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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 13 - June 19, 2018

Preserving Towing History

0 b96c6By George L. Nitti

It's not unusual to find restored classic tow trucks in the towing industry, but it is rare to find a tow company that has collected and restored more than a dozen of the antiques.

"My father, Mark Storer, began collecting them 10 years after starting the company in 1988," said Jared Storer, VP of Airport Towing in Seattle and Burien, Washington. "He and my brother died in a plane crash in 2008. We've kept the collection as a tribute."

Among the seven vintage units they recently showcased at the Pacific Northwest Tow Show in Tacoma, their 1929 Ford Model AA with a Weaver 3-ton auto crane won first prize in the Best of Antique class, which comprised all units before 1966.

This Ford model came into style when the Model T became obsolete after 1925 and was upgraded to the more powerful Model AA. At the time, towing was a newer concept and Weaver's 3-ton crane was a competitor to Holmes.

"When we bought it, it was in decent shape," Storer said. "It used to be painted yellow. My father, after doing research, had the lettering done according to the time period."

Indeed, specific features of the lettering stand out, particularly because it draws on the vernacular of the day.

For example, the words "Day and Night Service" are written simply on a curved line, which today would be "24/7" service. On the back of the unit, "Affordable Towing" advertises what today would be lower rates and competitive pricing. On this piece of lettering, Ford's modern logo fills in to complete the design.

The phone number, written on the side of the unit, is also distinctive of the period with the first two numbers actually letters, common to telephone nomenclature back in the day.

Outside of entering their antique tow vehicles in tow shows, Airport's vintage class can be found appearing in local car shows and parades.

"I take pride in a well-run business," Storer said.

"These antique vehicles show our pride in the industry and interest in preserving history."

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