collectibles.