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Wisconsin man builds life-size working Tonka truck

By Mason White 4:32 PM July 21, 2013
Eva Fett  

By: Brad Doane shows off his Tonka truck
(Scroll down for video) A man built an impressive life-size version of his favorite childhood Tonka truck.

As a young child, Brad Doane, like many other children, collected many Tonka trucks and cars, and he wanted to replicate one of the trucks into a real working vehicle.

Doane, 40, is finally living his childhood dream of driving a Tonka truck. Doane is a tow truck driver, who works for his family business called Irvington Garage Towing in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
Doane has spent a year converting a pickup truck into an exact replica of the 1969 Mighty Tonka Tow Truck.

Having grown up in the garage of his family’s towing business, Brad knew a thing or two about building cars. He was inspired by the Tonka tow truck and decided to put his plan into action.

He took an old Chevy pickup, which he bought for $700, and spent an entire year cutting, bending and welding the steel, in order to make it into a Mighty Tonka Wrecker. The truck is 12 times its original size.

The white body of the vehicle is identical to the classic toy, from the cabin to the hand-crank-operated towing arms.
He registered the vehicle and he can now legally drive it. Doane said that the fully functional Tonka truck turns heads wherever he goes.

Doane plans to show off his 16-foot long, 10-foot high Tonka truck at the Spirit of the Lakes parade in Mound, Minnesota, the place where the legendary Tonka toy company was founded.

Since the 1980s, the metal Tonka trucks are sold worldwide and they earned the reputation of being strong and everlasting. The metal toys were gradually replaced with plastic.