In response to my first Tonka Toys article, George from over at www.NeatOldToys.com was kind enough to answer some of my questions via email. I am posting his response here for those who are interested.
2940 Mighty Mobile Crane... I contacted a fellow Tonka enthusiast who is way into Mighty Tonka, having well of 300 examples, many models in triplicate and more. Bill told me he has examples of the 2940 with the rubber tires (with obligatory holes).
510 Grader... The #512 changed to #510 in 1965 as you noted. This model number change took place because of the major design change done to the motor housing. As you noted, the #512 had a solid motor cover, #510 had openings to see the motor on either side and a plastic grille added to the rear of the motor housing.
I pulled out a 1965 and 1966 Tonka dealer catalog. It features the same pictures as seen in the Look Books only much larger and therefore more detailed. The "yellow patch" you observed is the raised Tonka logo hot stamped yellow. Did the hot stamped logo make it into production on any #510 graders? Don't know. I have not seen one yet but they could be out there. The photo in the dealer catalog and Look Book may have been of a pre-production, engineering sample. Taking the time to hot stamp the logo would have added cost, both in materials, equipment and time so maybe Tonka decided against the hot stamping by the time the #510 rolled down the assembly line.
#512 and #510 were assigned to Tonka's REGULAR series and of course the #2940 was assigned to the MIGHTY series.
The red plastic reflector is available in the reproduction market but it is a slightly different yet noticeable design.
The logo label is available in reproduction as a waterslide decal. Your grader may use adhesive backed labels. Tonka began to change from waterslide to adhesive backed sometime in the mid 60's. I don't have documentation that nails down the year.
Looking forward to your part 2
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