The Original Tow Truck

If I asked you if you knew what the original tow truck looked like, I’d actually be asking a trick question. You see, the very first tow truck ever invented wasn’t actually a truck; it was a Cadillac of all vehicles. This wasn’t your grandpa’s Cadillac, though, and maybe not even his grandfather’s.

Back in 1916 a mechanic by the name of Ernest Holmes had to come rescue his old professor’s car from a ditch. So he did just that – and with the help of six men, they lifted it. By hand. And it only took eight hours.

God bless that Golden Age of thinkers and innovators. They show true ingenuity. Holmes vowed to never burn through another day getting another’s heavy Model T out of a sticky situation again. He hooked up a pulley and a crane to his old, bulky Cadillac so he could tow them back to his shop. He patented his new invention shortly afterwards.

The new towing system worked like a charm, and Holmes spent much of his attention developing the first fleet of wreckers. He sold the trucks to other mechanics and those with car garages, explaining how they could make a little extra money. And as they say, the rest is history.

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