1973 Tonka Gas Turbine Trucks
1973 Tonka Gas Turbine models were the #2465 Dump, #2585 Hydraulic Dump, #2620 Cement Mixer, the new for '73 #2831 Lowboy & Dozer, #2850 Car Carrier, #2950 Snorkel Pumper, #2960 Aerial Ladder and the #3109 Construction Set. Tonka deleted model #2690 Sanitary Service.
OBSERVATION The change is subtle but it will help differentiate all previous models from the 1973. The clear headlights used since 1965 were replaced with white in 1973.
OBSERVATION: At some point in time during the 1973 production run of the model #2960 Aerial Ladder. the white extension ladder changed to red. It appears that the color change was not permanent as the 1974 Tonka dealer catalog features an Aerial Ladder with a white extension. In the real world, 1973 and 1974 Aerial Ladder trucks have been observed with either the white or red extension. The collector may want to consider owning a 1973 model #2960 Aerial Ladder with both the red and white extension ladder and also adding one each of the 1974 Aerial Ladder with the red and white extension.
OBSERVATION: Model #2960 Aerial Ladder also went through a major engineering change in 1973. The ladder lift crank was initially designed with a plated die cast crank wheel and handle. In 1973, those parts changed to black plastic.
OBSERVATION: Model #2620 Mixer saw the elimination of the "Tonka" decals from the mixer drum.
OBSERVATION: The load on the #2850 Car Carrier changed from one red Mustang and one aqua Ranchero to one red Mustang and one blue Ranchero for 1973.