Sign in to follow this  
Rick0matic

What is it? Converted tow truck

Recommended Posts

Here is a tow truck that was converted years ago. It belonged to Doc Smith's Garage in Kingston NY and was auctioned off with all the other assets after owner Clayton S Elmendorf died and the business was closed back in the 1970's. If anyone has any detail on Doc Smith's I would appreciate it. One of the other cars auctioned was a big Minerva sedan but I have no other detail on it. Would love to know more about it. Meantime, please help me ID this car/truck for some fellow Kingstonians. Thanx.

post-59713-14314189319_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some higher end makes with large cars made tow trucks. I don't think it's been converted. If the photo was a little better we might be able to identify it better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a 24 Lincoln wrecker that does resemble yours. The windshields were boxed out on these sedans including yours. The drum headlights were up to 26 followed byconical but your fenders have more rake or less bend behind the wheel.

th?id=H.4558919839581740&pid=1.7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't those drum headlights? That would peg it to be not later than ca. 1927. Am I imagining that I see a vertical line to the right of the word "night"? If that is what it is, it could be the outline of what once was a rear door, and a clue that this wrecker was nicely converted from a passenger car. That was most often the case. The front bumper doesn't seem to look right for a Lincoln, but could have been changed. These vehicles were commonly seen with a hefty plank up front in place of the original bumper, a modification for push-starting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you read my last post you will see that was my point about the drum headlights, The conical or acorn type came out in 27 and was the model for the Model A in 28.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Ca." means approximately, and my comment was a generality and not pointed toward a specific make. While Lincoln changed from drum headlights in '27, it hasn't been established that the subject tow truck was in fact a Lincoln.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somebody here simply replaced the back seat of an old touring car with a boom. Anybody recognize the car? By Raceron1120 on HAMB.

1919HudsonWrecker.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure it was a conversion from a 4-door sedan. There appears to be the back end of a rear door showing as a vertical line. Also, the molded line along the roof top ends abruptly at the rear and probably would not look like that if it was originally designed as a truck cab. I remember this truck in service when I was a kid back the 1960's. I believe it was painted green. Can anyone determine from the details just what it might be and a year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found a larger version of the photo on ebay.

post-77797-143141896685_thumb.jpg

click on it.

Edited by Bleach (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Somebody here simply replaced the back seat of an old touring car with a boom. Anybody recognize the car? By Raceron1120 on HAMB.

1919HudsonWrecker.jpg

Im thinking this is a 1921 hudson 4 passenger speedster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty sure it is Lincoln as defined in the previous posts. Appears to have biflex bumpers, and the little eighther (well, they use the term quarter windows) windows angling

from the windshield are quite definitive. I am still not 100% certain about it, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The truck is a 1927 Cadillac .It was converted to a tow truck at doc smiths on Clinton Ave. in Kingston N Y before ww2.It had two transmissions that allowed it to crawl up any hill and winch anything from anywhere. sadly after the truck was Bought by Michael leopold owner of Michael Chevrolet in Kingston ,It was being transported south and the transporter flipped and the truck was destroyed (as I was told by a long time doc smith& michaels employee Ken Blankshan who has since passed). I will post clipping about the Minerva that mentions auction and tow truck at a later date

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shawnk - how do you know so much about Doc Smith's? And please send me any info you can on Clayton Elmendorf's Minerva. I have been looking for details and a pic of this car for over 30 years. I was at the auction when it sold back in 1974 or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started in the autobody business in Kingston when I was 14. I knew and worked with all the old timers that had worked at Doc Smiths ,in the mid 70s.The auction was 11/4/72.The newspaper clipping was given to me by one of the guys I worked with before he died.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's one unaltered. This was my first car... purchased in 1970 for $1500.

1926CADILLACINTEDSYARD.jpg

It was registered as a '26 and I only learned it was officially a '27 years later.

Aside from a paint job done in the early 60s, it was completely original and often disparaged by the local old car "experts" because I declined to restore it.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Shawnk. I used to deliver parts for Schaller's and later for H.F. King. I will bet our paths have crossed somewhere. I remember a rather short guy who was the painter at Doc Smith's, I think his name was Tuttle or something like that. Please feel free to message me if you have any more info on Doc Smith's and the Minerva.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Peerless had the "eighthers" in the 20s, too, on the 1924 and 1925 6-70 closed models like 5-Pass. Sedan and 7-Pass. Limousine.

Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that you mention it, so did Marmon. Perhaps those little windows were the usual, rather than the exception, for the higher end cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this