Towing & Recovery Museum


Mission Statement: Our Mission is to preserve the history of the towing and recovery industry, to educate the children of the world, and all of society, about said industry, and to honor those individuals who have made significant changes, and have dedicated precious time throughout our industry.

Here's where it all began. The very first twin boom wrecker was created in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1916 at the Ernest Holmes Company. The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum is a shrine to a worldwide industry, featuring the O'Hare, Chicago 1929 Chrysler with Weaver 3-ton crane, a Bubblenose wrecker, an original Locomobile, and over 20 others. Also see over 300 toy trucks from all over the world.


W-45 Military Wrecker - The Ernest Holmes Co.

Chevrolet truck with a Holmes 515 & 540 Cradle


Come walk among early towing and recovery history in the International Towing & Recovery Hall Of Fame and Museum. Enjoy restored antique wreckers and equipment, industry related displays of collectible toys, tools, unique equipment, and pictorial histories of manufacturers who pioneered a worldwide industry.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, was chosen as the museum's home because the indusry's first wrecker was fabricated one block away from the museum at the Ernest Holmes Company.

Automotive and history buffs alike will enjoy a tour of the nostalgic museum, located in historic downtown. The everchanging collection of tow trucks dates from the earliest days of the automobile. The museum has a variety of antique toys and memorabilia to entertain all members of your family.

If you're lucky, Museum Manager Frank Thomas will give you a personalized tour through the exhibits sharing stories from the early days of towing and recovery.

The International Towing and Recovery Museum was dedicated in the fall of 1995 and has been growing ever since. The museum is a non-profit organization. All money and exhibits come exclusively from donations, grants, and gifts from individuals and major industry corporations.

The museum hosts tour groups, school trips, and special events. It is recommended that you call 30 days in advance for reservations.



Contact Frank Thomas or Lyndia Thomas at the Museum (423) 267-3132 or stop by.
The Museum is located at:
401 Broad Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402


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