1957 Tonka Eibert Coffee Private Label Metro Van
Tonka ran this private label metro van for Eibert Coffee in 1957. However, the metro van featured here is documented to be a prototype. In other words, it was a design and engineering sample for evaluation prior to going into actual production for the customer. The previous owner requested Lloyd Laumann authenticate this van. Lloyd's response, in a letter dated May 28, 1998, is quoted below.
"The purpose of this letter is to authenticate the 1957 Eibert Coffee special metro-style Tonka van you have in your possession. Allegedly, this toy was part of the Tonka archive collection. Originally, when Eibert Coffee requested this toy, the intent was to have a one-piece decal with the words EIBERT COFFEE above the door frame of the rear doors. After reviewing the toy, the customer requested that the words EIBERT COFFEE be placed on the center of the left and right rear doors. If you look closely at the toy you have in your possession, you will observe the residue from the original decal placement above the door frame. The one-piece decal which was originally placed above the door frame, was cut in half, with the word EIBERT appearing on the left rear door and the word COFFEE on the right rear door. The same one-piece decal with the words EIBERT COFFEE, which was used at the rear of the toy, does appear above the front windshield of the toy. Unfortunately, this limited edition special is listed in some publications as a 1954 special, when in reality, it was a 1957 special. Sincerely, Lloyd Laumann."
It would appear, based on the info above, the van featured here is representative of the production Eibert Coffee metro van Tonka ended up manufacturing.
Thanks to current owner Skip Erb for these photos and the Lloyd Laumann documentation
Remnants of the decal over the door, as described in the letter, can barely be made out
Value: A complete Eibert metro in good minus well worn condition, extremely tired and dull paint, good decals, no carton, sold on eBay for $400 USD in early May 2008.
Value: An Eibert metro in good minus well worn condition, extremely tired and dull paint, missing door handles and one headlight, deformed front and rear bumpers, good decals, no carton, sold on eBay for $515 USD in mid July 2008.
Value: An Eibert metro in complete, good minus well worn condition, extremely tired and dull paint, good decals, no carton, sold on eBay for $300 USD in mid February 2010.
Value: An Eibert metro in complete, good condition, very tired, dull and flaking paint especially on the roof, both rear doors and handles replaced, good decals, no carton, sold on eBay for $341 USD in mid November 2012.