When you were a kid, did you play with toy cars? Did you ever watch a diecast car go flying through the air, race a remote-controlled car through the yard, or tote buckets of sand into the house in your iconic yellow dump truck? If you said yes to any of those, then you are sure to become nostalgic when you see the Ford F-150 Tonka Edition. Out of all the used Ford F-150s for sale, this might just be the coolest model ever.
As kids, we got to enjoy the simpler things, like toy Tonka Trucks (full disclosure, I still do). As adults, however, we are pressured to let our child-like qualities go. Thankfully, there are plenty of people out there who disagree with that. I am a firm believer in indulging your inner child, and to my delight, it seems like Ford and Tuscany Motors are as well. After all, why else create a life-size Tonka Truck?
The Ford F-150 Tonka Edition
Our childhood dream came true in 2014 when Ford, Tuscany Motors, Shelby America, and Hasbro entered one of the best collaborations ever. The production of a Ford F-150 Tonka Style meant the rare opportunity to relive your childhood. The Tonka Edition is based on the Ford F-150 Lariat platform, meaning that many of the base features follow the lines of that trim. There have been special editions before, like Chevy’s Bumblebee Transformer Edition Camaro or the Ford Mustang Steve McQueen Bullitt Edition, none of which inspire youthful recollections quite like the Tonka Ford.
The Tonka Edition catches your eye with head-to-toe color in Tonka’s iconic yellow. Ribbed, body-colored door rockers, oversized fender flares, and the front lower fascia are bumped out. In bold stamping across the lower front fascia is the word “TONKA.” In a true statement of cooperation, the body-colored grille bars feature the blue oval. Dual hood scoops fit the Tonka truck theme and allow for increased airflow for the mammoth motor inside. The dramatized deep tint of the windows is a nod to our childhood attempts at walking the line.
If you can find a Ford F-150 Tonka Edition, you’ll find it covered in Tonka insignias and contrasting trim. The door handles, side steps, rocker trim, headlamp molding, and wheels are emboldened with either chrome or flat black. You may even find one with an LED bull bar with similar color options. A hard tonneau cover in Tonka yellow contributes to the dramatic impression of the truck. The cover locks as well, making sure it also adds functionality.
You can get an optional carpeted insert for the truck bed, but keep in mind this is still a Ford F-150. That means it has plenty of towing and hauling capabilities to get down and dirty. A tow hitch and trailering tech, like Trailer Sway Control, make it easy to load up and move out.
No Toying Around With Performance
The Tonka truck is ready to play with chunky all-terrain tires and a lift of 6 inches, helping it clear whatever obstacles are hurdled its way. While this truck may look like a toy, it certainly doesn’t act like one. This 4×4 truck rocks a fully boxed frame for a strong and sturdy foundation. Fitted with an electronic locking rear differential, the Tonka has improved grip, control, and stability, so you can keep the fun going.
The bones of the Tonka is the Ford F-150 Lariat Crew Cab 4×4. As a base, the truck comes with a 5.0-liter V8 that pumps out 360 horsepower. But did I mention there is a super cool engine upgrade? No? Well, I’ll give you a hint…Shelby.
That’s right; this Ford F-150 can have a Shelby engine purring beneath its custom hood. This bad boy is brought to life with a 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 Coyote Shelby supercharger engine. This behemoth of an engine cranks out 700 horsepower, which is good because, with so many extra body parts, it needed an engine that could stand its ground. Pop the hood to get a glimpse of this Shelby masterpiece, complete with some pops of Tonka’s signature yellow to really drive it home.
Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, there is no hunting for gears. The ride is made even smoother with unique Tuscany-tuned shocks with heavy-duty strength. Additionally, the Tonka has a performance-level exhaust by Borla.
Tonka Through and Through
Take a step into the wonders of childhood when you climb inside the cab of the Tonka Edition Ford F-150. Inside the full-size, four-door cabin are leather-wrapped seats accessorized with brilliant yellow Tonka branding. The door paneling, dash, shifter, and even the instrument cluster all sport the stop-you-in-your-tracks yellow. Custom Tonka floor mats match the headrests, and a Tonka embellishment adorns the center console.
Rest assured that the price of this treasured memory doesn’t just pay for the paint job. Ford made sure to equip this truck with all the luxuries expected from a high-end vehicle before it even made it to the people at Tuscany Motors. The front leather bucket seats are heated, with memory features. The steering wheel is wrapped in matching black leather and is also heated and adjustable.
A premium sound system lets you blast your favorite tunes. A touchscreen infotainment screen works with Ford SYNC voice commands, and available Bluetooth allows you to connect to your devices. Available built-in navigation, a rear-view camera, and a panoramic sunroof are all features of the F-150 that are carried over. The dual-zone climate system, automatic headlamps, and keyless entry are a few more luxuries you can expect. Of course, it also has a suite of safety features and available towing tech.
The Ford F-150 Tonka Special Edition truck was in production from 2014 to 2016. During that time, less than 500 of them were made. In the last year of its production, the company only produced about half of what it intended for 2016. Each Ford F-150 Tonka Edition is numbered, sealing its fate as a unicorn in the automotive world. Disappointing, to say the least, because this has made the Tonka Edition Ford somewhat difficult to find, and if you do find one, be prepared to spend a pretty penny.
Looking around, you can find a few scattered about the country. They range from $50,000 to $100,000, which makes sense for such a distinct styling and limited run. The trucks being offered seem to have been well-maintained and have reasonable mileage, making it an even more tempting deal. Considering that this is like driving a piece of childhood, it definitely may be worth it to some people. Originally, these special editions went for upwards of $100,000, so finding one for half that is insane.
Many of us are on a constant quest to relive our childhoods. It’s not hard to see why; after all, childhood is typically a much simpler time where we are free to explore our imaginations and push boundaries. That is exactly what Ford, Tuscany Motors, Shelby America, and Hasbro joined together to do with the Ford F-150 Tonka Edition. They created an imaginative piece of history that invokes those fond childhood memories we all long to regain. The question is, will they ever bring this truck back for another model year? We certainly hope so.