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Tow Expo Dallas' winning trucks are highlighted
Towman Scott Shover is being called "a guardian angel"
Redi-Letters' lighted signs easily mount on wreckers
Suspending auto repos of clients impacted by Hurricane Harvey
Or, do government controls actually work?
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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 13 - September 19, 2017

All the Marks of a Classic

0-parkes 759feBy George L. Nitti

At the 2015 American Towman Expo in Baltimore, one of the pageant entrants was a light-duty truck owned by Parke's Auto Repair and Sales of Elverson, Pa.

Part of their contingent since 1986, it was among the industry's first self-loaders, made by Jerr-Dan.

"Back then," said owner Parke Bishop, "you bought directly from Jerr-Dan because they did not have distributors. They had an assembly plant in Greencastle, Pa. This one has sentimental value for me. Since then we've purchased a few other self-loaders."

Entered in the light-duty pre-2014 category, this '86 Chevrolet 3500 1-ton C30 series with an '86 Jerr-Lift has all the marks of a classic.

"Around the time we bought it, the self-loading wheel lift was replacing the L-arm," said Bishop. "It was an upgrade while hydraulics came into play. The early models were not as refined as they are today. Back then, the self-loaders had to be right on center to pick up a car. Today's don't require such precision."

Had Parke waited another year to enter this truck at the pageant, it would have qualified for entry into the classic category.

The self-loading Chevy, with its original red background and airbrushed graphics, has a '50s feel, evoked in part through its metallic striping, classic colors and old fashioned lettering.

"My son, Parke Jr., should be given a lot of credit as he had a lot to do with the custom colors," Bishop said. "Also, credit should be given to our graphic designer, Danny Nunnemaker, who resides nearby."

Its classic quality is exemplified in the older body style of the Chevrolet, which at the time had a flat front.

"It was a common stylistic feature that extended from 1973 to 1988. In '88 Chevy started another style," Bishop said.

Add to it the original Jerr-Dan aluminum bumper and a wireless Microtronics device to control the hydraulic lift, you might say this baby's a classic, all the way.

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Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!

Classical Themes

0 eec56By George L. Nitti

When Larry L. Perez, owner of Larry Perez Signs and Graphix in Round Rock, Texas, was offered the project to wrap Temple Towing's mighty Peterbilt 359/Century 60-ton rotator, he said the vision came to him in about five minutes, as the company name "Temple" conjured visions of the Roman Coliseum and Greek temples.

Starting with that idea and inspired by favorite period movies like "Braveheart" and others, Perez constructed a classically themed design to turn heads and captivate.

"That's how the shield came about," Perez said, referring to the large shield on the side of Temple's unit that serves as the company logo. "It started as a clip art. I gave it a metalized look as I was reminded of swords and warriors. I wanted it to really stand out. You will also see rubies in the shield."

The choice of a chiseled font for the "Temple Towing" along the side fits perfectly with this classical theme. Perez turned to a unique serif from "Lord of the Rings" that conveys power and serves as the primary font on the unit. An enlarged "T" on both words adds distinction.

On the unit's side is a smaller altered version of the same font bent into an arching shape adding contrast; a more elegant tertiary font on the front side adds a unique touch.

"You begin with a primary font," Perez said, "then you can put four or five different fonts together as you continue downward from primary to secondary."

Although the T-Wrecks dinosaur font on the boom was a departure in terms of a traditional, classical look, it adds a second level to this design that even surprised Perez.

"I wasn't sure about the dinosaur thing going on there, but you might say that it connects to Greek mythology. You will discover a dragon skin under that lettering."

The choice of the white, black and burgundy colors defines the body of this wrecker and was rooted in Perez's consciousness, all part of what he calls "the forensics" of his art form.

Drawing on his understanding of complementary colors that work well together, the influence of certain colors that attract money and the football colors of Texas Tech figured into this truck's anatomy.

Perez attributes his success to his formative years as a sign painter where he learned his craft working for his uncle at age nine; he's kept at it for 48 years, putting in 16-hour days.

"I've got a couple of guys that work for me with Master's Degrees in graphic design that help bring together the commercial with graphic art," Perez said. "I also learn by looking at what others are doing out there and the many designs that I see. I find one good one in a hundred and keep trying to step it up a notch in my own work.

"As they say, you are only as good as your last picture."

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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