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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingSeptember 19 - September 25, 2018

Classic Tow Truck Dedicated to New Children’s Hospital

0-31958307 1972434556165354 130611609033768960 n 4cb83By George L. Nitti

It was 1950 when Jasper Wiley Dodd and his brother Bill founded Dodd Bros. Wrecker Service and purchased their first unit, a 1941 Chevrolet with a Holmes 330 Junior Wrecker.

Today, that same wrecker has been restored by owner Mark Dodd, Jasper's son, and was donated to benefit Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, just across the border from Dodd Bros.' Rossville, Georgia, location.

According to one of the full-time mechanics on staff, "Mark wanted to redo it because of his dad's passing last year. The work began in December and was just recently finished in the middle of April."

The new children's hospital sought memorabilia from some of the early start-up businesses in Chattanooga. This classic tow truck will be included where the kids will be able to interact with it.

The tow truck has been beautifully restored, with purple and gold serving as its primary colors. The color scheme originated from their early days, when they were a Gulf Gas Station. At that time, the Gulf Oil Distributor provided them with free paint, which was called Purple Crest, to match Gulf's branding.

Hand-painted graphics include the company's "23 ½ hour service." Also found on the unit is a biblical reference to John 3:16.

"Sally," is written on the driver's door, just below the window. Erlanger wanted to give it a female persona, partly because Tow Mater from Disney-Pixar's "Cars" animated films was a male truck. To reflect its gender, the headlights have eyebrows, red and pink lips, and blue eyes.

Noteworthy features include the red flashing light that sits atop the unit and the authentic firestone tires.

But the Holmes Wrecker is the major focal point, which was designed to carry an average car load of 3,000 to 5,000 lbs. Holmes made three versions of it: one that is cranked manually, one that runs off of the engine and one that is a combination of the two.

Rebuilt from the ground up by Dodd Bros. staff, with a new engine and a wrecker that is fully functional, the kids will be able to turn the wheel on the side to lower and raise the boom.

It surely will be a big hit as the new children's hospital gets up and running.

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