The first tow truck was assembled by a man named Ernest Holmes Sr. of Chattanooga Tennessee in 1916. He was employed as a garage worker at the time and had to get a vehicle that was stuck in a creek. The equipment of the time used mostly ropes with blocks and tackle, also needed was either men, horses or tractors. Not a very effective, or safe way to get the job done. Being an inventor at heart, Holmes Sr. set about to modify his 1913 cadillac with chains, a pulley, and some poles. A tow truck was born, more appropriately a wrecker truck was. Ernest wasted no time and soon after patented his invention. The Towing industry was born on January 17, 1918.
A World War 2 Tow Truck sent to the European Theatre designed by Ernest Holmes Co. Called the W-45
Of course we know that Auto Racing is incredibly popular in North America. So it wouldn't take long for the Tow Truck crowd to get in on the act.
Pictured below is the Actual tow truck driven by retired race car driver Eddie Martin at the famous Talladega raceway in Alabama. Officially clocked at 109.033 MPH, raceway officials calculate that the truck would of had to be doing in excess of 130 MPH to handle the 33 degree corners. Unfortunately the driver had to stop after the first official run due to the extreme speeds melting the tires.