Tonka Truck: 1959 Ford F100 Shortbed

When I came across this truck listed here on craigslist, it reminded of the Tonka truck my wife has saved from her childhood home. The red paint is worn and the sides are dented much like this truck. Perhaps you too remember a red Tonka truck with a white grill from your youth? This full sized truck is in Colorado Springs, Colorado and can be yours for $5,250 or less. It’s a mostly original truck that runs and drives and is said to even have original paint.

It looks very original inside except for the the seat covers. There’s no apparent daylight showing through the floors.

The bed has been well used but doesn’t show serious damage either. The tailgate has been repaired but still looks straight.

The owner describes this engine as a 312 V8 and that looks like that could be a four-barrel carb on top, so perhaps the original 272 engine was upgraded to a 312? The cheerful red and blue paint makes it almost look like a toy under the hood too. The carburetor has had some attention. It shouldn’t take too much work to clean this up.

Hopefully there’s not much rust besides what you can see on the front fenders. A look at the dirt side would be very helpful in determining how much rust there might be underneath. There’s a lot of potential here. Someone might want to build a custom truck or a resto-mod? If there’s no serious rust I’d drive it just as it is and not worry about an occasional ding or getting the bed dirty. It would certainly discourage your friends from borrowing it…

Fast Finds


  1. Scot Douglas

    That a good deal on that truck.

  2. Don

    Has a lot of dings and dents.

    • Scot Douglas

      I’m ten years younger and bet I have more. :)

      • Don

        Haha I got a few dings and dents to.

  3. Drew V

    Be something nice to play with,but those front fenders are rotted pretty bad, either need to replace or add some metal in there… Bet trying to match the paint would be a bitch

  4. Kevin Wernick

    The truck is worth it. The original engine would have been a 292, and that’s a 2100 2-barrel, so not very likely a 312 under the hood. Wouldn’t make much sense to put a 2-barrel on a 312

    • Wade

      I have a ’58 that has a Merc 312 swapped in, it has the original 2bbl on it, so just judging by the carb may not be the best way to go. I’m still close friends with the original owner and know my trucks history from new. Not saying you aren’t correct Kevin, just saying that isn’t a surefire bet. You’d have to look at the numbers to be sure though.

      • Kevin Wernick

        That’s true, Mercury still offered the 312 in 1960, a detuned 2-barrel marking the end of the 312. But all Ford 312s were 4-barrels, with 57 being the last year.

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Wade, It’s no surprise that your Merc 312 has the Motorcraft 2100. I also agree that carburetion type is no way to identify a mill.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    I sure wouldn’t turn it down if it showed up at my place. The 312 is a bit of overkill for the likes of me but it will do just fine. That old 4-spd. manual makes it a real truck that you can put to work yet enjoy creeping around the yard and backwoods without riding hell out of the clutch….

  6. JW

    I just love old trucks, cool find and I think it might be a decent deal.

  7. Mike Williams

    Called the “Fridge” for short.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Yep :)

  8. Ed P

    Nice truck. It looks like it is ready for somebodies next trip to Home Depot. Even the color is correct, “pickup truck red”.

  9. G

    On the farm we had a ’59 F-600, it had a Holley 2bbl on a 292ci

  10. Nick Delp

    So weird, I actually bought this truck. Was just surfing google images and stumbled upon this page. If anyone could help determine exactly what engine it is, I would be very grateful!

    • Kevin Wernick

      There’s really no way to identify externally. You’d have to pull the oil pan, if there’s an “ECZ” casting on the main bearing caps, it’s a 312. For more information, check out

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.