Tonka Toys Trucks Frequently Asked Questions FAQ 3
Question: How can I tell if my pickup is supposed to have a windshield?
Answer: 1955-1957 pickups had no windshield or side and back glass period. The 1958 through 1964 trucks had a windshield only. (The windshield was exactly the same for 7 years), and in 1965, the cab was fully enclosed with a clear plastic bubble. In other words, windows all around.
Question: I purchased an accessory trailer at a flea market, but the hole in the tongue is to small to fit on my pickup's hitch. What gives?
Answer:There was a design change in the tailgate area of the pickup in 1960. Prior to 1960, the tongue of the trailer would be inserted into a pocket on the underside of the floor of the bed and held in place with a small pin inserted from the top of the pickup bed. In 1960, the pocket transitioned into a hitch formed at the rear on the chassis. The hitch required a much larger hole in the tongue of accessory trailers. So it sounds to me that you have a trailer manufactured prior to 1960 and a pickup truck manufactured in 1960 or later.
Question: I've got that hitch thing down pat now. Is there something else I need to know about the 1960 to 1967 stepside pick up?
Answer: As a matter of fact there is. Take a look at how the tailgate is hinged to the chassis. On 1955 through 1959 step side models, the bottom of the tailgate was hinged over a wire form. Beginning in 1960, the tailgate was hinged to the truck's chassis which also necessitated larger holes, 9/64", at the bottom of the tailgate to accommodate the revised size and hinging location. The tailgates are not interchangeable. If you need a tailgate for your 1955-1959 pickup, it is available in the reproduction market. If you need a tailgate for your 1960-1967 pickup, you are also in luck. When this question was initially answered, reproduction tailgates were not available. In 2008, that all changed. The reproduction market has you covered from 1955 to 1967. All of this highly useful tailgate information only applies to the Step Side series of Tonka pickups. (I think I just let the cat out of the bag on a question a little further down this page.)
Question: Got a question regarding pickups and I guess really any Tonka model made in the late 60's, early 70's to present. Hope you don't mind. I've noticed a series of numbers stamped into the chassis and other metal parts of Tonka trucks. What do those numbers mean? Are they model numbers or something?
Answer: You're close. It's the part number for the pressed steel part. In the early years, when there were just a couple of hands full of different metal parts, I guess the production folks knew which part went with which model. As the model line grew, so did the number of parts in the stockroom. Tonka assigned a five digit number that represented a given metal part. It was used for inventory tracking purposes. The number was actually formed into the die that pressed the metal part out of the steel roll. Let's change gears and use as an example, one of the most popular model lines, the Mighty series. If you look on the underside of the steel chassis on any Mighty manufactured between 1983 to the mid 1990's, you will find the number 054782. The number represents the part number for the stamped steel chassis only. Co-incidentally, 054782 also represented the id number assigned to the stamping die.
Question: In reviewing your restoration tips, I noticed that you referenced restoring what I think are referred to as Step Side or Flare Side pickups. Didn't Tonka manufacture another style?
Answer: You are very observant and correct. In 1960, Tonka began production on the Style Side or Fleetside model as a running buddy to the Step Side. It can easily be distinguished from the Step Side models in that the rear wheel wells were inside the pickup's bed. One of the first, if not the first, models to be produced was the Fisherman Model #110, truck and topper only, and the Deluxe Fisherman #130, also with a topper and pulling a trailer with boat. In 1961, the Boat Service Model #117, was added to the Fleetside line-up. By the way, the Boat Service model was only produced in 1961. Finding the complete set; pickup, trailer and three boats, will be a real challenge.