Published July/August 2013

AAA Adds Classic Truck to Fleet

Club drives home piece of history

In January 2013, AAA Arizona drove home a little piece of auto history from the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction. The company placed the winning bid on a 1926 Ford Model T tow truck. Harold Carpenter, owner of Carpenter Towing, a AAA Southern California towing partner, owned the truck until he bequeathed it to his four daughters along with 40 other vehicles from his collection. After Harold’s passing, his daughters kept the truck as a symbol of their family towing business, which opened in 1923. 
Dave Heering, Harold’s son-in-law and the family’s representative at the sale, says, “It brought tears to everyone’s eyes when the truck came up for auction.” When AAA Arizona purchased the truck, Heering says the daughters were pleased it was staying within a business their family had been part of for a long time.  
Carpenter Towing originally purchased the vehicle as a pickup and, in the 1970s, modified it to look like a historic tow truck. The body and frame date to 1926, but the truck now sports brass gas headlights, brass oil sidelights and taillights, a finished wood bed, and a hand-crank winch for the tow boom. Although it has an electric starter, the original hand crank for the engine also works. 
Upon acquiring the truck, AAA added the company logo used during the 1920s, when the Arizona club’s roadside assistance service began. 
Mike Tully, CEO of AAA Arizona says: “We have been searching for a display tow truck that reflected our history and legacy of great service but could not find ‘the right vehicle.’ Finding this truck, which was actually in use during our founding year, was incredibly serendipitous. We’re ecstatic that the Carpenter family will have its family’s legacy continue through our events.”
Look for the truck at upcoming AAA events. 
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