Jump to content

Looking for my grandfather's tow truck


Recommended Posts

I recently got  my grandfather picture restored of his garage (Cloudland Garage) and his wrecker taken on  June 15 1933 in Roan Mountain, Tennessee right to left Earnest Boone, Mr. Brown, Verl Boone. I'm trying too track the wrecker down and see if it survived all these years love too see more pictures of it!



  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Steamer, what is the last date you know of its

being around?  If it survived, for example, in good

condition into the 1970's, it may be preserved today

in someone's collection.  If the last you know is from

the 1930's, it, like most vehicles, was probably scrapped.


If you live in a small enough town, old timers in auto-

related businesses may recall your family and your

grandfather's vehicles.  Maybe someone there, even

a flea market or antique shop, has some memorabilia--

a calendar, some stationery, etc.--from the business. 

You could check around.


All the best to you in your search.


Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steamer.... I cheer your efforts to find your grandfather's tow truck. Very cool idea. 


In my life I have often tried to find many formerly-owned cars, for myself and other people. I even wrote magazine articles about searches like this. 


My experience taught me several things. One thing is to consider the TYPE of usage a vehicle had. A tow truck in a small shop would be worked hard...very hard, for as long as it held up. Rarely do vehicles like that survive a long time. Moreover, if they DID survive, the likelihood is strong that they would have been upgraded and improved, as parts wore out. For example, old manual towing booms were often replaced by newer units, engines wore out and were replaced, etc. 


With the above thoughts in mind, I would suggest that you may consider having a "Plan A," and a "Plan B." So, go ahead and try everything you can to find your grandfather's truck. But keep in my that realistically you probably won't find it...at least not intact. So your B plan could be to find a very similar unit such as the one Pkhammer suggested above, and then paint it and make other changes as necessary, to recreate the truck in your photo. You would likely be many thousands of dollars and several years ahead with that strategy...in my opinion. 


Either way, best of luck to you. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like a standard "factory built" tow truck assembly, here is the same one.



Find a driver 1929 Chevrolet truck and build your own, have it lettered and you have a great recreation, good luck


Here is a nice one for sale in Indiana $12K





I did find my Grandfather's car, he sold it in 1952, it took 10 years of searching.






  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 years ago I was able to track down my grandfathers 1948 Lincoln Continental. He bought it in 1974 and sold it in 1991. 
Back then dmv had a request form for a record that a copy would be sent to the owner. I requested the cars records. The paper was sent to the owner, I wrote my number on it. 

luckily it was still in California about 3 hours from me. It was not in the condition from 16 years before (brakes went out when I was test driving it!)  and after some negotiation over a month I brought it home! 

it is possible but I had a few things working for me:

1. When it was sold it was already a classic car

2. it was still in the same state

3. I had the current vin/data plate. Remember it was common for cars of the 40s and before to have a new Id number assigned by the state. 
4. the plates on the Lincoln were still the same. It was also still registered. 
5. and it was only 16 years with this tow truck it’s been 90 years and with the wwii scrap drives many pre war cars but the dust

6. lots of those cars had wood in their construction and succumbed rather quickly. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
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

  • Create New...