One-of-a-Kind Replica U-Haul Truck


Tonka U-Haul Truck in BoxWhen Rick Ruiz shows people his model truck collection, he can honestly say he has something that no one else has. But he’s not a multi-millionaire who buys rare collectibles at auctions.

At first glance, even the most casual toy collector would look at his truck and think, “I’ve NEVER seen a Tonka replica U-Haul truck like this. It must be extremely rare!” And they’d be right. In fact, Ruiz’s truck is one of a kind. Ruiz, an area field manager for U-Haul Company of Eastern Florida, created it himself.

“I have always liked the vintage toy U-Haul trucks from the past,” Ruiz explained. “I have two U-Haul pickups made by Nylint, but I have never seen a U-Haul Tonka toy pickup, so I made one.”

Tonka Rear-View CUTOUT
Ruiz disassembled the original truck, sandblasted it, powder-coated it, reassembled it and applied some U-Haul decals.

Ruiz bought a 1956 Tonka reproduction pickup—originally made in 1997—on eBay. It was blue and came with the original box, so Ruiz got to work creating his own U-Haul Tonka truck.

“I found a picture of a 1950s U-Haul pickup and used that for guidance,” he noted. “I disassembled it, sandblasted it, powder-coated it, reassembled it and applied some decals. When it was done, I placed it back into the original box to make it look like it had come this way originally.”

So there you have it: A U-Haul toy that even the most ardent collectors can’t claim to have in their collections!


What’s the most unusual model car or truck you’ve ever seen or made yourself? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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