Towing museum promises to hook visitors

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Tow trucks are pretty fascinating machines. But, who thinks of them as museum artifacts?

Luckily, a group of history-conscientious folks in Chattanooga did.

As the legend goes, Ernest Holmes Sr. was working at a garage in Chattanooga in 1916. One day, after he and a handful of other men toiled for hours pulling a car from a creek, Holmes knew there was a better way.

So, he set out to build a new machine. He produced the first tow truck at the Ernest Holmes Co., located just a few miles away from the museum today sits.

Since 1995, the International Towing and Recovery Hall Of Fame and Museum has honored Holmes, the many tow trucks that followed his invention and the luminaries of the industry.

The museum’s collection includes restored antique wreckers and equipment from the tow truck industry. Among the historic tow trucks is a wrecker that set a speed record of 109.330 mph on Aug. 1, 1979, at Alabama International Motor Speedway (today named Talladega Superspeedway) in Talladega, Ala.

The museum also displays related toys, tools, equipment, and pictorial histories.

The pictures in this gallery were taken on Jan. 29, 2012.

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About Todd DeFeo 1651 Articles
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is the owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and