|It was 1916 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Mechanic Ernest Holmes got a call from his old Business School professor, John Wiley. Wiley and his son had been driving when their Model T veered off the road and was flipped upsidedown in a creek bed. Holmes came to help. It took him eight hours and six men to retrieve the car from the creek bed.
Holmes decided there had to be a better solution, and he was determined to find it.
He modified a 1913 Cadillac, adding a crane and pulley system. The idea was that this modified vehicle could rescue other distressed vehicles and tow them to a mechanics shop for repair.
It didn’t work. Holmes needed something to stabilize the tow truck. He added a pair of outriggers to brace the tow truck while it was lifting and pulling other vehicles. This time, it worked, and the first tow truck was born.