It started out as a $700 Chevy Brad Doane bought off of the side of the road and now it's a life-size, two-ton Tonka Truck. He isn't just living his childhood dream, he's driving it.
Brad's family has been in the tow truck business for 66 years, KARE 11 News reports, but only now is Irvington Garage Towing in Menomonie, Wisconsin adding this giant toy to their fleet. 40-year-old Brad works at the family business and his mother wasn't surprised when he said he wanted to build a Tonka Mighty Wrecker in full size.
"He had every Tonka there ever was," Lonna Doane told KARE 11 News. Only recently did she bring home a Mighty Wrecker from a charity auction. "He said, 'Mom, I want to build the Tonka."
It took Brad a year to turn a $700 1984 Chevy pickup he found on the side of the road into the finished creation he drives now. He's the one who cut and welded and lengthened and shaped the Chevy into the Tonka. It now stands 20 feet long and ten feet tall, weighing two tons.
Amazingly, Brad didn't go for a mechanical winch, keeping a hand crank instead. "I had to keep it true to the little guy you know," he told KARE 11.
The Tonka is therefore resigned to parade duty, but it still does work impressing everyone who sees it.
"When you're driving down the road and you meet people, it's not like they give a double take; it's like a triple take," Brad said to KARE.
This Sunday, Brad plans to drive the truck to the Spirit of the Lakes parade in Mound, where Tonka was founded.