1963 Tonka Private Label Kroehler Furniture Semi

1963 Tonka Private Label Kroehler Furniture Semi

1963 Kroehler semi as scanned from "Price Guide to Tonka Trucks 1947 - 1963"


The Kroehler semi was one of the last to be recognized and added to this website as a private label truck. And we should probably thank eBay and the internet in general for providing a forum that allowed the semi to be elevated from possible custom or possible private label to private label. Example #1 just above got the ball rolling in 1994 when Don and Barb DeSalle published "Price Guide to Tonka Trucks 1947-1963". Page 72 lists the Kroehler semi as a private label along with other known private label trucks. Page 85 features a Kroehler semi with a blue cab and white trailer. The Tonka world as we knew it in 1994, was off and running and looking for 1963 private label Kroehler semis with blue cabs and white trailers. THIS NOTE ADDED MARCH 2016: There have been no sightings of a blue cab pulling a white trailer since the picture was published in 1994.


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1963 Tonka Private Label Kroehler Semi

Example #2 Original 1963 Kroehler semi. Image courtesy Louis Bernstein


1963 Grille
Example #2 Grille
Kroehler Trailer Roof Label
Example #2 Trailer Roof Label

In December 2010, the Kroehler semi as seen in Example #2 was offered for sale on eBay, I contacted the seller, asking about it's history. Louis Bernstein, son of the original owner responded, "This truck was originally received by my father, Milton Bernstein, at his furniture store L. Bernstein Furniture Company, Inc in Cumberland, Maryland. It would have come from the factory sales representative for Kroehler Furniture Company. I do not have the original advertising literature that came inside the trailer. Tonka guidebooks show that the truck is from about 1963. The truck was on display at our Cumberland store until 1980. Then my father moved his collections to our new furniture store in LaVale, Maryland. It remained on display there until we sold the store in 1998. The truck was then stored in our basement until sold on eBay on December 1, 2010". It sold for $3400.


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1963 Tonka Private Label Kroehler Semi

Example #3 Original 1963 Kroehler semi. Image courtesy William Porter

In February 2016, I was contacted by enthusiast Billy Porter, looking for information on a Kroehler semi. Bottom line. Billy purchased the Kroehler semi featured as Example #3. The semi was purchased from the second owner who had purchased it from the original owner identified on the shipping label as E. A. Dagenais who was Kroehler's Executive Vice President of Manufacturing upon his retirement in 1978. The box the semi was shipped in has the part number for an Allied Moving Van semi. Using available packaging was common practice. NOTE: The trailer does not have the label affixed to the roof. The label was affixed when the semi was displayed at trade shows. NOTE: The metered postage was 63 cents.


Example #3 Box Was For Allied Model 739
Example #3 used an Allied box
Example #3 Address Label and Postage Placement
Example #3 address label and postage placement
Example #3 Address Label
Example #3 address label

Value: Example #3 sold on eBay for $3750 USD in late May 2016. The buyer wishes to remain anonymous.


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