The International Towing and Recovery Museum in downtown Chattanooga,
Tennessee, graphically portrays the history of tow trucks. From the
earliest days of the automotive industry, motorists have had need of
vehicles that can save them from spending a cold night broken down on a
lonesome highway out in the middle of nowhere.
One of the largest tow trucks in the collection is a Diamond-T with a
W-45 Holmes wrecker. It returned to the museum after 54 years abroad.
After being built in Chattanooga, it was shipped overseas to help the
Allied World War II effort. It served with General George Patton’s famed
Red Ball Express, clearing away broken troop carriers and supply
vehicles in Europe. Shipped back home and fully restored, the massive
wrecker looks like it could hook onto any Class A motorhome. The
smallest vehicle on display is a green-and-yellow Japanese Cony. It’s
almost tiny enough to be part of the museum’s collection of toy tow
The International Towing and Recovery Museum is located at 401
Broad Street; it’s open daily. Admission is $4 for adults; $3 for
seniors. Call (423) 267-3132 for hours.