So I managed to get hold of one of these Tonka Pickup trucks for about $5 so pretty happy with that, was mainly interested in having a look inside as this one has a front wheel drive flywheel. It was actually in pretty good nick and motor pretty clean, just needed a bit of lube then was all good.
The motor is a little different in configuration to other Clutch Poppers, it has the front axle out in front of the motor, therefore there must be one additional gear to reach it, though this may be a “neutral” gear. I didn’t take the motor out to look closely (as there was no reason to), but from what I can tell that is what looks like is going on. The “Turbo Sound” maker is also in a different configuration for this reason, it sits above the front axle and vibrates against the top of the dust cover.
I thought this model would look better without the hood sticker/decal (I think that’s true for a lot of them to be honest), and I’m no collector purest so I took it off:) Looks way better in my opinion.
So it turns out these do run pretty quick, probably not as fast as the other car type (rear wheel drive) models, but not too bad – probably due to that extra gear out in front. The front wheel drive also seems to help them from spinning out too much, but they will still drift to the left. This is the side of the spinning flywheel on these front wheel motors, it is essentially generating mass. I added extra weight, using fishing sinkers and blue-tack, to the right (to counter the flywheel), and now it goes reasonably straight at speed. Bit of a hack but works well! And if anyone wanted to get rid of them you can just pull them out.
The other cool thing with these ones for kids is that they can chuck stuff in the back tray, probably have to Plasticine them in to stop them flying out, but a bit of fun you can’t really do with the other clutch poppers. So all in all I’m pretty impressed with the Pickup, not as much as a looker as some of the other models, but still a pretty cool toy car to have lying around.
Here it is below with the hood sticker removed