On The Lighter Side: Tonka Truck Collection Displayed At Aussie Museum
Written by: Steven Symes, Motorious
Published May 03, 2023
These are enjoyed by more than just kids…
Like a lot of people, you likely have fond memories of playing in the backyard with your Tonka trucks as a kid. Maybe you still do with your children or grandchildren, demonstrating the unifying nature of the iconic toys. Now they’re getting a proper tribute at the Woods' Farming and Heritage Museum.
Located in Rupanyup in western Victoria, Australia, the museum recently put on display 850 Tonka trucks for patrons to enjoy. Some likely are from the 50s and 60s, while others are from the modern era. However, all the toys bring out the kid in even the oldest visitors.
The collection was amassed by one man, Noel Funcke, a retired farmer who decided to start restoring Tonka trucks as a hobby and for some side cash. Some of the refurbished toys he would sell at swap meets, however he held on to enough over the space of a quarter century to fill up his garage.
Looking for a better storage solution, Funcke came to an agreement with the local agriculture museum to put them all on display for the public. However, the man passed away not too long after, although he was able to see the former storage area converted into a publicly-accessible room with all his beloved toys on shelves.
Funcke’s son Warren told Australia Broadcasting Corporation that his father had done minor fixes on his farm equipment, so fixing old Tonka trucks “was just an extension of that to a degree.”
For many visiting the museum, the narrow room crammed full of Tonka trucks is a way to walk back in time to when things were simple and a backyard dirt pile was full of endless possibilities.
We thank Motorious for reprint permission