Rear View Mirror

The History of the Automobile in America,

it’s mechanical and auto body technology and development, the people who drive them, the laws they are subject to, the evolution of the roads they drive on, and almost inevitably, the technology required to recover a collision-damaged vehicle and return it to drivable condition, are all intertwined. The history of the collision repair industry, most specifically, the many companies that support the industry, have a long and interestingly varied past.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013


The towing industry is born when Ernest Holmes Sr. helps friends pull a car from a ditch in Chattanooga, TN.  After muscling the car out, Holmes thought there must be a better way.  He acquired a 1913 Cadillac, removed the body behind the driver’s seat, attached an A-frame and a system of pulleys, and created the first wrecker.  It was a great idea, but didn’t exactly work as planned.  He needed a set of outrigger feet to keep the Cadillac from tipping over.  After attaching the outriggers, and some boxes in which to carry tools, his tow-truck was a success.  So much so that he started making them for other people and thus, an industry of building and using tow / recovery trucks was born.  Holmes’s first manufacturing facility was a small shop on Market Street in Chattanooga, TN.

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