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Chicago – The aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 pickups on display at the Chicago Auto Show may be the most significant trucks at the event, but there’s another one on the Ford stand that’s a lot more fun.
The Tonka F-150 is an officially-licensed collaboration between Ford and Elkhart, Indiana-based custom truck shop Tuscany Motor Co. that brings the iconic toy truck to life in a big way.
Tuscany offered a small run of the conversions through Ford dealers last year, and the couple of hundred it sold earned it a reboot for 2014. The donor trucks are supplied by Ford, but the design and build are handled in house at Tuscany.
Based on an F-150 Lariat powered by a 5.0-liter V8, it gets mechanical upgrades that include a six-inch Pro-Comp lift kit, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a Quiet Tone exhaust system. That’s all well and good, but this truck is all about the style, and it has plenty of that.
It features chunky new bumpers, side cladding, step bars, and a redesigned tailgate all embossed with the Tonka logo; stainless steel billet steel inserts on the grille openings; fender vents; and to top it all off a bulging ram-air hood that’s just short of being cartoony. More Tonka logos are applied to the interior, and the bed is finished with a hard tonneau cover and heavy-duty carpeting.
The Tonka F-150 is available in any color as long as it’s yellow, because anything else would just be wrong. Prices vary by participating dealer, but the conversion listed on the show truck is $22,282 on top of the $50,078 truck it’s built on for a grand total of $72,360.
Cheap? No, but as far as living out childhood dreams are concerned, this one might be a bargain, and with production capped at 500 units, it could turn out to be a collectors item on par with that little yellow dump truck you've had since you were a kid.